Joining it all up: developing research-practice linkages in the UK

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Seminar presentation on efforts to strengthen research-practice linkages in librarianship and information science in the UK since 2009 presented to the School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi …

Seminar presentation on efforts to strengthen research-practice linkages in librarianship and information science in the UK since 2009 presented to the School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Finland on Thursday 13th March 2014. There is a fuller report of my work visit to Finland at http://hazelhall.org/2014/03/17/social-media-and-public-libraries-a-doctoral-defence-in-finland/.

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  • 1. Joining it all up: developing research-practice linkages in the UK Presentation to the School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Finland Thursday 13th March 2014 Professor Hazel Hall
  • 2. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Welcome to today‟s presentation Page 2 Professor Hazel Hall @hazelh http://hazelhall.org http://about.me/hazelh h.hall@napier.ac.uk 0131 455 2760
  • 3. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Work of the Centre for Social Informatics Page 3 CPD Knowledge management Library and Information Science, e.g. research resources for LIS Social media strategies with focus on knowledge management, risk management and engagement strategies … Research – research councils, Europe E-participation E-governance Information Society Library and Information Science, e.g. AHRC Smart cities … Research: contract, consultancy, “other” Knowledge management Library and Information Science e.g. CILIP Market research Online communities Project management Social computing Sociotechnical project evaluation … One of five research centre within IIDI Distributed Computing, Networking & Security Emergent Computing Information & Software Systems Interaction Design Social Informatics: exploring human- technology relationships in context, and their impact, e.g. on organisations, communities
  • 4. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Two eras Page 4 National projects: 2009-2012 Library and Information Science Research Coalition Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) “Impact”: 2012 onwards Professional bodies Practitioner groups Researcher groups
  • 5. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 5 To facilitate a co-ordinated and strategic approach to LIS research across the UK (2009-2012) To explore the extent to which LIS research projects influence practice (2011) To create outputs to support the use and execution of research by librarians and information scientists (2012) To develop a UK-wide network of LIS researchers (2011-2012)
  • 6. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 6 http://lisresearch.org http://lisresearch.org/dream http://lisresearch.org/rilies
  • 7. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 7 Resources still useful and well-used
  • 8. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 8 Previous work New workCollect data Establish an understanding of the research context Identify an opportunity to make a contribution Determine a research approach Analyse data Relate findings to research context Published research adds to research context Need for an appreciation of: range of available methods/tools; dissemination channels; means of ensuring that research output has impact, e.g. for policy development. Need for an appreciation of what has already been done in the domain in order to identify (1) appropriate research aims and questions and (2) methods to be deployed. Published research directs future effort
  • 9. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 9 Previous work New workCollect data Establish an understanding of the research context Identify an opportunity to make a contribution Determine a research approach Analyse data Relate findings to research context Published research adds to research context Need for an appreciation of research methods in order to evaluate findings reported in the literature. Need for an appreciation of what has already been done in the domain in order to identify possible practice. Published research directs future effort As consumers of research, practitioners need an awareness of research processes
  • 10. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Importance of research-led practice To exploit existing knowledge base for services (outcomes) improvement  improve decision making for services delivery To enhance the value of prior work • to capitalise on significant investment in previous studies • to raise the value of previous studies through reuse To demonstrate the value and impact of service delivery Page 10
  • 11. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 11 … reduced anti-social behaviour …contributed to improvements in pupils‟ exam results …attracted international student fee income … raised research assessment ratings … increased literacy levels
  • 12. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Barriers to research-led practice: “evaluation by-pass” (Booth, 2006) Valuable research work is often not published at all Multidisciplinary nature of the LIS literature, across publications of various domains, makes it difficult to access Much valuable research is held in grey sources: straightforward access not always obvious, e.g. unpublished internal studies, summaries on listservs There is a preference amongst practitioners for face-to-face dissemination channels - tailored, lowered incidence of information overload, addresses issues of fragmented infrastructures – but opportunities to attend professional events are few Some practitioners suffer restricted access to social media channels – valued for immediacy, updates on on-going projects Page 12 Booth, A. (2006). Clear and present questions: formulating questions for evidence based practice. Library Hi Tech, 24(3), 355-368.
  • 13. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi And lack of practitioner-led research (as opposed to research-led practice)? Irony of librarians helping others identify evidence to support their practice, but less likely to do for themselves Few LIS practitioners publish research in international peer-reviewed journals – except North American librarians seeking tenure Page 13
  • 14. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 14 Time constraints of the practitioner role Limited knowledge of research approaches Low internal support of research activity Poor access to external support of research activity, e.g. funding, mentors Failure to recognise research of others and own research activity/skills as such Mind the gap (26 November 2006) by Luigi Rosa. Available from http://www.flickr.com/photos/30571787@N00/307814064, accessed 5 March 2014
  • 15. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 15 To facilitate a co-ordinated and strategic approach to LIS research across the UK Bring together information about LIS research opportunities and results Encourage dialogue between research funders Promote LIS practitioner research and the translation of research outcomes into practice Articulate a strategic approach to LIS research Promote the development of research capacity in LIS
  • 16. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 16 To develop a UK-wide network of LIS researchers (2011-2012)
  • 17. Funding to develop a UK-wide network of LIS researchers Build research capacity and capability Raise quality and standards: research training, practice, output, value, impact, and influence Secure foundation for long-term research collaborations – in LIS and beyond
