Focus on Alumni: Dominic Allington-Smith on his work with UCL Discovery

Focus on Alumni is our series of blog posts featuring or written by #citylis alumni. In this post, Dominic Allington-Smith writes about his position as UCL Discovery Assistant at University College London Library.

#citylis student and City University Library service assistant Dom Allington-Smith

#citylis Alumni and UCL Discovery Assistant Dom Allington-Smith

It has been approximately nine months since I wrote my Student Experiences guest post for this blog. In that time, I have completed my dissertation, officially graduated, moved house and started a new job! And not just any job, but my first full-time, permanent library position.

My new job is not too far away from the heartlands of #citylis, as it is based in the library of University College London. I work in the institutional repository team, who oversee the achievement of Green Open Access of UCL research outputs through their deposit in UCL Discovery, an extremely large resource with almost 28,000 full-text deposits made at the time of writing (and many more metadata-only records). As the availability of an Open Access (OA) version of a published journal article or conference proceedings paper—whether through the payment of an Article Processing Charge to achieve “Gold” OA, or through the deposit of the publication in a freely-accessible repository to achieve “Green” OA—is mandatory for their submission and evaluation under the upcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF 2020) used to determine the quantity of research grants given to British Higher Education Institutions, this is a field within academic library work which is rapidly growing in importance.

Open Access is a relatively recent development and is still the subject of many misunderstandings and misconceptions amongst academics and publishers (and even librarians who are more concerned with the “traditional” areas of the profession), but it is a topic that was covered extensively in City University’s Library Science course, through the Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society module. The knowledge that I gained through this course meant that I was already fully aware of the foundation stones of my current job—Open Access types, Creative Commons licences, versions of articles produced through the publication process, embargo periods, funding agency requirements and so forth. Although I already had some academic library experience when I applied for this job, this extra knowledge acquired through the course gave me what proved to be a decisive advantage.

More generally, although my student days already seem like a long time ago, I have extremely fond memories of my time at #citylis. I am still in contact with many of my coursemates; moreover, in the professional world, I am encountering fellow alumni on a regular basis. Looking to the future, the CILIP-accredited qualification and the varied library-related knowledge that I have acquired also give me great confidence when scanning higher-level library jobs. In concluding my previous blog post, I wrote that “all in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the course so far, and would recommend it without hesitation to anyone considering a career as a librarian or a similar information professional”: this opinion has not changed one iota!

Dominic is on Twitter, @domallmi.  If you studied Library or Information Science at #citylis and would like to tell Current and Future Students about your career since graduation, please contact our Editor, James Atkinson.

For stories, news and events, follow @citylis on Twitter.

About James

Information Assistant (Academic Services) in the Library at City, University of London.
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