Spotlight on Catherine Sharp

7 October 2013

Catherine Sharpe

This week the spotlight is on Catherine Sharp, Open Access Funding Manager, Library Services.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I manage UCL’s open access funds, which are now available to all UCL authors. My team arranges open access payments, advises authors on funders’ and publishers’ policies, and promotes open access throughout UCL.

We help authors to comply with funders’ requirements and UCL’s open access mandate, which means that they benefit from the increased citations and visibility that open access brings. We take pride in providing a very responsive service, tailored to the paper/author, and in reducing authors’ workload. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch

From 1–24 October, UCL researchers and research support staff can enter our competition to win an iPad! Towards the end of the month, we are holding an Open Access Forum (25 October, 2–4pm), exploring national and international developments in open access, publisher and funder approaches, and UCL’s support for authors. There will be a relaxed drinks reception afterwards. Researchers from all faculties are welcome, and there are still some places left. Contact us to register.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I started as a Library Assistant before my MA in Library and Information Studies, 10 years ago. For the past five years, as Ejournals Librarian, I was responsible for subscriptions and access to ejournals. As part of that job, I managed Wellcome Trust, and latterly RCUK, open access funding.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I hope that I’ve managed to build some strong links with departments and researchers since beginning to set up our open access funding services. We’ve had some lovely, appreciative feedback. I’m keen to develop the services as we discover more about what authors would like from us.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

I’m negotiating new prepayment schemes with publishers. They provide discounts on open access fees and make payment very straightforward. We already have schemes with BMC, BMJ (all journals), Elsevier (RCUK only), Humanities Directory and Social Sciences Directory, IEEE, RSC, Sage, SpringerOpen, T&F, Ubiquity and Wiley.

If your publisher isn’t one of these, funds are still available to pay for immediate open access on the publisher website: just contact us.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: Anything by Mark Knopfler or Al Stewart – I’ve seen both in concert (separately!) in Brighton.

Film: Grosse Pointe Blank. “No, no. Psychopaths kill for no reason. I kill for money. It's a job. That didn't come out right.”

Novel: Middlemarch by George Eliot: human frailties beautifully observed.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Not a joke, just a truism: “Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw.” – Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Dinner parties are too nerve-wracking. How about walking? Maybe the Coast to Coast with an expert navigator (though perhaps not Wainwright).

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff; enjoy life.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I don’t think about cats 24/7 – just most of the time.

What is your favourite place?

Mauritius, for my husband’s 50th birthday: jacuzzi, lagoon, jumping fish.