Library Research Support Services: The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ‑ BarcelonaTech Case

Library Research Support Services: The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ‑ BarcelonaTech Case

Miquel Codina-Vila (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain), Ruth Íñigo (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain), Anna Rovira-Fernàndez (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain) and Marta Serrat-Brustenga (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4546-1.ch004
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This chapter addresses library research services at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), an institution engaged with science and technology that clearly emerges as a research university. Due to the attributes of the UPC, its library, publications, and archives services differ from traditional libraries and have been transformed over its lifetime to offer services to researchers that fit their current and future needs. Librarians are actively seeking personalized solutions to meet researchers' needs. The Research Service Charter of the UPC libraries includes a range of assets related to UPC researchers as producers of new scientific output and as primary agents of its dissemination.
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The goals of this chapter are both to exhaustively list and briefly describe the library research service of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), and to highlight how it contributes to achieving the UPC’s research challenges and objectives. In order to explain these services to the reader, they are illustrated by contextualizing them in the following aspects:

  • 1.

    Research-oriented university: UPC’s will to be a research institution makes it unique in the Catalan university system.

  • 2.

    Strategic planning: using strategic planning as a management tool for the UPC Library, Publications and Archives Service (UPCLPAS).

  • 3.

    Organization chart: UPCLPAS is organized based on units, created from the basic segmentation of university library users, and is refined with distinctive structures such as thematic rings.

  • 4.

    Technological evolution: UPCLPAS’s services have evolved in accordance with the dramatic changes in the computerization of research, including the information and communication revolution associated with this environment.

  • 5.

    Innovative services: the flagship products of the UPC libraries available to researchers.

  • 6.

    Library users: the heightened segmentation of users to whom library research services are devoted and the correlation of these users with all of these services.

Due to the attributes of the UPC, its library service clearly differs from traditional ones. End-users have historically been positioned at the center of the organization, which is being transformed throughout its lifetime to offer researchers services to meet their current and future needs. The assimilation of the University's archives and the integration of its publishing services have significantly helped make this vision a reality. In this field, the UPCLPAS has been very active from the beginning in promoting and facilitating the deposit and publication of UPC's scientific production in open access, through books and scientific journals, and particularly with UPCommons, the institutional repository, that has traditionally achieved a leading position in the international rankings that evaluate these repositories.

Thereby, the provision of the library research services is not understood as a static proposal that is passively delivered to centers, departments, and groups of researchers. On the contrary, UPC librarians actively seek personalized solutions to meet the informational needs of particular researchers. The Research Service Charter of the UPC libraries aims to easily pinpoint specific answers the UPCLPAS gives to the research activity of the University staff. This is particularly noteworthy because this research activity is considered strategic from a Return on Investment (ROI) perspective and from the point of view of the social and economic future of Catalonia.

This chapter presents an overview of the UPCLPAS organizational structure, which is characteristic of UPC libraries and determines how all available research services are conceived and delivered. These services are described here in depth, and some brand new and innovative ones are explained in detail, focusing on their current and near-future impact on the university’s overall research goals.


Upc: A Brief History And Overview Of A Research University

The origins of UPC date back to 1971 with the foundation of the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona (UPB). The University developed from several existing schools: Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering, Terrassa School of Industrial Engineering, Barcelona School of Architecture, and some other research institutes. Although it is a relatively young University, due to the greatly impoverished university situation inherited from Francoism (Pedrals, 1986), UPC is one of the oldest universities within the Catalan university system.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Current Research Information System (CRIS): Database for storing and managing information and metadata related to an institution’s research activity.

UPCommons: The institutional repository of the UPC. It gathers the teaching and research output of all university community members and provides them in open access.

Data Management Plan (DMP): Document that describes in detail all aspects related to collecting and managing research data.

Thematic Rings: Groups made up of subject librarians in different UPC libraries, all of whom are specialized in the information sources for the subject they support.

Bibliotècnica: The digital library of the UPC, which provides access to all collections and to information regarding the resources and services offered by UPC libraries.

FUTUR: The portal that displays the lines of research conducted by the various UPC departments and the documentary production of their researchers.

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