Cambridge University asks: How to “provide training solutions for scholarly communication” in the UK? Not usually, it would seem from reading this article, by inviting along the member of the library school staff who teaches such things…

“It is fairly universally acknowledged that it is a challenge to engage with library schools [in universities] on the issue of scholarly communication, despite repositories being a staple part of research library infrastructure for well over a decade. There are a few exceptions but generally open access or other aspects of scholarly communication are completely absent from the curricula.” (my emphasis)

Amazing: one would have thought that Open Access — along with all the other ‘public and free-to-access’ online sources from Google Books to data sources — would have been covered in a compulsory double-module for an entire semester of the second year of a degree in librarianship. But apparently not, though no doubt there are a few unremarked exceptions quietly doing good work.

Note that this new article has an associated Google Docs list of the (currently very minimal) UK provision for Scholarly Communication training provision, including a useful linked list of online caches of free training materials.

The introduction to this Google Doc further suggests that such training is not always present even at the Masters degree level, or is not there of sufficient duration and quality…

“… the traditional educational route for library workers through a Masters degree does not always equip them with an adequate level of knowledge [on open access, copyright and research data]”

The implication of the Cambridge University article is that other professional groups may have to be asked to provide such training to researchers, since librarians as-a-class seem to be so unwilling to engage with these pressing topics. It seems yet another indicator that librarians as-a-class are at risk of being labelled: ‘Underutilized, consider discarding’.