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Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers

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Presentation delivered at the Library Research Symposium. McMaster University, Canada, 3 November 2015.

The aim of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods project, was to develop a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers (academic and practitioner). The project ran from January 2011 to August 2012, and was supported by the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition.

The initial successes of the DREaM project were reported in a paper that Hazel Hall co-authored with Alison Brettle and Charles Oppenheim and presented at QQML 2012. Three years later in summer 2015, Hall and her colleague Bruce Ryan conducted further research to explore any lasting impacts of the project.

Those who attended three DREaM research methods workshops in 2011/12 were invited to complete a survey in June 2015. The survey questions focused on LIS work undertaken since the last DREaM workshop in April 2012. Respondents were asked to report on the use of the methods presented at the DREaM workshops; any new DREaM-inspired LIS research and publications, and their impacts; the influence of DREaM on individual career paths; and any on-going contact between those who developed relationships with one another over the course of the three workshops. Further data for the 2015 project – known as DREaM Again - were collected formally from focus groups and more informally through email contact with DREaM workshop participants.

In this presentation the main findings of DREaM Again are discussed.


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Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers

  1. 1. Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers Library Research Symposium McMaster University 3rd November 2015 Dr Hazel Hall Professor of Social Informatics @hazelh
  2. 2. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi http://hazelhall.org/about
  3. 3. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 3 To facilitate a co-ordinated and strategic approach to LIS research across the UK (2009-2012) £229,000 total investment (~$462,400 CAD)
  4. 4. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 4 To facilitate a co-ordinated and strategic approach to LIS research across the UK (2009-2012) To develop a UK-wide network of LIS researchers (2011-2012)
  5. 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. 6. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 6 To develop a UK-wide network of LIS researchers (2011-2012) £45,000 (~$90,900 CAD)
  7. 7. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi DREaM events and reach Page 7 Five events 2 conferences 3 linked workshops – for the ‘cadre’ of DREaMers 213 participants, 33 presenters Remote audience ~80 blog posts ~800 tweets Multiple web pages, SlideShares, SoundClouds, Vimeos etc.
  8. 8. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi DREaM as a vehicle for research methods training Page 8 Expert-led sessions on: Data mining Discourse analysis Ethnography Horizon scanning Repertory grids Research ethics and legal issues Research impact Research and policy Research techniques from history Social network analysis User involvement in research Webometrics
  9. 9. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi DREaM as forum for dissemination of research Page 9 Unconference half hour: sample topics Digital research and curation M-libraries Quality improvement in the delivery of medical information services Training of academic librarians One Minute Madness: sample topics E-books Digital reference services Information literacy Web archiving One Minute madness videos: 2011; 2012 Unconference half hour: 1; 2; 3
  10. 10. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi DREaM impact in 2012 Page 10 Growth in knowledge and expertise in research skills Substantial growth in theoretical knowledge Modest increase in application of new skills Greater confidence as researchers Widened networks 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.
  11. 11. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi DREaM impact post-project: anecdotal evidence Page 11 Development of new resources Research, evaluation and audit, Facet, 2013 First editor was a DREaMer A third of the book’s authors had some involvement with the Coalition Events Organised by DREaMers Participation from others who were associated with the project What else? Particular interest in less visible impact
  12. 12. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 12 Since 2012, to what extent have the workshop participants: 1. Implemented new and innovative research methods/techniques in their work-place environments? 2. Undertaken and disseminated relevant, high priority research output to inform policy, determine information services provision, and develop the future LIS research agenda? 3. Experienced enhanced possibilities for exploring avenues for new research initiatives as a result of network participation? 4. Continued to work as a network? 5. Witnessed impact of their post-DREaM research on end-user communities? DREaM Again study summer 2015
  13. 13. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Work undertaken in 2015: desk research and survey Page 13 Research Associate Dr Bruce Ryan Literature review Impact as conceived in LIS Survey Designed to gather data on 5 main research questions Distributed to 35 DREaMers Completed by 32
  14. 14. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Work undertaken in 2015: focus groups Page 14 10 participants 4 in Edinburgh 6 in London
  15. 15. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi [I have used this session] to inform consultancy work with clients. It highlighted a number of issues and prompted me to research further. Although I have not used this in my own research...this has been really helpful in allowing me to understand and participate in discussions about research methods. Page 15 1. Implementation of new and innovative research methods/techniques in work-place environments Most influential training sessions Increasing research impact Social network analysis Most used Research ethics and legal issues Value of awareness To participate in discourse around research For future reference
