Scholarly Communication training

Scholarly communication and research support services are a growing part of the offerings of many academic libraries but it can be hard for staff to develop the skills they need to deliver this service. 

My current role involves training Cambridge library staff in scholarly communication issues through the Office of Scholarly Communication. This page includes a selection of the resources I have developed to train local staff as part of the Supporting Researchers in the 21st Century Programme and will be updated as new content is created. All of the resources below are available under a CC-BY license so feel free to adapt and reuse the content as needed. 

Research skills for librarians

The Sherlock Librarian: Investigating the Workplace - Library staff are often involved in problem solving as part of their daily roles, either on behalf of users or for themselves. Conducting research in the workplace is the next step but many find this a difficult one to take and often don't consider their work as research. Undertaking research in the workplace, both formal and informal, can help to generate solutions to problems, support a case of find out about your library but where do you start? This one hour workshop introduces participants to the basics of undertaking workplace research including turning a problem into an actionable question, the skills needed and how to overcome common barriers. The workshop is suitable for complete novices, people wanting a quick refresher and those with just a passing interest.

Presentations: From Design to Delivery - Presentation skills are a vital part of working in the information profession yet this is an area many people feel uncomfortable with. They assume that presenting means standing up to deliver a talk to an audience but it can also involve leading a tour, speaking in meetings or working at an inquiry point. This interactive workshop, tailored specifically to the library community, will take you through the process of creating and delivering a presentation, give you tips on design and public speaking and help you to feel more confident in communicating with others. At the end of the course you will be able to deliver any kind of session with confidence.

Reflective Practice Workshop Being a reflective practitioner is something that doesn’t come naturally for many of us but it can be a surprisingly easy skill to develop. As well as helping you to think critically about yourself and your service, being able to reflect can help you to deal with feedback, prepare you for job interviews and become more confident. This interactive workshop will help you to understand the theory of reflective practice and how to translate this into your everyday role. It will provide tips for overcoming barriers to carrying out reflection and how to deal with feedback as well as offering a brief introduction to reflective writing. The accompanying handout can he found here.

Scholarly publishing

Scholarly Communication 101- Scholarly communication is a term that is becoming increasingly popular in academic libraries but what does it mean? How can librarians get involved if they don't understand the background to the area? This workshop looks at what scholarly communication is, where libraries (and librarians) fit within the research lifecycle and what it means to be a researcher in the 21st century. Delivered as part of the Research Support Ambassador Programme 2017.

Perish Even If You Publish?: The Problem of Predatory Publishers - 'Dear esteemed author…' So-called predatory publishers regularly approach researchers via email to solicit manuscripts and conference papers. With the emphasis on publishing as a measure of academic success still strong it can be easy to give in to temptation and flattery but this can do more harm than good to a future career. As part of our Librarian Toolkit series on helping researchers publish this session will look at the problem of predatory publishers using case studies. Attendees will be given tips on how to spot a predatory publisher or conference and the best advice to offer if one of their researchers has been approached. Part of the series - Librarian Toolkit: Helping Researchers Publish

You've Published, Now What?: Tools and Techniques for Promoting Research - Getting published is just the first step… Getting academic output published is a great accomplishment for any researcher but it’s not the end of the story. Promoting and sharing their work in a variety of ways can help to increase the impact of the original publication and can also be a useful tool for the library to show how their help is contributing. This Librarian Toolkit session on helping researchers publish looks at the benefits of promoting research, the tools both researchers and librarians can use and how to link this with general advocacy for open research. Part of the series - Librarian Toolkit: Helping Researchers Publish

Helping Researchers Publish - Once researchers have completed their work they need to think about options for publication but with so many different ways to publish how do they move forward? This presentation outlines how to come up with a publication strategy, tips for choosing the right format and publish for work as well as how to avoid the pitfalls of predatory publishers. Delivered as part of the Research Support Ambassador Programme 2017.

Research Data Management

Research Data Management - With the wealth of data being produced by the research community how should researchers best approach its management? Librarians are ideally placed to be able to offer advice to the researchers they deal with and utilise their existing skills but it can be hard to know where to start. This introductory workshop covers the basics of RDM and showcases how librarians can offer support. Delivered as part of the Research Support Ambassador Programme 2017.

Engaging Students with Research Data Management: The Modular Approach - Research Data Management is an essential component of life as a researcher in the 21st century but with so much to do it can be hard to engage students with the basics they need to know. This presentation, delivered at the 2017 LILAC Conference, outlines the process used at the University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication to teach students fundamental skills using a variety of creative and adaptable approaches.

RDM Audience, Module and Activity Cards - these cards can be used to construct a bespoke RDM workshop for a local audience. Audience profile, module and activity cards are available. Originally these cards formed part of an exercise during a workshop for LILAC 2017 but can be used and adapted for local circumstances.


I Can Just Use This, Right?: A Copyright Survival Guide for Librarians - Are your students confused by copyright? Do you struggle to find the answers to their questions? You are not alone! This final session of our Librarian Toolkit series on helping researchers to publish, this workshop will deal with common copyright questions which arise during the publication process. From including copyrighted work in a thesis to sharing published work on social networks copyright is a complex minefield and it can be hard to know where to start when giving advice. This session for librarians will equip attendees with knowledge about third party copyright, making work available open access and how researchers can share their work legally online. Part of the series - Librarian Toolkit: Helping Researchers Publish.

Open Access

Open Access - Increasing the availability of research outputs through Open Access is a crucial function of scholarly communication. However the changing policy landscape can make it hard to keep up with the latest developments in the field. This presentation looks at the basics of Open Access, the meaning of key concepts like Green and Gold OA, provides an overview of funder policies and showcases ideas for librarians wanting to promote Open Access in their institutions. Delivered as part of the Research Support Ambassador Programme 2017.

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