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Editorial

The abrupt closure of schools, colleges and universities due to the global pandemic of Covid-19 led to extraordinary work across the entire education system to support learners and local communities. The Open University Business School is leading research on how schools have strategically managed online learning during Covid-19 and if and how new experiences during lockdown have created long term sustainable changes in relation to the way education is managed and delivered.
Librarians and other research supporters may spend significant time and effort working on their institution’s commitments to DORA (Declaration of Research Assessment) without actually signing the declaration themselves. Liam Bullingham questions why this is and invites research supporters to consider taking action.
Jessica Gardner discusses the issues surrounding the negotiations with Elsevier and the wider impact of transitional agreements plus the preparations for alternative plans if an agreement cannot be reached.
Samuel A Moore and Niamh Tumelty of Cambridge University Libraries' Office of Scholarly Communication consider the implications of the newly announced UKRI policy.
"As research support librarians, we spend a lot of our time emphasizing the benefits of open access to researchers. This tends to focus on increased visibility and citations with a nod to ‘public good and publicly funded research’. However, talking to members of the public about their own research and the importance of being able to access up to date articles gave us real examples of the benefits of open access to take back to the researchers we support." Jane Belger on UWE's experiment in reaching out to a variety of audiences including independent researchers and professionals.
Will student, faculty and researcher preferences continue to be with ebooks if and when campuses fully open? Will we see print return? From the results of the Proquest surveys, it’s unlikely that print books will return to pre-pandemic levels. However, uncertainty about ebook costs and their availability for some disciplines may make print an ongoing necessity in some cases. One thing is clear: the pandemic, whilst being very challenging, rapidly advanced plans for providing more content electronically and having more engagement from faculty over resource list provision from the library. The surveys illustrate the ability of academic libraries to rapidly pivot their acquisitions strategies to meet fast-changing user needs and ensure that the library remains at the heart of teaching and learning.
The Open Access Switchboard is an initiative begun by the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA), but it has become an entity in its own right since its official launch in January 2021, with UKRI, Wellcome and Jisc engaging with it as launching customers for the MVP. Jisc has subsequently negotiated a deal with the Switchboard that allows any HEI which is a Jisc member the chance to engage with the initiative for free.
Connor Wilson, Content Assistant at Lancaster library writes about his experience at #UKSG2021
Liaison Librarians have always worked in partnership with academic staff, but those partnerships have assumed increased significance over the past year as academic libraries have worked relentlessly to provide access to the content required to enable academics to teach effectively and for students to learn successfully. Lisa Hawksworth reviews the impact the pandemic has had on e-resource acquisition and the work Liverpool is doing to work closely with faculty.
Nicola Wylie, Lancaster, reflects on her experience attending the first ever digital UKSG Annual Conference. "Editing down my reflections to editorial length is a challenge – there are so many sessions I could highlight as amazing, and several recordings which I still plan to watch over the coming months."