Masud Khokhar

Assistant Director: Digital Innovation and Research Services

I lead the Digital Innovation and Research Services team which is responsible for developing, supporting, and sustaining high-quality user-centric digital and research services. The core work of my team spans across all five key areas of Library towards 2020: Information, Service, Research, Teaching & Learning and User Experience & Environment.


My team is responsible for open digital scholarship, scholarly communications, and academic impact. The activities in this area include:

  • the research data management service for the University, in close collaboration with Research Services and Information Systems Services (ISS). 
  • the open access service for the University, in close cooperation with Research Services.
  • the academic impact and citation service for the University, in close collaboration with Research Services and Institutional Data Analytics unit.
  • the unique and distinctive collections project, showcasing the heritage collections of our institution through a variety of innovative channels, physical and digital.
  • the University Archives, their digitisation, and control flows for future curation of institutional memory.
  • support for digital and spatial humanities.
  • support for data security discussions across the University, with a specific focus on the development of secure infrastructures and relevant certifications.


My team is responsible for high-quality digital systems for the Library and the wider audience. The activities in this area include:

  • vendor negotiation for systems and services acquisitions
  • management of our library management system (Alma)
  • management of our resource discovery system (Primo)
  • management of our resource lists system (Aspire)
  • development and management of our authentication/authorisation systems (EzProxy, Shibboleth)
  • development and management of our research data infrastructure (Pure, DMAOnline)
  • activities related to our academic impact systems (SciVal, Pure, Tableau)
  • development and management of our digital humanities, heritage discovery and archive systems (Hydra, IIIF, CALM, Archivematica, GeoBlacklight)
  • development of our intelligent building system (noise, movement, temperature zones, user behaviours, space usage, context-awareness)
  • development of our large-scale analytics infrastructure (ElasticSearch, Logstash, Kibana)


I am part of the Library Leadership Group and firmly believe in leadership based on values. I am also interested in the question of why rather than what. I was part of the second cohort of the hugely competitive and successful Bonington leadership programme for the future leaders of the University. I also believe in mentorship, and have enjoyed the benefits of both being a mentee and mentor.


I am well renowned for my work in the field of introducing Innovation in the world of Academic Libraries. I developed the core strategy for introducing innovation at Lancaster University Library which has resulted in high levels of staff morale, an innovative thinking across the board, and a wider acceptance of different voices and ideas.


My team is responsible for several major projects for the University and the wider academic community. Some of these are listed below:

  • End to End Open Access project (funded by Jisc) - This project looked at how a group of four universities (Glasgow, Lancaster, Kent, and Southampton) compares, share and develop best practices for managing open access in the areas of metadata and systems. The timeline for this project was July 2014 - July 2016
  • Data Management Administration Online (DMAOnline) project (funded by Jisc) - This project is developing an online platform that research data management teams in academic institutions can use to evaluate how they are complying regarding funding council requirements. It also provides them with a single interface to see and add all RDM related activities, reducing the burden on administration teams immensely. The timeline for this project is April 2015 - March 2017.
  • Digital Research (cross-departmental University project) - I lead on the Digital Research project (previously called Research without Borders) of the Digital Lancaster 2.0 strategy. The Digital Research project delivers outcomes in six distinct areas: policy, governance, support, software, infrastructure and analytics. Another aspect of this project is an evaluation of future research needs of our staff and students.

Internal representation

I am currently part of the Library Policy Committee, Library Leadership Group,  REF Steering Group, Digital Lancaster coordinators group, the Research, Open Access, Data Management and Pure (ROADMaP) steering group, Digital Humanities Steering Committee, Compute Intensive Research Committee (CIRC) and represent Professional Services on University Senate, Council and Court. I also moderate Library's Innovation Group and contribute to Library's Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHaW) committee.

Previously I was part of the Digital Fluency steering group, Innovation Hub steering group, Citations working group, Research Intelligence working group, and chaired the Research Data Management working group.

External representation

I contribute to Jisc's Expert Advisory Group on RDM, UUK Open Access Repositories Working Group, LIBER working group on Scientific Information Infrastructures and LIBER working group on Open Access. I also make a significant contribution to the Hydra Europe user group.

Previously, I chaired the UK Pure Interoperability Group, the joint International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGeLU) and Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) Interoperability Special Interest Working Group, and the IGeLU Primo/MetaLib Product Working Group. I was a contributor to the N8 RDM Special Interest Group and contributed to the Data Analytics stream. 

Contact details

Telephone: +44(0)1524 594 236


Twitter: @mkhokhar

Location: B105 Library Building