Congratulations to our August Advisor of the Month: Ruth Harrison, who is the Head of the Scholarly Communications Management team at Imperial College London, meaning that she leads the development researcher and education support services and activities provided by the Library Services, particularly those related to open access, research data management and information literacy teaching, including study skills support.
Ruth studied Politics and History at University of Newcastle upon Tyne and then completed her Masters in Information Services Management while working as a library assistant at Imperial College London. Several jobs later, she is still based in the Library Services department at Imperial, and is now Head of Scholarly Communications Management, working primarily to enable researchers and students to communicate and disseminate their work, whether they are an undergraduate or senior member of academic staff.
We at Mendeley are very thankful to Ruth, as she has been an avid and enthusiastic usability tester for our development team and is often in the Mendeley office trying out our new ideas, giving us honest and constructive feedback!
How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
I don’t have a research field, although I briefly dabbled with the idea of doing a PhD in education a few years ago. If I did, I think now it might be how the impact of research can be communicated…
Where do you do your research/work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
I work in an open plan office, which suits me most of the time, despite being an introvert – I don’t like complete silence and it’s good to have work colleagues around. That said, I do crave a quieter space occasionally so hide when I can!
How long have you been on Mendeley?
I started using Mendeley very soon after it was launched after meeting Jan and Victor at an event for librarians; I was intrigued to know what researchers would want to use and would be using.
How does Mendeley influence your research?
The nature of my job is that I try to check out as many researcher orientated tools as possible.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor and how are you involved with the program?
It seemed a good way of being recognised for all the consultation and advice I provided in the early days, and that I hope I continue to provide. Other colleagues in our Library are now more involved in providing information to our researchers on a daily basis about Mendeley.
What academic/researcher/librarian would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
I have never thought about that! Ada Lovelace or any of the early female scientists and researchers. We need more now.
What book are you reading at the moment and why?
David Crystal’s ‘The story of English in 100 words’ – because I love language!
What is the best part about working in research?
Finding things out – that’s why working in the information profession appealed.
And the worst/most challenging part about working in research?
If I were a researcher, I’d probably say the admin. Explaining policies is definitely a current challenge for those of us in research support.
What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley?
That it was developed for researchers by researchers!