About Us

Introducing the Library’s Research Engagement Team at the University of Reading Library

Who are the Research Engagement Team?

The Research Engagement Team can be found on the second floor of the Library at the interface between students, academics and the wider research community. We provide up-to-date, publicly visible and highly accessed repositories for showcasing the University’s research outputs (both publications and research data). We promote the University’s Open Access policy, data preservation, sharing requirements. We also provide research publications advice, bibliometrics and data support services to University staff and students. We identify new agendas in Open Research to develop policies that benefits the University’s research outputs profile, and make major contributions to the Library’s provision of routes to Open Access for research publications.

As our team has continued to expand to include the new Digital Humanities Hub, we thought that this would be a great opportunity to take a new team photo and introduce ourselves! To find out more about what we do, please visit our LibGuides. To find out more about what we do, please visit our Libguides.

Alison Sutton (Research Engagement Manager)I’m the Library’s Research Engagement Manager and I’m proud to be working with a group of specialists to support our research staff and students with Open Research practices, including research publications, Open Access, research data and bibliometrics. I have worked at the University since the late 1990s, at first as the Librarian in the Department of Meteorology where I led a project to develop a pilot institutional repository, and then in the Planning and Strategy Office where I set up the University’s institutional repository, CentAUR. Before joining the University I had posts in university libraries in the West Midlands.

My work is very varied and a typical day might include meeting a new research division leader, delivering a training session on Open Access to the Graduate School or to staff through UoRLearn, a one-to-one meeting with one of my team, and a development project on CentAUR. I have a professional background in librarianship and am passionate about the development of professional services staff in the expanding world of research support and scholarly communication and the synergy created by our different professional and research backgrounds.

Beyond the University I am a member of the UKCORR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories) Committee and represent UKCORR in ORCC (Open Research Competencies Coalition).  I have also provided feedback on the development of the Jisc Open Access services of IRUS-UK and Publications Router through membership of their community advisory groups.

Karen Rowlett (Research Publications Adviser)

I’ve been in my role of Research Publications Adviser for over three years and have really enjoyed working with students and staff in that time. I have a background in research (I did my PhD part-time at the University of Reading in the late 1980s) and also in scientific journal publishing. I’ve worked for a commercial Open Access publisher and also a Learned Society publisher, so I am familiar with the perils of peer review and the publication process in general. This experience helps me to understand the needs of staff and students when it comes to publishing and tracking the impact of their research outputs. I use bibliometric tools such as Scopus and SciVal, Web of Science and Altmetric to find out more about the impact and reach of the University of Reading research outputs and to help researchers find new collaborators. I am an advocate for the responsible use of metrics and had a significant input into the University’s Responsible Use of Metrics statement. I’m also providing regular statistics on the usage of CentAUR to demonstrate the value of Open Access in the dissemination of research from the University.

I help to manage applications for the funding of Open Access publications by University of Reading researchers. I hold regular sessions with individual researchers to help with setting up and checking ORCID identifiers, Scopus Author Profiles and Google Scholar profiles.

I was recently elected to the Council of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and am looking forward to contributing to the development of this important initiative. I have also served on the JISC Lis-bibliometrics committee in the past.

When I’m not buried in spreadsheets or bibliometric reports, you might find me taking photos of insects and nature in the Harris Gardens, whizzing across campus on my bike or making crocheted centaurs as mascots for CentAUR.

Robert Darby (Research Data Manager)

I provide a research data management (RDM) service to researchers and research students. I promote awareness of the importance and benefits of data management, and educate researchers in good practice. I support the preparation of data management plans in applications for funding, advise on the use of services for data storage, computation, and archiving, and provide RDM training. I manage the University’s data repository, the Research Data Archive, which can be used to preserve and provide access to data supporting research outputs, and UoR REDCap, a secure data collection platform for participant-based research.

I also work alongside my Research Engagement colleagues to develop the culture and practice of Open Research in the University. I am part of the Implementation Group delivering the University’s Open Research Action Plan 2021-23, and I manage the Open Research Champions programme.

