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Mother who took two exams during labour wins an award

A mother who took two exams whilst in labour was recognised at Bournville College’s annual Student Awards Evening last night. Stacey Kirby from Kings Heath was enrolled on a Pre-Access course when she fell pregnant with her third child. She juggled a full time course with family commitments and working part time at the Women’s […]

The post Mother who took two exams during labour wins an award appeared first on Bournville College.

JASMIN System Issues


We are currently experiencing problems with some parts of the JASMIN system which are currently under investigation. Further updates will be made in due course.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

CEDA Helpdesk Team


Visit to Pakistan

Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen is visiting Pakistan

Trump’s chauvinism appeals to some voters more than others

Lynn Prince Cooke, Professor of Social Policy, writes for The Conversation.

Podcast: A subjective history of subjective probability

Listen to a lecture where Professor Colin Fox presents a history of the Bayesian inference and subjective probability, as viewed by a Bayesian Physicist.

Postgraduate Admissions Administrator (SF4340R)

The Graduate School administrative team in the Faculty of Science processes over 1,500 postgraduate applications every year and provides support to over 600 Masters and Research students in six departments. 

We are looking for an enthusiastic and proactive individual to help us deliver a comprehensive and professional service to those studying, or applying to study, Masters or PhD programmes in the Faculty of Science. As part of our Graduate School team you will play a vital role in providing efficient and effective support to postgraduate applicants, enquirers and students. Your role will involve liaison with prospective graduate students and their representatives, existing students, members of academic staff and professional services and external agencies. In addition you may be required to support the coordination of student funding allocations, especially for PhD applicants, and to assist with wider postgraduate recruitment activities. You will also be expected to support other members of the Graduate School team and provide assistance and guidance where necessary.

Applicants for this post should have previous experience of working in a busy office environment in an administrative role. Attention to detail is very important as is the ability to manage a busy workload with conflicting priorities. You will need to work closely with other team members, academic colleagues and students from across the world, so excellent communication skills are highly important. You will be an excellent team player, able to work on own initiative, with a high degree of flexibility, and a quick learner. You should have excellent computer skills, with a proficiency in Word and Excel, and the ability to learn use of database systems. Knowledge/experience of Business Objects and/or SAMIS/SITS would be beneficial.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Simon Gane on 01225 3833875 (email:

Closing Date: 07 Nov 2016
Type: Management, Specialist and Administration

Sports Assistant (CC4389)

The University of Bath is a unique sporting environment that is recognised as one of the National Institutes of Sport. Our customers include students, international athletes and members of the public.

We wish to recruit a Sports Assistant to the operations team for this multi sports campus facility, which offers some of the finest facilities in the country. This is a great opportunity for a person with ambition and who wishes to be involved with all levels of sport.

Your duties will be to assist the Shift Managers and Sports Supervisors in the day to day running and set up of indoor and outdoor activities and events. Your main responsibilities will consist of lifeguarding, operation of the sports facilities and associated areas, maintenance of facilities and associated equipment, security, cleanliness, health and safety and emergency procedures.

We wish to appoint sports enthusiasts with good interpersonal and organisational skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and a lifeguarding qualification.

This position is full-time, 36.5 hours per week, and will involve evening and weekend shift work (for which a shift allowance will be paid in addition to basic salary). The successful applicant will be required to undertake a DBS check.

Closing Date: 07 Nov 2016
Type: Operations & Facilities Support

Doing American Literature in Schools: Reflections on the ‘Academics in the Classroom’ Workshop

In August 2016 Katie McGettigan attended a workshop on ‘Academics in the Classroom’ at the University of Oxford. In this report Katie summarises the main outcomes of the workshop, including some insight into the most effective ways to work with teachers and support the teaching of American texts in schools.

'What legacy shall I bequeath to thee?' - Shakespeare in the Context of his Time

Shakespeare Postgraduate and Early Career Symposium on 22 October 2016
Venue: The Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sound Discovery Day

Join us for a day of hands-on activities exploring sound with composers and sound artists Pete Stollery and Duncan Chapman, along with students from the University of Aberdeen.
Venue: Aberdeen Science Centre

Moving open access into action

For this year’s International Open Access (OA) Week, the focus is firmly on the practical. Its theme – ‘open in action’ – should encourage everyone with a stake in the open research agenda to take solid steps towards making research more openly available.

