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Review of the Office of Scholarly Communication - responses sought

last modified Jun 16, 2017 01:00 PM
The University is undertaking a Review of the Office of Scholarly Communication and welcomes your views on how the University’s support for open research might be improved, especially regarding the particular needs of postdocs.

The remit is to review the scope, remit, staffing and operations of the OCS in order to ensure that it can best position the University to meet changing requirements for the creation and dissemination of research and scholarly outputs. 

The terms of reference for the review are provided below along with general background. Please note that the terms of reference are provisional and should be regarded as internal to the University and so should not be circulated elsewhere.

It would be very helpful to the Committee if you can send any views or comments, particularly pertaining to any of the points numbered below.

If so, please could you do so either immediately or in the next week as the Review Committee is intending to meet in early July.  Please email directly to:

Your views will be treated in confidence and will not be attributed to you.


The Office of Scholarly Communication was established in 2015 as part of the University’s response to the need for policy, services and infrastructure to help meet the significant challenges of a fast evolving scholarly communications landscape, linked to developments in the open research agenda and the wider international research environment.

Scholarly Communication is “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use.

The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs”.

Points on which the Review Committee wishes to gain views

  • the identified objectives of the Office and the alignment of these objectives with the current and future needs of the University and its researchers in relation to Scholarly Communication
  • the interactions of the Office with the wider University academic community and the alignment of the work of the Office with the differing needs of the range of academic disciplines in Cambridge
  • the operational functions and performance of the Office and its organisational interfaces, for example with the Research Office and the University Library, and any opportunities there may be to improve operational effectiveness in delivery of the Office’s delegated responsibilities
  • the expertise of the Office’s staff, and whether the Office has the appropriate resources and expertise at its disposal to undertake its delegated responsibilities, for example with regards to raising awareness of the processes involved in publication and dissemination of research outputs, Open Access issues, provision of training, and ensuring compliance with funders’ requirements
  • the current staffing structure of the Office (including numbers of staff, their relative seniority, and the mix of Chest-funded and externally-funded staff) and the extent to which current staffing levels are appropriate to deliver the Offices’ objectives. In addition, it should also consider issues such as staff recruitment and retention
  • the place of the Office in the University’s organisational structure and future governance
  • bench-marking of the work of the Office against that of peer institutions, both within the UK and internationally

Subject to confirmation by Review Panel Last updated: 22 May 2017 

  • evaluation of the Office’s engagement with stakeholders outside the University and with the development of and research into best practice relating to scholarly communication
  • the non-staff resources and infrastructure available to the Office to support Scholarly Communication
  • The dependence on financial support from outside the University to provide services and support, and the impact a change in remit of the Office may have on these funding sources

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