  • 18. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 18 Launch conference British Library Conference Centre, July 19th 2011 87 participants Programme included:  2 keynotes 12 one minute madness presentations 4 breakout sessions Plenary Networking Excellent feedback
  • 19. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 19 Three linked workshops Edinburgh Napier University & British Library 25th October 2011, January 30th 2012, & 25th April 2012 30 workshop cadre members attended all three 12 formal sessions: broad research approaches qualitative and quantitative techniques research practicalities “Unconference half hour” and networking Excellent feedback
  • 20. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 20 Concluding conference British Library Conference Centre, July 9th 2012 93 participants Programme included:  2 keynotes 20 one minute madness presentations Invited paper Panel session Award presentation Networking Excellent feedback
  • 21. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 21 Project infrastructure: technical and social Project web page http://lisresearch.org/dream-project All events previewed, amplified live, reviewed and archived online (slides, recordings, and summaries) Online community site: http://lis-dream.spruz.com/ Linked Lanyrds: http://lanyrd.com/profile/lis_dream/ Twitter account: @LIS_DREaM Twitter DREaM participant list: https://twitter.com/#!/LIS_DREaM/dream-participants
  • 22. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 22 Professional event amplification
  • 23. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 23 Event reviews by delegates
  • 24. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 24 The DREaM online community
  • 25. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 25 The Twitter feed
  • 26. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 26 The Twitter list
  • 27. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 27 Participation and reach in numbers 5 events led by 33 „official‟ contributors for 213 on-site delegate participants from 12 countries (and 4 continents) not counting „remote‟ audience of ~80 blog posts, ~1000+ tweets, multiple web pages, SlideShares, Vimeos, SoundClouds etc.
  • 28. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 28 Brettle, A., Hall, H., & Oppenheim, C. (2012).We have a DREaM: the Developing Research Excellence and Methods network. Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, Limerick, Ireland, 22-25 May 2012. 1. Did we increase research capability and capacity? 2. Did we raise standards? 3. Did we create a foundation for future research collaborations?
  • 29. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 29 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Research skills audits conducted in workshops 1 and 3
  • 30. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 30 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Research skills audits conducted in workshops 1 and 3
  • 31. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 31 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Increased familiarity with workshop themes
  • 32. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 32 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Overall growth in theoretical knowledge
  • 33. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 33 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Small increase of application in practice
  • 34. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 34 Never heard of this Heard but unfamiliar In theory Applied in practice Expert Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Ethnography 2 0 9 1 8 23 3 1 0 0 Social network analysis 3 0 10 0 8 23 1 2 0 0 Discourse analysis 2 0 12 1 6 19 2 4 0 0 Ethics & legal issues 0 0 3 0 6 10 12 12 2 3 Action research 4 0 4 1 8 18 6 6 0 1 Research techniques from history 5 0 9 0 4 20 3 5 0 0 Web metrics 3 0 10 0 5 23 4 2 0 0 Tying research output to policy 0 0 8 0 5 14 8 8 1 3 Horizon scanning 4 0 7 1 7 17 4 5 0 0 Repertory grids 17 0 5 2 0 22 0 1 0 0 Data mining 0 0 11 2 10 21 1 1 0 0 Increasing research impact 0 0 5 0 8 13 8 10 1 2 TOTALS 40 0 93 8 67 223 52 57 4 9 Increase in number of cadre member experts
  • 35. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 35 Critical incident technique - cadre reported Increased research capacity and capability Growth in knowledge and research confidence Raised standards Impact and influence – demonstrating research knowledge in the workplace Quality of training – new resources to share Research practice – methodological choice Foundations for future collaborations Widened networks and research relationships
  • 36. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 36 To explore the extent to which LIS research projects influence practice (2011) To create outputs to support the use and execution of research by librarians and information scientists (2012)
  • 37. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Addressing the issues: project conception Researchers should involve practitioners in research design Funders should support research that is relevant to the needs of the practitioner community and – allied to this – an explicit goal of research should be to influence practice Research undertaken should have high level support: steering committees, influential stakeholders Page 37
  • 38. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Addressing the issues: project execution Practitioners should be invited to participate in the research from the outset, e.g. capacity building workshops as hook Information about the project should be disseminated throughout its duration (and not just at the end) Page 38
  • 39. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Addressing the issues: project reporting Output is best “digested” by practitioners in teaching and community support materials Recommendations should be made explicit – data should not be left to “speak for themselves” Opportunities for face-to-face delivery should be sought Textual sources need to be presented in accessible language Report in the “right” places: professional journals, open access, tweet and blog, use key researcher connectors Page 39
  • 40. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 40
  • 41. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi “Impact” 2012 onwards? Professional bodies Practitioner groups Researcher groups Page 41
  • 42. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 42 Higher profile for research skills
  • 43. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 43 LIRG invigorated
  • 44. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Practitioner groups One third of the book‟s contributors were associated with LIS Research Coalition activities Event programme committee, speakers and delegates DREaM network and cadre members Prize winners Page 44
  • 45. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 45 Research groups working more closely with practitioners
  • 46. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 46
  • 47. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 47 Other general impacts of the investment New approaches to supporting LIS at “industry” level - Coalition New approaches to delivering support, e.g. DREaM infrastructure Popularising new approaches, e.g. one minute madness (see July 2012‟s video) Export to other subject domains
  • 48. Joining it all up: developing research-practice linkages in the UK Presentation to the School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Finland Thursday 13th March 2014 Professor Hazel Hall