The Research and Content Department in New Brunswick Libraries

NR07ChangLibrary4288The newly formed Research and Content Department in New Brunswick has been actively organizing itself and beginning its work, which involves 37 New Brunswick personnel at present. The Research and Content Department is designed to develop and implement services and resources that support the researchers of the Rutgers-New Brunswick community–faculty, grad students, undergrads, and community users engaged in research.

As a result of input from last year’s planning process and several open meetings, six working teams were formed: Content, Graduate and Faculty Services, Research Collaborations, Research Data Outreach, Research Spaces, and Scholarly Communication and Open Access. These teams cover a range of research-related functions and allow library faculty and staff to come together in their areas of interest to develop future services for the Libraries in New Brunswick, in collaboration with systemwide and other university initiatives.

Since these teams were newly formed in January, their initial work has mostly involved planning for upcoming activities. A brief summary of each teams’ early activities and plans is presented below:

Content (Kevin Mulcahy, team leader)

The Content team oversees New Brunswick collections and has made an initial priority of weeding and stacks management activities to make more room in the New Brunswick libraries. The Content team will work closely with the Collections Analysis Group and the Holdings Management Team.

Graduate and Faculty Services (Karen Hartman, team leader)

The Graduate and Faculty Services team is responsible for developing services and programs of interest to graduate and faculty researchers. In the Spring, the team collaborated with the Graduate Student Association to offer Lightning Talks by grad students on their research. Future plans include working with other teams on a series of workshop presentations for the 2017 academic year, developing a LibGuide targeted to grad students, and taking charge of contacting new faculty in NB with information about the Libraries.

Research Collaborations (Marty Kesselman, team leader)

This team explores potential collaborations at Rutgers that the Libraries can help to foster. Near-term goals for the group include working on a listing of social networks that promote collaborations among researchers, which could be shared as a LibGuide, and developing a workshop for faculty on social networking for collaboration. Studying the costs and benefits of implementing a tool like VIVO is also a possibility.

Research Data Outreach (Laura Palumbo, team leader)

This team supports researchers by providing information and training related to data management, data handling and sharing, and other research data needs. The team has identified two action items for the next academic year. The first is to create an online “Research Data Toolkit” that would be more simple and streamlined than a libguide, but would still provide information for researchers in one place about resources pertaining to the entire data lifecycle. The group is already prototyping this site. The second is to produce a plan for systematic outreach to students and faculty in New Brunswick about the research data services and expertise available to them through the Libraries.

Research Spaces (Francesca Giannetti, team leader)

The Research Spaces Team explores researcher needs and plans services for new and re-imagined spaces that enable research-focused training and collaboration. Its first steps have been to inventory Rutgers University Libraries and selective locations at Rutgers more generally about the kinds of spaces supporting advanced training and collaboration that already exist. The group has also studied leading examples of research spaces at peer institutions and provided input into the Master Space Planning process on the kinds of spaces that would support advanced researcher needs in the future.

Scholarly Communication and Open Access (Laura Mullen, team leader)

The implementation of the Rutgers Open Access policy and SOAR have impacts across Rutgers, but particularly in Rutgers-New Brunswick as the largest community of faculty and graduate students affected. There is a lot to do in terms of hands-on outreach and support for SOAR locally, which this team plans to take on. This team plans to meet with local stakeholders and support SOAR through tabling and other educational events. One of its largest roles can be working on the implementation of SOAR for the doctoral students and postdocs in New Brunswick/Piscataway. This is largely uncharted territory, since Rutgers will be the first university to work toward the goal of early career researchers’ making their work open access. This team will coordinate its work with Graduate and Faculty Services while Laura Mullen in on sabbatical in the Fall.

Setting a large reorganization of this kind in motion will always be a work in progress and we will be evaluating and reevaluating our structure to find what is most effective as time goes on.  Melissa Just and the Steering Team for the New Brunswick Libraries are overseeing the process as well, so that we can coordinate all of the moving parts that must work smoothly together.

Please reach out to me or any of the team leaders with ideas, questions, and possibilities for collaboration!

Ryan Womack