First published on the Open Access Week blog.As the emphasis shifts from discussion to action it’s worth taking a quick look back to recognise how far the research community has already come along the OA road. Within universities, funding bodies, and research councils the concept of openness is well embedded and we’ve all got a much clearer idea of what works when it comes to putting this into practice.Turning OA into ‘business as usual’At Jisc, work is already well under way to resolve the remaining difficulties and help institutions to transform OA from interesting experiment into business as usual.In the last couple of months we’ve updated the guide to implementing open access that we first published in September 2015. Working in collaboration with the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA)Research Libraries UK (RLUK)the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), and the United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the practical steps institutions can take on the road to open access. It signposts people to resources and tools and offers pathfinder case studies – these are really useful in highlighting useful shortcuts and steering institutions away from dead ends that could end up wasting both time and money.Offsetting agreementsThis time last year, we interviewed Stuart Lewis, head of research and learning services and deputy director of library and university collections at the University of Edinburgh, and asked him what would help universities turn their good intentions on open access into action. He said that he’d like us to intervene in the relationships between publishers and universities to develop more “good and fair offsetting agreements” that could become a normal part of library subscriptions. He said this would benefit institutions and also academic publishers and in the last few months we’ve built on our earlier work on that, through Jisc Collections, reaching offsetting agreements with more leading publishers to help institutions make better use of their library and publishing budgets.Over OA week itself, we will be announcing the launch of the Monitor services,  to help institutions manage and monitor what they publish in open access and how much it costs. Monitor Local enables institutions to record and report on article processing costs (APCs) and compliance status of their publications while Monitor UK brings together that data and allows benchmarking across the UK.Twenty three institutions took part in the Monitor pilot programme, here’s what some of them told us:“Jisc Monitor Local will enable us to manage the financial reporting element of APCs much better, and to track all our requests much more easily. It also has the advantage that this information can be fed in to Jisc Monitor UK directly and we will then have a much-improved picture of open access publishing at a national level. Ultimately, we want to replace our own in-house system with Jisc Monitor Local and manage all our requests this way.”“Compliance is key to maintenance of our integrity as a research institution.  Many of our key performance indicators as a research office revolve around understanding our researchers’ engagement with open access and compliance with OA policies internally and externally.  The Monitor project gives us confidence that we will be able to provide this information in a timely way and authoritatively.  As we are a very small team this is vital.  At the same time the opportunity to ensure we are in tune with the community is vital.”“Administering APC payments and monitoring the transition to open scholarship needs to become easier. We believe Jisc Monitor provides us with an opportunity to fundamentally improve the service offerings to our scholars, to engage with the wider community and to better meet the requirements of funders and other external stakeholders. It represents the community coming together to find a service to meet these challenges.”“As publishing models shift, we hope the integrated Monitor UK service will provide Jisc [with] the leverage to reduce our library subscription costs thereby allowing us and other institutions to invest more money in this area.”Improving efficienciesWhat can be done to help institutions capture more of their research outputs onto their open repositories? Jisc’s new service, publications router, addresses this need head on.Institutions have long wanted to expose their research in this way, and this has been given added impetus by a range of open access policies and mandates. In the UK, the policy on open access and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) has been especially notable. Following an earlier pilot phase, the router went live as an official Jisc service in early August. It gathers notifications about research papers from publishers and other sources, and matches them to the institutions to which the co-authors are affiliated. It then delivers the metadata – and often the full text of the articles themselves – straight into the relevant institutions’ systems.We’re currently taking feeds from several sources, including PLOS, eLife and Springer Nature. We've had some great feedback from the participants so far, so if you’re at a UK institution that would like to receive content straight into Eprints, do get in touch. If you use other platforms we’d also be interested to hear from you.To take part in a broader conversation around open access, Jisc’s Open Access Hour will be taking place on Twitter on 27 October between 12.30 and 13.30 GMT. Follow us @Jisc to join the discussion.First published on the Open Access Week blog.

