Symplectic’s visit to the Natural History Museum

Last week, the Symplectic team were lucky enough to take a tour around the Natural History Museum in London.

The NHM is one of the world’s most famous museums, containing over 70 million natural history specimens and a significant collection of Charles Darwin’s discoveries. But perhaps not as widely known is the fact that the NHM is a research institution, conducting investigations in diverse fields such as anthropology, environmental science, genomics, and many more. It’s known as a world leader in taxonomy, identification and conservation, and publishes over 700 scientific papers a year.

Our team has a diverse set of backgrounds and interests – we all have links to scientific research in some way – but that wasn’t the only reason we visited. Last year, we announced that we’d be working with the NHM to implement our Elementsproduct into the institution’s existing systems. We’re providing their first research information management solution, which will allow them to collect, manage and report on the research carried out by their 850+ staff.

Despite supporting researchers from all disciplines, we don’t always get to see them out in the field. This was a great opportunity to experience the environments that our work makes a difference in, and meet some of the people who make use of it day-to-day. Here are some of the things we saw:

 

Spirit collection at the Natural History Museum

PICKLED SEA CREATURES IN THE SPIRIT COLLECTION

 

Spirit collection at the Natural History Museum

A ‘FOOTBALL FISH’ – HIMANTOLOPHUS GROENLANDICUS

 

Symplectic team looking at insects at the Natural History Museum

THE INSECT COLLECTION, WHERE WE LEARNT NOT TO USE THE WORD ‘BUG’

 

Special collection at the Natural History Museum

HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF SCIENTIFIC DRAWINGS IN THE SPECIAL COLLECTION

 

A book in the Special Collection at the Natural History Museum

A BOOK IN THE SPECIAL COLLECTION

Some of these exhibits are available to the public, and you can find more information about them here.

It was an honour to meet some of the expert researchers at this prestigious institution. I’m sure it won’t be the last visit for many of us. Thanks again to the staff at the NHM for showing us around!

The automatic search features are a bonus. I really like the way the new entries arrive automatically, and all I have to do is respond to the prompt to approve them. Navigation in the new release is intuitive and friendly. Linking directly to DOIs and full text is convenient and makes it easy to access and share my own research.

Professor Penny Brothers, University of Auckland

Elements elegantly connected our multi-university system providing a
single source of truth throughout OIEx.

Tim Cain, The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx)

The University measures the individual research activity of academic staff. This Measure of Research Activity (MoRA) requires the collection of publication data from faculty. Symplectic Elements supports this beautifully.

Floris van der Leest, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

[Elements] will help to bring transparency to the richness of thought showcased within non-traditional publications, providing a more holistic representation of faculties’ scholarly work.

Caleb Smith, University of Michigan

Feedback to date has been extremely positive from all levels across the University, with individual academics and colleagues actively promoting the ease of use of the system.

Rachel Baird, Research Policy Analyst, University of Liverpool