Open Access Week 2022: A Conversation with Beyza Ustun

As part of our recent Open Access Week celebrations, Beyza Ustun, a final year PhD student from Durham’s Psychology Department, kindly spared time to discuss her recent research with the Open Research Team. Beyza’s PhD research focuses on the effects of prenatal flavour exposure on fetal and infant behaviours.

Your recent piece of research ‘Flavor sensing in Utero and Emerging Discriminative Behaviors in the Human Fetus’, has recently gained a lot of attention on the news, blogs, and social media. How would you summarise this piece of research in a nutshell?

We have shown the first direct evidence that babies react differently to various smells and tastes while in the womb by looking at their facial expressions. We found that the “laughter-face” facial reaction was significantly more often seen when exposed to carrot and the “cry-face” reaction when exposed to kale. This shows that fetuses in the last 3 months of pregnancy are mature enough to distinguish different flavours transferred from the maternal diet.

Image shows the “change in the fetus’ expression to “laughter-face” after tasting carrot.
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Open Access Week 2022: A Conversation with Nayanika Mookherjee

On Monday 17th October, Nayanika Mookherjee, Anthropology met with Kelly Hetherington, Repository Officer, to talk about her research – shortly before heading to India for a research trip.  She talks to us in detail about her research and some of the Open Access Publications that have resulted… including an Open Access graphic novel and film.

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Open Access Week 2022 – A Conversation with Jeremy Schmidt: Associate Professor, Department of Geography

A post by Katie Skellett, Open Access Publications Officer

What is Open Access Week? Open Access Week is a global event, aimed at promoting and informing the academic and research community about the benefits of open access. Open Access is the free & immediate online access to the results of scholarly research, and the granting of rights to share, use and re-use those results.

You can see other Open Access Week activity at Durham University by following our blog here

You can also find out more about Open Access at Durham University here.

Remember: any full text research publication you access from Durham Research Online, an author at Durham has made the effort to ensure that research is available for free to anyone, with the assistance of colleagues from Durham University Library and Collections, and departmental administrative staff across the University.

As some readers might already know, the theme of Open Access Week 2022 is ‘Open for Climate Justice’.

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‘Making a Difference at Durham’ event

On Thursday 15 September, University Library and Collections staff attended the first ‘Making a Difference at Durham’ event. This was a chance for colleagues from across the University to come together to engage in discussions and hear about the range of resources, activities and benefits the University has to offer. For many staff, this was the first time they had seen colleagues from other areas of the University in person since the pandemic. 

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Learning about ULC’s Learning and Engagement Team

By Kelly Hetherington, Repository Officer at University Library and Collections.

On Wednesday 11 May, the University Library and Collections Learning and Engagement Team invited staff from the rest of our vast department to come and learn about what they do on their team.

Seeing as my role involves so much computer work, I jumped at the chance to have a trip out for the following reasons:

  • The session was held at the Oriental Museum – a lovely change of scene from home working / Bill Bryson Library office because it is full of fascinating artefacts.
  • Our colleagues there regularly hold sessions for school children.  This means they are fun, engaging, and lovely so I knew the session would be interesting and I’d learn something new.
  • This was a session about ‘object centred engagement’ – we’d be able to touch real life old artefacts! (More on this later).
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The Triple A project: how open access research is helping children

Every month, statistics about Durham Research Online (DRO) – our institutional publications repository – are published here. As part of this, we pick a publication of the month.

In November, there was an online talk given by members of the Department of Psychology’s Centre for Neurodiversity and Development about their project: Triple-A: Attention, Arousal and Anxiety in the classroom. The project draws attention to the fact that classrooms are busy, noisy and multi-sensory places and some children, often those who are ‘neurodivergent’ (e.g. have conditions such as autism), can face difficulties in this environment. The project is dedicated to raising awareness of these difficulties and helping develop tools to support children and educators. The talk was recorded and is available here. To celebrate the public talk, we picked a fully open access article, related to the research:

Distraction, distress and diversity : exploring the impact of sensory processing differences on learning and school life for pupils with autism spectrum disorders by Elizabeth K. Jones, Mary Hanley and Deborah M. Riby

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Durham authors: publish Open Access through our publisher deals

Over the last 12 months you may have noticed that there has been a significant increase in the number of publisher agreements that the Library has signed up to.  Deals which cover both the cost of open access for Durham University authors as well as the subscription fees that have long been covered from Library funds.  Terms such as “read & publish”, “transformative” and “transitional” are all used but what does it all mean and what, if anything, is being so markedly changed?

As the joint statement from OA2020 and cOAlition S states, the main aim of these deals is to help us to transition to “new [publication] models that ensure outputs are open and re-usable”.

This step towards an increasingly open and accessible world of scholarly research articles can be funded, it is believed, not by spending even more money but through a re-jigging of the fees that are currently being paid to publishers specifically for subscriptions:

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ALN Conference 2021: A blog post about a conference talk about the blog…

Could we call this a metablog?!

On September 8th 2021, Kelly Hetherington and Ben Taylorson presented a lightning talk at the ALN Conference about this very blog.

ALN stands for Academic Libraries North, which, is pretty self-explanatory – if you work for an academic library and you are in ‘The North’ (Game of Thrones, anyone?), you are welcome here.

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#DULibIntroducing… Richard Holmes

Please state your name, full job title, and a brief description of what that entails:

Richard Holmes, Faculty Librarian for Social Sciences. The central element of my role is to communicate between the departments in the faculty and the University Library and Collections to ensure we are delivering services and resources that meet their diverse needs. I do this by attending key committees within each department to promote new and impending library developments and to pick up changes that may have an impact on the Library, Special Collections or Museums. I also provide support to enable members of Durham University at all levels of study to get the best out of the wonderful collections available. This can range from answering basic email enquiries, through one-to-one tuition, to delivering research skills classes embedded within teaching programmes. I also have a role in collections development, ensuring the right materials are available when needed to support each department’s teaching and research activities.

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