Yesterday I attended, along with Steve Loddignton (Research Support Office) and Stuart Wood (ITS), an event hosted by the RSP in their native Nottingham. The theme of the day was to take a look at the overlap in working, activities and priorities between repository managers and staff, and those working in the research offices. It was also a chance to meet with staff from the various repository software groups and CRIS suppliers too. For us this was a useful chance to finally meet our Symplectic technical guru in the flesh, and to put a few more questions to him!
Despite being pitched to the two main groups, there were certainly a few more repository folks there on the day than research managers. That said there were enough from both camps to make for an effective dialogue and exchange of experience. From my point of view I found it invaluable to attend in partnership with my two colleagues; each of us was able to get something different from the day. For my own part it was a rewarding opportunity to see that Leicester is actually a good example of how to work closely on CRIS and repository activities; although I will admit we pale in comparison to the best practice example exemplified by Glasgow’s Enlighten.
The session from Simon Kerridge, speaking on behalf of ARMA that introduced the day was a valuable insight into the working life of a research manager. I was pleased to see that they consider interactions with the repository to be third priority, behind HR and finance alone, which was most heartening. For my own part I especially value the close working relationship the LRA team has establishing with our RSO over the years, and hope that through working together on IRIS that it will continue to develop.
It was also interesting to participate in the session facilitated by the RePOSIT project, once again looking at advocacy but also crucially interactions between the repository and research manager communities. Personally events such as yesterday are vital so that we can all better understand the needs and challenges each face, along with our own especial priorities. Steve and myself did take away quite a few ideas for communication and advocacy to the University of Leicester community that we will be feeding into the IRIS Communication plan for the coming month. I’m looking forward to this chance to get out into our wonderful Leicester research community and demonstrate how IRIS can make their lives easier, and how the LRA can enable their research to be more widely read, cited and reused.
The other excellent talk that stuck home was from Valerie McCutcheon of Glasgow university’s research office. It really did give a fantastic example of how a research office and repository team can unite over a core system. She showed even where working practices may differ how the centralisation of the management of research data and publications can make for a smooth operation. It also offers a greater possibility for development of new enhancements for the academic community established in partnership, rather than in isolation. personally I believe it’s a model I think both the Library and our Research Office should look to emulate in many aspects.
There were other sessions, along with the chance to catch up with other repository managers working with Symplectic too, but for me these sessions were the ones that I came away thinking about. This was a truly excellent day and my thanks the RSP for organising it, and all the speakers for their input to it.