Earlier in July, the Library was fortunate to host Barina Utkan, the Open Access and Institutional Archive, Head, from Middle East Technical University Library in Ankara, Turkey. With a background in mathematics, digitization and archives, Utkan was excited to learn more about open access, research data management and digital scholarship during her visit.
Utkan spent five days with Waterloo Library colleagues as part of the Erasmus Staff Mobility Programme, which gives university staff “an opportunity to visit partner universities to learn about and experience examples of best practise regarding their work.”
Utkan oversees OpenMETU, METU’s open-access archive, which was put into service in December 2019 to open METU’s scientific research outputs to the world. During her visit, Utkan was able to learn more about UWSpace, the institutional repository for the research and scholarship produced by Waterloo faculty, students and staff. A service of the Library, UWSpace provides researchers with a free, secure and long-term home for the presentation, dissemination and preservation of their research and scholarship.
In addition to UWSpace, Utkan had the opportunity to learn more about Waterloo's new institutional Research Data Management strategy, which the Library co-led with the Office of Research, as well as other Library open access and digital scholarship initiatives, such as the Online Learning Object Repository (OLOR).
Alison Hitchens, Associate University Librarian, Collections, Technology and Scholarly Communication, who helped to organize Utkan’s visit welcomed an opportunity to explore ideas and challenges with a colleague from outside North America: “Information sharing is beneficial on many levels. Not only did Barina’s visit give insight into similar work happening outside a North American perspective, but it also gave us an opportunity to reflect on our own practices and successes; by sharing our work with a visiting colleague it helps us see ourselves from a new perspective.”
Utkan wrapped up her time at Waterloo with much to reflect on when she returns home, energized by the connections made and Waterloo’s vibrant campus life, plus a newfound appreciation for poutine and memories of Niagara Falls.