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UCL Library Services Strategy 2011-2014

Key Performance Area: Research Support

The work of Library Services is critical to UCL's reputation for global excellence in research. We provide access to world class collections, physical libraries where researchers can develop their ideas individually or in collaboration, guidance in research and information skills, and tools to help manage research output. Our expertise contributes to the development of new areas of research and new methodologies, supporting and helping to shape UCL's research strategy.

Support for research is a core activity for us and will continue to be so. In 2009 we surveyed researchers across UCL and the responses to that survey have helped inform our strategic direction. During the strategy period we will work to improve facilities and collections for researchers engaged in all areas, from traditional individual study in a single discipline to collaborative and interdisciplinary projects involving partners from inside and outside UCL. We will review the way we use our space, the way we develop and provide access to our research collections, and the way we manage research outputs to ensure that they provide the best possible fit to the needs of researchers. We will promote the skills that library staff can contribute to UCL’s research activity  and we will continue to play a leading role in the national and international research library agenda.



Research collections
We will continue to build on our strong research collections, aligning them closely with UCL’s research strategies at departmental and faculty level. Selective digitisation of unique research resources will help promote the collections and to generate new research ideas.

  • Improve provision of e-resources identified as necessary for research in UCL.
  • Align collection management policies with UCL research strategies.
  • Make Special Collections more accessible to researchers by increasing targeted digitisation.

Systems and infrastructure
Library Services will be an active partner in the development of infrastructure that supports new types of research and publishing and maximises the impact of UCL’s research. Streamlined discovery systems will make it easier for researchers to locate and access the material they need.

  • Complete the launch of UCL Discovery to UCL researchers.
  • Implement Primo, to simplify and improve access to electronic collections.
  • Establish E-Publishing platforms in UCL Library Services to support UCL research.
  • Embed sustainable digital curation services for UCL to guarantee long-term access to research outputs and primary data which are curated by the Library on behalf of UCL researchers.

Professional skills
Library staff have a great deal to contribute to the research process. We will raise awareness of staff expertise in specialist professional areas such as IPR, bibliometrics, and the management of primary research data, as well as the traditional expertise of subject specialist staff which has always been highly valued within UCL. Library Services will draw on its substantial experience of externally funded project work to collaborate with academic staff working on innovative approaches to research.

  • Develop more joint projects between Library Services and academic departments.
  • Introduce material on IPR, bibliometrics and management of research data into induction material for new academic staff and research postgraduates.
  • Consider the recommendations of 2011 RLUK report on the role of the subject librarian, particularly in relation to primary data.
  • Create a dedicated area of the Library Services website to highlight UCL-wide tools and services for researchers.
  • Improve the relevance of training and support offered to researchers.

External relations and partnerships
Building on our reputation as an internationally important research collection, Library Services will continue to work at the highest level nationally and internationally to support the UK’s research agenda. We will put mechanisms in place to support UCL’s joint research activities with partners wherever they are, and work actively with professional bodies to encourage a strategic approach to the management of research collections in the UK and internationally. Promoting open access to publicly funded research will be a key priority in our work.

  • Create a wiki to share information among all library staff on the work of the leading professional bodies working with research libraries, nationally and internationally.
  • Monitor national collaborative collection management initiatives and increase engagement as appropriate.
  • Develop mechanisms for supporting research in partner institutions and overseas campuses.
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