Category Archives: Research facilitators

Heather Saunders, copyright and scholarly communications librarian

You’re starting a new job in January. Tell us about it!

I’ll be covering the University of Winnipeg’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Librarian, Brianne Selman, while she is on research leave. This is my first time supporting an institutional repository, which allows me to engage with open access in a new way. I’m also excited to join a faculty union, having served as a librarian representative on a special joint committee of a faculty union in a previous position that led to librarians becoming members shortly after I left. I never got to enjoy the fruits of my labour, but I feel like I can do so now, only in a different institution. Continue reading →

“Your Story Matters” at Harvard

Harvard University has been running an open-access repository for many years. It’s called DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard).

Today they’re launching Your Story Matters, a collection of many hundreds of short testimonials of how free access to Harvard researchers’ publications has helped state legislators, TV producers, community-college lecturers, preachers, high-school teachers, parents of autistic children, dieticians and many, many others do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively.

As Peter Suber says:

These stories volunteered by the users of our open-access repository are the best evidence that OA serves real people with real needs, that OA meets unmet demand, that the demand unmet by conventional journals includes academic and non-academic readers.

It’s great that this site is now online, helping us to appreciate some of the vast opportunity cost of keeping research locked behind paywalls.

BJ Nicholls, fossil preparator

In his professional life, BJ Nicholls is an advertising designer; but in his spare time he, along with is wife Lori, is a volunteer fossil preparator at the Natural History Museum of Utah.  What does that entail?

Most fossil discoveries require a tremendous amount of preparation work after a specimen is excavated.  Fossils are typically brought back to preparation labs with little of the fossil exposed.  We’ve been trained to remove the surrounding rock (called matrix) and to stabilize fossil bones that are often in very poor condition.

Continue reading →