Information Studies


SCHOLARLY OUTREACH, IMPACT AND OUTCOMES: The Sixth UCL Bloomsbury Conference 28-29 June 2012

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The mission of the conferences

The Bloomsbury conferences are organised in collaboration with the Pratt School of Information and Library Studies and are concerned with scholarly communication in the digital environment especially as it impacts on the relationship between scholars and the information professions that facilitate their work, specifically librarians and publishers. Recent conferences have examined social media in the research process (2011), the increasingly important role of data (2010) and the likelihood of significant changes in the formal communication process using publications as a vehicle (2009).

The theme for 2012

Scholarly communication, both formal and informal, is primarily communication between scholars, and specifically between scholars and their peers. SCHOLARLY OUTREACH, IMPACT AND OUTCOMES is concerned more with moves to make scholarship more accessible to those outside the ivory tower. These moves include both internal and external pressures including from government. The event is particularly timely in that major initiatives are to be announced before the conference involving both the Royal Society and the Research Councils UK which will be covered in presentations. The conference will examine how scholars, working directly and through publishers and librarians, are taking advantage of digital opportunities to make scholarship easily available to scholars in other fields, professionals outside the academy and the general public. It is also concerned with the related question of how research impacts the world outside the academy as knowledge which leads directly and indirectly to economic advantage - a topic of special interest in the UK.  There are also presentations on equipping people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion. Another theme is public engagement,   specifically as represented by a sub-discipline within the social sciences which is concerned to foster a "culture of two-way conversations between university staff and students, and people outside the university".

The audience

All Bloomsbury conference aim to provide thought-provoking presentations and discussion for all those concerned with scholarly communication, whether they are publishers, librarians, or, in particular, scholars from all disciplines. What has become clear in putting together this conference is that there is no coherent approach to looking at the topics mentioned above and below: it is hoped that bringing disparate groups together may lead to useful future collaboration. Because one of the messages of the conference is that scholarship is not just a matter for scholars, registrants are welcomed from the wider audience of those who eventually fund most of the research that we will be discussing.

The programme

Presentations are by invitation. Full programme and links to presentations here.

As mentioned above there has been an attempt to cover a wide range of research and enquiry. The aim of the organisers is to make sure a wide spectrum of insights is represented. This is an independent event. As with previous events in the series the proceedings on both days will begin with contributions providing an overview and establishing the drivers. These are intended to frame the more detailed descriptions of relevant initiatives which will be organised in panels. Following each group of presentations time has been allocated to question and answer sessions and interaction with what we hope will be an informed audience.

The themes discussed will include:

  • What we know about the outcomes of research
  • What is meant by "impact" as proposed under the terms of the Research Excellence Framework
  • What is impact in a broader sense
  • How Open Access is just a beginning of a wider revolution in scholarship
  • Perspectives on public engagement - multidirectional "sharing"  of knowledge
  • Bringing  guidance to and understanding of science and medicine to policy makers and journalist
  • The elucidating and showcasing of research for the wider audience
  • Publisher and Library involvement in such initiatives as PatientInform and Patients Participate and the role of lay summaries produced by a range of mediators

The following have agreed to speak at the conference:

  • Jonathan Bowen (London South Bank University)
  • Lee-Ann Coleman (British Library)
  • Ian Carter (University of Sussex)
  • Brian Collins (University College London)
  • Dave De Roure (Oxford University)
  • Monica Duke (UKOLN)
  • Jeremy Frey (Southampton University)
  • Richard Gedye (International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers)
  • Ann Grand (University of the West of England)
  • Heather King (Kings College London)
  • Emily Jesper (Sense about Science)
  • Michael Jubb (Research Information Network)
  • Grant Lewison (Kings College London)
  • Jack Meadows (Loughborough University)
  • David Payne (BMJ)
  • David Price (University College London)
  • Elaine Regan (Kings College London)
  • Michael Taylor (Elsevier)
  • Amara Thornton (UCL)
  • Claire Warwick (University College London)
  • Anne Welsh (University College London)
  • Astrid Wissenburg (Economic and Social Research Council)


Registration and refreshments (on both days) - Roberts Foyer G02

  • The conference itself - Roberts Building, Room G06, The Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre
  • Evening reception - Roberts Foyer

Please click here for a map link to the Roberts Building

Details of previous Bloomsbury conferences

For Conference fee details, pre-registration enquiries and further information please email: infostudies-conferences@ucl.ac.uk or see the downloadable registration form.

There is a 15% discount for members of ALPSP, CILIP, IASTMP, PA, STM and UKPA. Special discount rates are also available to university staff and students of LIS schools, dependent on availability.