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Expansion in Online Content

In light of COVID pressures, more restrictive access to libraries, and the delayed return to Oxford for many students, our staff continued to undertake significant efforts to expand ebook provision for MSD students and researchers and make available the core textbooks needed in time for the start of the new term.

As well as many more individual ebooks, this has also included several student ebook collections (many of which include a range of extras such as reusable images, videos, and Q&As) and other resources including Thieme MedOne Education; AccessMedicine (and associated packages); LWW Health Library; Elsevier 3D Complete Anatomy; Cambridge Core e-books and Cambridge Textbooks; and Elsevier’s ClinicalKey Student.

In addition, research ebook collections including collections now available include collections from Springer and Elsevier providing access for 12 months to over 60,000 textbooks, as well as access to the ebooks collection from Brill and access to 1.5M HathiTrust ebooks available via SOLO throughout both lockdowns.

New ebooks are being added immediately to relevant ORLO (our online reading list platform) lists - which now cover all MSD undergraduate courses.

Recent new research ejournal subscriptions now available via the library catalogue SOLO and our new user-friendly online journal finder Browzine:

Lancet Respiratory Medicine; Nature Computational Science; Nature Reviews Methods Primers; Nature Aging; Nature Metabolism; Nature Astronomy; Nature Electronics; Nature Food; Nature Machine Intelligence; Nature Reviews Earth & Environment; Nature Reviews Physics; Springer Materials; Chem. JAMA Cardiology & JAMA Oncology will also be available very soon.

Open Scholarship support

Our team continued to support our academic colleagues across the full spectrum of open scholarly communications – including day-to-day support and assistance with APCs, funder and REF compliance requirements, and other in-depth enquiries. The Oxford Research Archive (ORA) goes from strength to strength, with 82,000 full text items now publically available for download - with over 122,000 downloads in January. ORA Data now houses 902 datasets/data records (over 200 from MSD) and our staff have also been active contributors to the University’s RDM Review Task & Finish Group, working to take forward the review’s recommendations.

Skills development support

Graduate and Undergraduate Students

We have very successfully transitioned our program of induction and training workshops to an online only environment, delivering hundreds of induction, iSkills, other training sessions and seminars, and online one-to-one support sessions to thousands of students and others since the start of the academic year.

The Bodleian MSD team delivered a full range of induction and training sessions as part of this effort, and since Michaelmas have delivered 126 sessions to MSD staff and students (693 participants). These range from 1-2-1 and taught sessions delivered online as part of post-graduate studies to training researchers on systematic review methodologies.  And of course our team continue to work closely with our clinical and academic colleagues in support of active research and clinical care - as can be seen via several recent academic articles co-authored by our Outreach Librarians.

Our team also provided support for the Bodleian’s expanded (and three times as busy as this time last year) library Live Chat service available from our webpage and SOLO as part of our central email enquiry service, reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.  We have seen dramatic increases in the use of these services – with, for example over 1,300 queries dealt with in the first three weeks of January.

Library space and physical services

Government guidance has been clear that there should be continued library support for University students who are on campus and the Bodleian Libraries have always had a firm commitment to supporting our students in their studies and research. Libraries are crucial to good mental health and wellbeing by providing access to appropriate study spaces as well as materials.

Therefore, following some temporary closures and work to review risk assessments and to put in place any new measures required, all of the main Bodleian Libraries are now re-opening. The RSL at the Vere Harmsworth Library is open Monday - Friday: 10am-4pm with seats available via advance booking through our SpaceFinder service.

To help address COVID restrictions, Click and Collect and Scan & Deliver are still available to provide additional access to our print collections.  As a whole, the libraries dealt with 8,000 scan & deliver requests from 1st Jan to 7th Feb as well as almost 5,000 click and collect items

Plans are underway to extend opening hours to normal levels across all sites in time for Trinity, public health situation permitting. All fines remain suspended and the loan period for all books (excluding BHCL sites) has been extended until Thursday 29 April.

The OUH is still keen to reduce footfall on the hospital sites, so we have kept our library staff numbers on-site to the absolute minimum. However, thanks to the hard work of our team (and our NHS cleaning colleagues), the Cairns Library and the NOC Library remain open 24/7 for clinical staff. We have also opened the Cairns to clinical medical students during the hours that they need to be on-site for clinical work. Access to our Cairns book collection and self-issue is now available Monday to Friday and plans are underway to reopen all BHCL sites to students.

Please note: The Vere Harmsworth Library and the RSL will be closed for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 2 April to Monday 5 April 2021.

Oxford Biomedical Research Centre support

BHCL’s work in support of the OUH BRC has continued across the lockdown periods, with ongoing support being provided for BRC publications reporting and training for BRC theme leads and researchers. Our team are now in discussions with the BRC to provide a project post and associated support for the BRC reapplication in 2021.