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Strategic Priority 2

To enhance internationally recognised, globally competitive and sustainable research areas

Goals

2.1  Maximise access to research literature
2.2  Fully Exploit Special Collections, Archives & Institutional Repository
2.3  Provide effective management and support for research?

A summary and details about our goals and actions are available in the tabs below.


Summary
2.1
2.2
2.3

Information Services has an important part to play in supporting research, to achieve the goals set out in the University’s Research Strategy (2009-14) and particularly the goal of creating “a supportive environment which enables academic staff to undertake world leading and internationally excellent research”.(The Information Services Strategy will be updated as required in the light of the new Research and Enterprise Strategy when it is developed in late 2012).

The implementation of the Pure Research Information System will be completed in 2012-13 and Information Services will work with staff from Research and Enterprise and other stakeholders to ensure that the functionality of the system is fully exploited to support both ongoing management of research and the specific requirements of the REF.The Pure Advanced Portal will provide an outward facing view of the spectrum of research across the University but the system will also enable the effective internal management of research.It is likely that a programme of development and expansion will follow on from the initial implementation of Pure.

We will continue to provide access to the widest possible range of research literature, taking account of new challenges and opportunities, and to put in place the infrastructure and systems required by researchers.

The recurring problem of the spiralling cost of subscriptions to major research journals will continue to present challenges.While the sector had some limited success during 2011-12 in pegging back cost increases by two of the major publishers, we are faced with an annual problem of either cutting subscriptions to maintain budgets at historic levels or making additional sums available to maintain current subscriptions.Our immediate priority is to provide a period of stability in advance of the forthcoming REF.We will also continue to work with others in the sector on initiatives to force publishers to reduce prices but, where there is potential for investment or where cuts have to be made, we need to consider models which align the periodicals budget with priority research areas.

We will actively pursue alternative strategies for making research literature available.The concept of Patron Driven Acquisition of electronic books is attractive as it permits library users to find and identify desired resources prior to us purchasing them, and for us to pay only for what is actually used.The potential for supplementing journal subscriptions with individual article purchase fees will also be explored.We will monitor developments in relation to open access publishing, taking account of growing Research Council support and funding for this approach, and will launch and promote our new Institutional Repository (IR), using Pure Advanced Portal, in early 2012-13.This will include support for populating the IR and analysing and identifying the citation impact.

More generally, we will continue to develop and exploit the resource discovery tools available though the library system and provide support to researchers to enable them to make the most effective use of the available research literature.

Research use of Special Collections will be enhanced by the creation of an Academic Advisory Board, by continued management of the Collections (storage, access and conservation) and through active support for strategic alliances and partnerships to exploit the research potential to the full.

The management of research data is increasingly coming to the fore as an issue and will be an important part of the Information Services Strategy.The Research Councils have set out principles on data policy which require institutions to have data management policies and plans in place to ensure that data with acknowledged long-term value is preserved and remains accessible and usable for future research. This presents a challenge given the rapid growth in the volumes of research data being generated.Information Services will work with others to ensure that appropriate policies are in place and that the necessary information, support and infrastructure are available to help researchers deal with the management and preservation of important research data.

High Performance Computing (HPC) will remain an important element of research in many areas and Information Services will work with key stakeholders to ensure that the systems and supporting infrastructure are in place to meet HPC needs.In particular the mix of local, national and cloud based HPC resources will be reviewed to ensure an appropriate mix and best value for the University.More generally, we will work with others in the University to review the local and central provision of research computing to make sure – as part of a wider shared services strategy – that the most effective and efficient solutions are in place.

 

2.1 Maximise access to research literature

In order to maximize access to research literature, alternative allocation models for journals funding will be developed to reflect institutional priorities more effectively. During the planning period, we will also seek ways of maximizing the purchasing power of the Library budget (e.g. use of Patron Driven Acquisition models). Steps will be taken to raise awareness of alternatives to inter-library loans - e.g. use of repositories and free archives.It will also be appropriate to reconsider the future storage of some journal runs where there is secure electronic access, particularly through core services such as JSTOR.

Actions

  • Review available models for Patron Driven Acquisition of e-books and carry out one or more pilots to improve access to research literature
  • Seek mechanisms for targeted provision of research resources at article level
  • Explore appropriate alternatives to the current mechanism for allocating journal funding
  • Promote alternative mechanisms for access to research resources – e.g. repositories and archives
  • Develop strategies for withdrawal of journal runs (and other less heavily used print resources)
  • Develop appropriate mechanisms for stock checking and management for all libraries based on both RFID and barcode technologies

 

2.2 Fully Exploit Special Collections, Archives & Institutional Repository

The current scheme of work to build partnerships and work collaboratively will continue. An Academic Advisory Board will be set up to guide the ongoing work of Special Collections and offer appropriate academic direction. The Institutional Repository will be developed in partnership with the Research Policy Office and the current development plan for the University Archive will be carried to completion.

Actions

  • Initiate creation of an Academic Advisory Board for Special Collections
  • Collaborate with relevant Directorates to support University events with appropriate presentations and exhibitions
  • Partner the population, launch and promotion of the Queen’s Institutional Repository
  • Support Open Access in relation to the Institutional Repository and the related citation impact, knowledge transfer, economic impact, etc.
  • Contribute to progression of the Union Music Catalogue of Ireland
  • Continue implementation of the CALM Archive Management System
  • Seek improved mechanisms for digital asset management to raise the profile of important manuscript collections
  • Advance integration of CALM, RASCAL and the institutional repository via the resource discovery platform
  • Recruit to the Digital Humanities Support Officer post in order to offer specialist support to Schools

 

2.3 Provide effective management and support for research

Support for research encompasses a range of targets that will be addressed in our action plans: dealing with the growing challenge of managing research data in line with emerging requirements; continuing and extending the role of the library in direct support for researchers; managing HPC resources taking full account of internal and external options; and supporting a range of research management systems, most particularly the implementation and ongoing development of Pure.

Actions

  • Work collaboratively with the Research and Enterprise Directorate to support the University’s ongoing research data management activities and policy development
  • Enhance the library’s role in terms of research support – e.g. citation analysis and bibliometrics training
  • Deliver ongoing reference management support and training; and introduce new advanced ICT skills training for researchers
  • Carry out a Researchers’ Survey to establish future priorities
  • Promote the newly acquired SCOPUS database and provide training to researchers
  • Review the provision and mix of HPC resources to ensure they meet the needs of users
  • Provide active support for the launch of Pure and its integration with other University systems