BCA Reptile Encounters

The post BCA Reptile Encounters appeared first on BCA.

Jamiroquai guitarist brings the funk to ACM Guildford

Jamiroquai guitarist Rob Harris recently visited ACM Guildford to show students first-hand how to become a successful musician in a very special masterclass session. The class was presented by ACM ....

The post Jamiroquai guitarist brings the funk to ACM Guildford appeared first on ACM.

Catering students get a flavour for Hong Kong

Bournville College catering students enjoyed a visit from the UK’s leading oriental grocer Wing Yip earlier this month. Students on Professional Cookery courses were challenged to try something new, learning the talent of oriental cooking by Wing Yip director Brian Yip. Brian stated “It’s a great opportunity to challenge perceptions of oriental cooking – with […]

The post Catering students get a flavour for Hong Kong appeared first on Bournville College.

Training officer

Benefits of working with us

  • 28 days annual leave (including three closure days at Christmas) plus eight bank holidays
  • Our generous USS contributory pension scheme (8% employee and 18% employer contribution) is a valuable part of our reward package
  • Competitive maternity, adoption and paternity arrangements
  • Death-in-service benefit of three times salary
  • Several staff schemes including season ticket loans, childcare vouchers, cycle-to-work, eye care, employee assistance
  • Opportunity for performance-related pay progression
  • IT discounts with selected suppliers

About the opportunity

Working as part of an award-winning training team, this role will support the delivery and creation of a portfolio of technical training courses to the education and research community.

Our courses are predominately delivered through online live facilitated training sessions, the role will suit someone who is interested in designing, creating and delivering in this format. The role will involve assessing training and providing feedback to technical expert trainers to ensure we are delivering high-quality training sessions.

We make sure that our digital IT capabilities and expertise are applied cost-effectively and imaginatively. Our work areas are: network operations, security, trust and identity, cloud and brokerage services, data centres and co-location, international engagement strategy, video services and e-infrastructure.

What you’ll need to succeed

We’re looking for someone:

  • Who is educated to A-level or equivalent standard and has demonstrable training experience through both online and face to face delivery
  • Who has experience of designing documents in Adobe InDesign or similar DTP software
  • Who has the ability to turn technical information into engaging training materials, with experience of designing technical training courses in accordance with current training best practice
  • With a broad understanding of networking technologies
  • With excellent communication skills and the ability to provide constructive feedback to technical trainers to improve the quality of training delivery
  • That has the ability to work as an effective and motivated team member, who is confident and professional in collaborating with colleagues, at all levels, from across the organisation and within the education sector
  • Who is highly efficient in planning, organising and prioritising, with experience of organising and facilitating training schedules and courses
  • Who is flexible and able to travel to locations across the UK to deliver and facilitate training courses

Jisc is seeking a delivery and customer-focused individual who has a passion for making a valuable contribution.


This role will be located in Harwell.

Jisc is a geographically-distributed organisation and travel across the UK with occasional overnight stays will be required.

How to apply

If you have the skills and experience we are looking for, please complete the application form and return it to

CVs will not be accepted without a completed application form. No agencies please.

Appointment will be made subject to receipt of satisfactory references and confirmation of right to work.

Closing date

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 28 October 2016.

Closing date
Salary range from £25,023 per annum
Contract Full-time, fixed-term for 12 months
Location Harwell

Support the delivery and creation of our technical training courses to the education and research community.

"It’s stupid that we care about labels so much" - Mike Taylor, open access advocate

As we mark the beginning of another Open Access Week, we speak to Mike Taylor, palaeontologist, open access campaigner and co-founder of Who Needs Access website, about the moral imperative for open access and the destructive power of the brand name in academic publishing.

Mike Taylor

You've written about the moral dimensions of open access - can you outline what you mean by that?

"It’s hugely important to me. A lot of open access advocates come from a very different foundation, supporting open access because they think it will save money, for example. That’s important, of course. But to me, what's much more important is this very fundamental thing that the internet is essentially a machine for creating value out of thin air.

