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Hello from the Leeds University Library Research Support Team, and a happy Open Access Week. The team is based in the Research Hub at the Edward Boyle Library (Level 13), and we offer a wide range of support to help University researchers. For more information about what the Research Support Team offers please visit our library page here.

In the spirit of Open Access Week we would like to introduce you to the members of our team who work behind the scenes dealing with the White Rose Research Online (WRRO) repository, Symplectic university publications database, article processing charges and promoting & supporting open access. We are here to help you navigate through the various systems and terminology that surround open access. For further information please contact us at research@library.leeds.ac.uk or 0113 34 30583.


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My first job at the University of Leeds was in the Fine Art library, I typed tiny cards and stickers for slides – feels like another world……..moving to the Library I began as the Librarians’ PA before working in e Resources/Information Literacy & White Rose Research Online – working in 3 teams over 2 days!  I was then based in the Digital Content Team with a handful of people before the Library was reconfigured and I landed in the Research Support Team which has grown and grown. I have enjoyed seeing how Open Access has gone from strength to strength and look forward to seeing how it continues to do so.


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I started my library career working at the Leeds Public library, within the Local Family History and Business & Research departments. It was here that I developed a passion for libraries and for the past 8 years have had a library role. I have worked with various departments here at the University library, starting with customer services and special collections before finally taking on a role within research support as a repository assistant. I feel that this role has taken me back to my roots in all the support we do for open access. I think open access is important for future research, not only for students and academics but for the wider community.


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I joined the Research Support Team as a Repository Assistant in February 2018, having worked in a more generalist library role in the School of Management and Law at the University of Bradford. Prior to this, I worked within public libraries for over 10 years, both in frontline positions and in acquisitions and collections departments. In the distant past before library work, I was employed in both bookselling and HR roles.

My work supporting open access has given me a great insight into the world of academic publishing and the considerable amount of work that goes into supporting the University, not only in terms of the REF, but also in the context of promoting the wider benefits of open access publishing. This post has given me the opportunity to focus on issues around open access within higher education, while also enabling me to see the vast range of research that is generated within the University.


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I started working for the Library in 2001 as a part time Customer Services Assistant at St James’ Medical Library. I’ve had various roles over the years including CSA, Faculty Team assistant, REF Outputs Coordinator and am now the Repositories Coordinator for the Research Support Team. I look after the work of the Research Support and Repository Assistants, making sure our open access processes run smoothly. I also support a network of open access contacts across the University and work with colleagues from York and Sheffield Universities on the White Rose Repositories Services group bringing a Leeds perspective to the discussions.


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Before starting in the team two years ago, I worked in a number of library jobs at different institutions including customer service, copyright, digitisation, e-resources and working at the National Fairground Archive. I’ve also been a researcher, a youth hostel worker and a wine merchant. I believe very passionately in access to information for everyone, and that was what drew me to libraries generally and open access specifically. Working with such great colleagues to support researchers and ensure as much as possible of the institution’s research is openly available to all make this job so rewarding.


I got my start in libraries working behind the front desks at three different Cape Cod, Massachusetts village libraries. I studied History as an undergraduate (at Drexel University in Philadelphia), and did my best to avoid the siren call of Libraries and Information before graduating from the Information School at the University of Sheffield in 2007. In between, I worked as a sandwich maker, antique stove restorer and expatriate English teacher, all before emigrating from the U.S. to Yorkshire in 2012. I came to the University of Leeds in 2013 and worked as an Accreditation & Quality Assurance officer at Leeds University Business School before moving to the Library in 2016 to work with research outputs, open access and White Rose Research Online. For me, the great thing about open access is that it can help to de-mystify the world of publications licensing and copyright (see Creative Commons licenses for one example of open licensing).

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I joined the Research Support Team from a public library in Sussex, which was the place where (as a small child) I began to love reading, books and libraries. My previous role was my first library job and it was how I realised I wanted a career in this area. I moved to become a repository assistant here at the University and am really enjoying the change to an academic library, having enjoyed using university libraries as a student. I like working with open access and supporting the research and researchers at the university because I think that academia should be accessible for everyone, no matter their background or experience.


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My first job at the University of Leeds Libraries was at the Health Sciences Library as a customer service assistant. After HSL, I have moved around a lot and worked at nearly every single Library location on campus, finally ending up in the Research Support Team in Edward Boyle Library.

I’ve always enjoyed visiting and using libraries. Ever since my university studies I’ve wanted to work in an academic environment, so working in a university library has been one of my dream jobs.

I love solving puzzles, so I particularly enjoy the detective work that’s sometimes needed for finding metadata and publisher’s policies. I also really like being able to offer advice and help to the students and staff who contact the team.


(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I joined the Library in the last year of my Politics degree but had a range of jobs as a student. I worked in a supermarket, was a brand ambassador for Nike, and my last job before starting as a Shelving Assistant in 2009 was working in a coffee shop/deli. I’ve always liked Libraries and for a student the wages were pretty good!

I’ve had a few different jobs in the Library but have been working in open access since 2013. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of open research and data, and take pride in the fact my job helps research reach more people.


I started working in academic libraries about 12 years ago after a varied “career” taking in book selling, English Language teaching and Mental Health advocacy.

Originally from t’other side of the Pennines, I moved to God’s Own County for a repository post at Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University in 2008 before joining the University of Leeds in 2016.

I enjoy learning about the varied research happening across the University and promoting open access and open data. Access to information in the digital age should be a human right, but so much knowledge is locked behind paywalls. Sustainable and affordable open access to research is essential for a well-informed global population, the first step to building a better society.

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