This is the latest in our Day in the Life series of blogposts.
Hello, my name is Nicola. My role is Senior Library Manager for Research Support. I joined the OU in 2003 as a Subject Information Specialist supporting Science and Health and Social Welfare. For the past 10 years I have been responsible for the Library’s research support team. The team provides specialist services e.g. open access publishing and research data management to OU academics, researchers and postgraduate research students. Research support has been a growing area of the Library Service over the past few years and I am very fortunate to work with a fantastic team who work hard to develop their knowledge and expertise and use this to develop our services.
No two days are ever the same but most days I have a catch up with at least one of the team. We have all being working from home for over a year so weekly online catch ups enable us to share what we are doing and plan our work. We also have a weekly Friday team catch up and as Megan mentioned in her blog post a monthly teams games session. I usually act as quiz master as I got fed up with coming last.
As well as the internal services that I am responsible for, I also try to be externally active. Since February 2018 I have been chair of the UK Council of Open Research and Repositories (UKCORR), which is the professional body for repositories and those working in open research. In the latest Committee meeting we discussed gathering members feedback from the latest Research Excellence (REF) submission so we can capture some of the lessons learnt and surveying members to find out their future plans for the repositories to identify areas where UKCORR can offer support. I am also on the Jisc OpenDOAR Steering group and in the last meeting we were discussing a metadata proposal.
Most of my days are a mixture of keeping an overview of our services and answering a range of enquiries that come both through the team mailbox and to me individually. These include how to publish open access, working with one of faculties to set up an undergraduate journal for their project module, assessing new journal deals, supporting the OU’s scholarship activity. My role involves working with a wide range of people which I enjoy and I get a real sense of satisfaction when I have managed to help someone or have learnt something new.
As I am working from home my 2 cats have become my work colleagues, but they do tend to sleep most of the day.