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Scholarly Communication


Scholarly communication is an increasingly dynamic area and the support researchers require is becoming more complex. The changing policy landscape means there are more requirements than ever before for researchers to adhere to. Librarians are in a perfect position to help but they are not always confident in the changing research landscape.

The Research Support Ambassador Programme aims to upskill library staff in the areas of scholarly communication so that they feel more confident and able to support their local research community. Participation is open to library staff from across Cambridge and every year brings people with a diverse mix of job roles, backgrounds and experience making it a great way to learn about how colleagues in different libraries approach similar problems.

The Programme

The exact format of the programme has varied each year both in response to participant feedback and changing staff needs. For 2018 the programme will be completely online for the first time, allowing participants to choose their own pace and build their learning around their own schedules with the minimum of complication.

Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to scholarly communication

  • Research Data Management

  • Open Access

  • Disseminating research

  • Metrics and measuring impact

By the end of the taught programme Ambassadors will have a basic knowledge of these areas, something which they can expand with additional training from the Supporting Researchers in the 21st Century Programme.


Ambassadors benefit from an increased knowledge of the world of scholarly communication and the changing research landscape. This helps them to carry out a range of roles in academic libraries with confidence and helps to futureproof them for a career in the 21st century academic library.

The Cambridge library community benefits from an engaged and informed workforce, better services and an increased profile amongst the research community. As Ambassadors come from a range of libraries they are able to learn from each other about the different services they provide which helps to bring the library community closer together and results in future collaborations.

What have past Ambassadors said?

I feel much more confident now that I have a good overview of all the issues confronting researchers

Excellent programme – the ability to attend webinars from my desk was so useful in a small library!

The content was really interesting and I can see now how scholarly communication relates to my own role in a college library

I feel much more confident in dealing with researcher questions now

Want to know more?

An article about the programme: Developing the 21st Century Academic Librarian: The Research Support Ambassador Programme was published in 2017 and outlines the changes that have taken place since the programme was launched in 2015.  Many of these changes have been in response to feedback from programme participants as we work towards making the programme as useful for Cambridge Library staff as possible. If you don’t have time to read the whole article then you can read the rather fantastic cartoon abstract published to accompany the article instead!


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