Dr Keith Westhead
Head of Knowledge Exchange
Keith Westhead is Head of Knowledge Exchange for the BGS, responsible for the wide variety of BGS science information
and knowledge services. These include the websites and the sales,
enquiries, licensing, library, media and outreach services. Following
a field-based PhD in Arctic Norway, he joined BGS in 1990 as a
field surveyor, working mainly in southern England. He has worked
for the last 8 years in information services, looking into innovative
ways to communicate BGS science.
Knowledge Exchange is responsible for the transfer and exploitation
of BGS science outputs — especially digital outputs — in the
wider community. It does this through a range of communications and
outreach (science into society) activities, the BGS enquiry service
that responds to public and commercial requests, the web systems
team, the sales network and the libraries. Licensing of BGS's growing
range of data and information products is managed by the Intellectual
Property Rights section.
There are four teams within the Knowledge Exchange programme:
This team is responsible for public and
media relations and educational outreach at BGS. We support our
scientific colleagues by facilitating and developing their ability
to communicate the results and highlights of their research. We
also advise and lead on communications with all our stakeholders.
We also promote the understanding of earth sciences to the whole
community, particularly within schools.
- Information Services
Geraldine Wildman (acting)
This team offers a variety of services providing
BGS information and advice to the public, academia and businesses.
The information could be digital geological mapping or data, available
for license, or printed maps, books and other publications, available
for purchase. It could also be copies of archive information from
the National Geoscience Data Centre, such as scanned borehole records.
The advice could be geological reports for individual houses or
large development sites, available to buy, or simply answers to
general geological interest questions, which may not be charged
for. The team offers a number of ways to place orders or ask questions,
including online shops, email services and a central phone help
desk. Visitor services to the data centres at various BGS offices
are also offered, for viewing of records information or materials
collections (fossils, borehole cores, rock samples).
- Research Knowledge Services
The team ensures that awareness of our extensive
collections of geoscientific research material - books, journals,
maps, geological photographs, BGS publications and archives relating
to the history of BGS - is disseminated to staff and to external
users through our online databases and from our two centres at
Keyworth and Edinburgh. We seek to incorporate web developments
into our systems to enhance access to our information. We continue
to develop, along with other Centres within NERC, our open access
repository where our publicly-funded research is made available
through the web. Our interaction with the public and professional
organisations through co-operation, participation in local and
national campaigns and site tours are important in ensuring understanding
and knowledge of our services and we continue to expand such activities.
- Web Systems
This team is responsible for the web systems
and services that deliver data, information and knowledge to users
within and beyond BGS. We further develop the ability to deliver
BGS information in line with customer requirements. We facilitate
innovative uses of BGS information through the development of our
own applications and the provision of data services for consumption
by external systems. We respond to advances in web technology and
apply these in order to enhance the user experience when interacting
with BGS websites.