Olivia Thompson- Digital Humanities Project Officer

Olivia is the DH Hub’s Project Officer and coordinates the Hub’s activities. Olivia’s role is to identify and meet digital research support needs within the University, and to foster an understanding of how digital methodologies can be applied to potential research projects. In conjunction with other members of the team, Olivia can help researchers to develop digital elements of a project and to identify potential collaborators or partners to help deliver them if necessary. Olivia has a research background in Ancient History and experience designing and delivering collections-based digital humanities training.

Claire Collins (Senior Library Assistant – Research Engagement)I joined the team in October 2015, and work part time whilst completing my PhD in Medieval Studies here at Reading. Alongside Fred, Chloe, and Rogan, my main responsibilities are to maintain the University’s institutional repository, CentAUR, and to provide support to research staff and students. I also create content for the Digital Humanities Hub, help monitor our Twitter account, staff the Library Welcome Desk and occasionally help to deliver RRDP sessions. But our jobs vary from day to day and my responsibilities have evolved since I joined the team, particularly in response to the implementation of the REF2021 Open Access policy in April 2016 and its implications for academics and for CentAUR. A more recent change has been the moving of thesis submission to online deposit in CentAUR, which necessitated collaboration between members of the Research Engagement Team and colleagues in the Library, Graduate School and Information Management and Policy Services.

My PhD thesis looks at pregnancy and childbirth in late medieval England, so when I’m not at work I’m usually absorbed in various Middle English texts. I also play D&D and spend a lot of time tending to the demands of my cat, Rudi.

Chloe Bolsover (Senior Library Assistant – Research Engagement)
I joined the Research Engagement team in January 2021. I worked remotely during lockdown and have recently started to work on campus in September. It certainly is nice to be working in an actual library again! My day-to-day work, along with Fred, Claire, and Rogan involves reviewing new items added to the institutional repository CentAUR. I check that all of the data has been provided and contact authors when additional information is needed. I also process PhD theses and check for any copyright issues. I am involved in several projects within the team including the upcoming Digital Humanities Hub, management of social media, and video production.

I have a background in both academic and school libraries. Before I joined the team, I worked as a school librarian in Wales, where I set up a digital library service. Prior to this, I was a graduate trainee at the Bodleian Libraries, where I worked in the Reader Services team at the Taylor Institution Library. Outside of work, I am studying for a part time, distance-learning Master’s degree in Library and Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield.

When I am not working or studying I spend my time catching the latest film at the cinema, going for long countryside walks, and desperately trying to catch up with Netflix!

Fred Breese (Senior Library Assistant – Research Engagement)

I joined the Research Engagement Team in March 2020, just before the whole library started working from home. Along with the other SLAs in the team I maintain the CentAUR publications repository, processing new deposits and providing support to authors. I also provide support for the University’s Research Data Management service including the Research Data Archive. I am currently leading the team’s work with doctoral theses, working with our repository suppliers, the BL and colleagues in the graduate school. We’ve recently started assigning DOIs to theses using CentAUR’s integration with Datacite.

I joined the Research Engagement Team after completing a Master’s degree in sociology, focusing on the sociology of science and technology. It’s been fantastic to work with the Open Research Champions programme, spreading awareness of Open Research practices at the university. Outside of work I watch a lot of international cinema and love cooking vegetarian food.

Rogan Dixon (Senior Library Assistant- Research Engagement)

Research Data Management and the wider field of research engagement and dissemination has been a passion of mine since studying the Information Management and Preservation MSc at the University of Glasgow in 2010. I was delighted when the University of Reading’s Research Engagement team took me on as an SLA. This role allows me to make use of my disparate experience in Chemistry (University of Sheffield), Medieval Studies (UWL, Lampeter), and content syndication (The Independent and Evening Standard).

I currently work part-time assisting Chloe, Claire, and Fred in managing the CentAUR repository and helpdesk, as well as compiling bibliometric reports. My primary role is assisting Robert with the day-to-day administration for the Research Data Archive, REDCap and Research Data Management services.

Outside of the Research Engagement office, I work for the Independent and Evening Standard’s library and syndication department as their Archive and Library Executive. I fill what’s left of my time with slowly building a portfolio for CILIP Chartership; with my head in one book or another on the Library’s fifth floor; or shooting up a target on the archery field with Knight’s Archers.