So, pre-internet, if I had a reprint of a paper and I gave you my copy, I would no longer have my copy. Now we are living in a world where I can give you a copy at no expense to myself and retain all of my collection.  I can do that an infinite number of times and give everybody in the whole world a copy. So, suddenly, a thing that was of value to me can be of value to six billion people instead.

It feels morally wrong, given the capacity we have to do that, not to do it. Anything that stands in the way of our making this enormous increase in value for everybody in the world is inherently a bad thing. That’s the fundamental argument for open access - we can create free value. It’s stupid not to.

I co-run a website called Who Needs Access. It’s anecdotal because, often, anecdotes will reach people when numbers won’t. It’s about those people outside of academia who are deeply reliant on access to published academic papers, such as people running small businesses, translators, third world entrepreneurs, patients with various obscure diseases.

Christy Collins is one. She has a child with a rare genetic condition. Her GP doesn’t have time to do the enormous amount of work involved in reading up and becoming an expert on a condition suffered by just one of his patients. Christy has the time and motivation to do it yet constantly runs into problems where she can’t find out what she needs to know about her own child’s medical condition because paywalls are in the way. That, for me, is a very compelling moral case for open access, quite aside from what it means for cost savings in libraries and suchlike.

We in academia are generating this astonishing amount of fantastically valuable information. We have to get it into the hands of the people who need it – and that doesn’t just mean other academics."

The theme of open access week this year is 'open in action' and it’s about the small steps that everyone can take to make openness in research a reality.  Are there any particular areas of great practice that you can point to?

"I’m an associate researcher at the University of Bristol and it was very encouraging when we finally adopted our own open access policy within the university. However, I’m in a slightly unusual position. Although I’m a research associate of Bristol, my day job is not in academia, I’m a computer programmer. So I don’t need to play a lot of the games that paid researchers have to play to make their CVs look good for the kinds of jobs they want to get.

[#insertinlinedriver oa-week#]

So, for example, if I suddenly stumble across definitive evidence for the biggest dinosaur that ever existed, I don’t have to send that to Science or Nature in the desperate hope of getting a Science or Nature paper that will make my career, I can send it to the journal that I think will do the best scientific job. As a result of that, it’s very easy for me to take a fundamentalist position on open access, and I need to remind myself that other people don’t always have the privilege of looking at it in such a black and white way.

But the upshot is that all my stuff goes to open access journals. None of it goes to journals that are owned by large multinational corporations, even if those publishers do run open access journals. That’s because I’m more concerned about the openness of my work than I am about any other aspects of its publication.

Now, I would love everybody else to adopt that same policy but I do understand why it’s not always that straightforward for people in other situations."

Would it have been more difficult for you in the past to find open access journals that you wanted to publish in, has there been a proliferation of journals that have opened things up for you?

"There definitely has been a proliferation. It’s not affected me personally as much as it might have done because palaeontology has always been somewhat ahead of the field in open access. I’ve got more choices now than I had before, but ever since I started publishing there have been good open access places to put my papers.

It varies enormously between different fields. So chemists, for example, have a much harder time finding somewhere appropriate."

How about the level of debate in recent times and the extent of awareness of open access?

"A few years ago there was a whole series of articles, particularly in the Guardian, but also the Independent, Telegraph and all sorts of other mainstream publications, looking at open access issues. I think that was really important in gradually shifting the views of a lot of people, making it an issue that became difficult to ignore. So I’m really happy about that.

Having said that, the quality of debate is sometimes not all we might to ask for."

How might open access progress?

"The neuroscientist Bjorn Brembs talks about building a completely new infrastructure that takes full advantage of the technological advances we’ve seen since we first started putting paper journals on the internet. He would like to do something dramatically different in areas such as dynamic illustrations – and he's done this with one or two of his own papers - where you can fiddle with the data and the tables and see the graphs and the paper updating in real time, showing how it would come out differently if various things happened.