  16. 16. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 16 2. Dissemination of relevant, high priority research output to inform policy, determine information services provision, and develop the future LIS research agenda (1) Research undertaken post-DREaM 50% actively involved in research Top themes: LIS; information literacy, policy, and health Other themes include cultural heritage, data mining, data protection, economics, education, employability, knowledge management, law, politics, psychiatry, and social justice
  17. 17. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 17 2. Dissemination of relevant, high priority research output to inform policy, determine information services provision, and develop the future LIS research agenda (2) The majority have: Presented their work internally Contributed to blogs and other social media feeds Published their work in journals Peer-reviewed others’ work for journals and/or conferences and/or books Outputs: 87 research outputs post-DREaM (4.8 per actively publishing DREaMer) Most productive DREaMers: academics, researchers, and PhD students Most ‘impactful’ DREaMers: academics (4), health care librarians (2), academic librarians (2), and PhD students (3)
  18. 18. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 18 3. Enhanced possibilities for the exploration of avenues for new research initiatives (1) Network ties and research outputs Correlation between quantity of work-related network ties and research outputs New ‘avenues’: role changes and research outputs 17 changed roles post-DREaM (53%) 11 of these role changes were influenced by DREaM Correlation between quantity of research outputs and likelihood of having changed role
  19. 19. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 19 3. Enhanced possibilities for the exploration of avenues for new research initiatives (2) Impact on careers DREaM contributed to the development of my research capability and profile and has influenced my decision to seek a stronger academic role. I have been promoted… This required a considerable research portfolio and DREaM has contributed to this. Furthermore [two cadre members] provided references. DREaM gave me the confidence to go for more senior roles, and gave me a thorough background knowledge in research. Involvement in the project helped me develop confidence as an LIS researcher to go on to write successful bids and be an active part of the LIS research community.
  20. 20. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 20 4. Sustainability: a loose but persistent network Live ties 22 DREaMers maintain both social and work-related ties 9 DREaMers maintain either social or work-related ties 1 DREaMer no longer networked Network profiles Work-related ties centre on academics Social ties centre on academics and practitioners Collaborations 12 active collaborators on 37 initiatives Collaborators most productive: over 70% of research outputs
  21. 21. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 21 5. Impact of research Claims of impact for 40 of 87 outputs, by 12 authors Informed policy: 20 Determined information services provision: 23 Developed the future LIS research agenda: 15 All three: 5 Examples Understanding of students’ use of learning spaces  changes to physical environment within academic library service Web log analysis of online resource  introduction of Named Entity Recognition to major digital resource Articulation of information literacy priorities  public library participation in the discourse
  22. 22. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 22 6. Other significant impact Delivery of events Format, e.g. lecture-workshop switch Delegate participation, e.g. One Minute Madness Speaker participation, e.g. widened pool Reporting of events Deployment of social media
  23. 23. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Page 23 What next?
  24. 24. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Dissemination of outcomes of DREaM Again Page 24 Presentations Hall, H. (2015). A coordinated and strategic approach to Library and Information Science research: the UK experience. Paper presented as part of the Colloquium Series of the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada, 5 November 2015 Hall, H. (2015). Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers. Library Research Symposium. McMaster University, Canada, 3 November 2015 Hall, H. & Ryan, B. (2015). DREaM Again. Paper presented as part of the 21st Century Curatorship Seminar Series. British Library, London, 10 September 2015 Publications in the pipeline Paper on empirical work to be submitted to Journal of Documentation, with parallel activity in the practitioner press Full literature review on impact as conceived in LIS
  25. 25. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Dissemination of outcomes of DREaM Again Page 25 Presentations Hall, H. (2015). A coordinated and strategic approach to Library and Information Science research: the UK experience. Paper presented as part of the Colloquium Series of the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, 5 November 2015 Hall, H. (2015). Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers. Library Research Symposium. McMaster University, Canada, 3 November 2015 Hall, H. & Ryan, B. (2015). DREaM Again. Paper presented as part of the 21st Century Curatorship Seminar Series. British Library, London, 10 September 2015 Publications in the pipeline Paper on empirical work to be submitted to Journal of Documentation, with parallel activity in the practitioner press Full literature review on impact as conceived in LIS When’s the next DREaM event Hazel?
  26. 26. www.napier.ac.uk/iidi Contact Hazel Hall Page 26 @hazelh http://hazelhall.org http://about.me/hazelh h.hall@napier.ac.uk +44 (0)131 455 2760 Slides on SlideShare at: http://slideshare.net/hazelhall
  27. 27. Creating a UK-wide network of LIS researchers Library Research Symposium McMaster University 3rd November 2015 Dr Hazel Hall Professor of Social Informatics @hazelh

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