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New Voices Case Study by Karen Veitch

Category: New Voices

This New Voices Case Study was written by new professional Karen Veitch, Open Access Support Officer at the Hive Library in Worcester. If you would like to write for New Voices, please get in touch with the Students & New Professionals Community by emailing

What sector do you work in?

UK Higher Education Library, Research Support.

What is your current role and what does this involve?

I work as Open Access Support Officer as part of the Research Team at The Hive Library in Worcester. This role involves providing comprehensive support to researchers on all aspects of Open Access publishing.

My work on our research repository involves checking metadata for accuracy, facilitating uploads, and reporting on OA policy compliance. I combine this with providing training and support to researchers via 1:1s or group workshops. I also develop support materials relating to Open Access publishing, including instructional videos and content for social media and our departmental web pages.

How many years have you been part of the information/library profession?

Almost 1 year.

How did you get started in this profession?

I started in my current role immediately after completing my dissertation for my MSc in Information and Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde in the summer of 2019. I returned to university as a mature student to complete the MSc. Prior to that, I had experience of working in academia and in HE administration and research support.

What drew you to working in this profession and to the sector you are currently working in?

I was drawn to librarianship because I think it is a dynamic and interesting area of work that offers opportunities for continuous professional development. I was attracted to working in the area of Open Access/research support as it aligns with my personal values and fits well with my previous experiences in academia and HE administration.

What do you enjoy most about working in the information profession?

Something that I really enjoy about working in the information profession is that it requires you to be continuously learning. Scholarly communications is a very dynamic area and almost every day there is a new policy development or tech tool to learn about, which helps to keep the work interesting.

What are your main goals for your career?

I would like to develop my knowledge and skills in Open Research more broadly; for example, in relation to bibliometrics or research data management and apply this expertise in a future role.

What are the skills you have found most useful to have? What skills and knowledge would you encourage others to develop for working in your sector or the profession more generally?

My ability to continuously learn and adapt has proved to be essential. My previous administrative experience has also been extremely useful, particularly knowing my way around spreadsheets! The skills which I gained on my MSc have been invaluable, particularly in relation to understanding user needs and behaviour, and how to design informative and accessible instructional materials.

I would encourage others to draw on the skills gained from all aspects of their personal and professional experience and think how these could translate into different settings.

Are you part of any groups related to the profession (e.g. CILIPS Branch or Special Interest Group)? If so, what do you get out of this and would you recommend this to others?

Our institution is a member of UKSG. This provides opportunities for professional development, networking, and exchanging best practice. I would encourage others working in the area of scholarly communications to get involved with UKSG.

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