All of this kind of thing feels terribly futuristic to us but it really isn’t, of course, it’s just the kind of stuff, that outside of academia, is happening all the while on the internet.

[#insertinlinedriver intro-oa#]

Bizarrely, we're in a situation where, although the world wide web was created primarily for enabling the free sharing of scholarly publications, scholarly publications is behind almost any other field of endeavour in taking advantage of the internet.

Bjorn Brembs’ new infrastructure solution is not a particularly difficult thing to do, technically, and the cost would be tiny compared with what we throw away in subscriptions every year."

Is it important for the community to own its infrastructure?

"I think that’s crucial. Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin and Cameron Neylon wrote an important paper, Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures, that lays this out in terms of the social structure of an organisation and what kind of contractual or legal things can be put in around it to ensure that remains it open. They've really thought it through in detail.

Geoff Bilder works at CrossRef, which exemplifies most of those principles very effectively, despite being funded by publishers.  CrossRef has done a fantastic job of maintaining its independence because it nailed down these principles very early on. Whatever we build absolutely needs these considerations, from having open software to financial firewalls between various parts of the organisation."

What’s holding back infrastructure development?

"The real problem, of course, as always, is not the technical one, it’s the social one. How do you persuade people to turn away from the brands that they’ve become comfortable with?

We really are only talking about brands, the value of publishing in, say, a big name journal rather than publishing in a preprint repository. It is nothing to do with the value of the research that gets published. It’s like buying a pair of jeans that are ten times as expensive as the exact same pair of jeans in Marks and Spencer because you want to get the ones that have an expensive label. Now ask why we’re so stupid that we care about the labels."

OK, why are we so stupid that we care about the labels?

"It’s because we are tied into this ridiculous way of assessing people in the academic world. So a researcher who does very, very good work but publishes that work in, say, PLOS ONE will receive less academic credit for doing that than had he or she published a tiny super-summarised compressed version of the same work with one illustration all squeezed in, too small to see, and got it into Science or Nature.

The work itself is the same but the exposition of the work is objectively less good in every way and yet, because of the Science or Nature label, that person will have better prospects for getting a job or promotion or whatever it might be and that’s insane.

So we’re in a system that has extremely perverse incentives and that teaches scholars to present their work in the least useful possible way because that’s what we reward them for doing."

Which is ridiculous?

[#insertinlinedriver twitter#]

"It really is. Ultimately, I think all of our problems come down to cultural inertia. But analysing it out to that doesn’t really get us very far because cultural inertia is an extremely difficult thing to deal with.

How can we bring about that kind of level of culture change, and get university administrators and research committees and everybody else to recognise the valuable work that is published in objectively good venues, that are open access, that have no arbitrary length limits, that allow large full-colour illustrations and supplementary video and all the other good stuff?

How do we get people to recognise the value of that in a way that helps them get the jobs and promotions?"

Open Access Week takes place between 24-30 October 2016. 

Former Barton Peveril student shortlisted for Pride of Britain Award

A former Barton Peveril student has been shortlisted for a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award. 25-year-old Nathaniel Hawley from Eastleigh has been shortlisted for The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award which celebrates the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place. Screened on ITV in November, it is the biggest awards...

Student bursaries available for participation at ASIST Annual Lecture 2016 and Information Science Masterclass, Edinburgh Napier University 30th November 2016

Are you a student based outside Scotland studying for a PhD in Information Science or a related discipline? If so, this is for you! Apply for a bursary award to support attendance at the ASIST Annual Lecture 2016 and an Information Science Masterclass at Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 30th November 2016. The awards PhD students in…

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Open access hour: live Twitter chat

Join our open access services manager, Azhar Hussain, as he takes part in a live webchat on Twitter as part of Open Access Week

This is an opportunity to ask your burning questions about open access, or just take in questions and answers coming from the open access community. 

To take part, follow us on Twitter @Jisc and take part using the hashtag #jiscoa

Creative Commons attribution information
©International Open Access Week via

jiscoa Jisc Listed Event

DanceLive Festival of Contemporary Dance

Come along to the DanceLive Festival of Contemporary Dance where there will be two performances of Invisible Lines.