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The Personal Networks of Novice Librarian Researchers

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This presentation reports the findings of an analysis of personal network data gathered from the novice librarian researcher participants of the summer workshop of the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL), an institute designed to provide instruction in how to conduct a research project and establish a peer-network of like-minded library professionals to support each other throughout the research process. The first wave of data was gathered before the participants began IRDL, again at the completion of the workshop, at six months after completing the workshop, and will be gathered again at the one-year marker. The data gathered is about the people and the strength of the relationship in the personal research networks of each of the IRDL participants. During the presentation we will report on the observations of the research networks over time.
Highlighted in the presentation is the use of the freely available, open source, web-based software used to gather the personal network data, EgoWeb 2.0. We will describe the process of customizing the survey software to ask questions about the names of people these novice researchers go to get or give advice or help related to research, how often they interact (related to research or not), modes in which the interactions take place, and whether or not the people in the network know each other. We will report the statistical results that the software computes, about density and closeness and provides a customizable visualization of the personal network.

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The Personal Networks of Novice Librarian Researchers

  1. 1. The Personal Networks of Novice Librarian Researchers Marie R. Kennedy David P. Kennedy Kristine Brancolini
  2. 2. Agenda  Background on IRDL  IRDL goals  Assessment plan (highlighting social network analysis)
  3. 3. Background on IRDL  Grew out of a December 2010 survey conducted by Brancolini and Kennedy *  Surveyed academic librarians regarding their research experience, research confidence, and perceived barriers to conducting research *Kennedy, Marie R. & Brancolini, Kristine R. (2012). “Academic librarian research:A survey of attitudes, involvement, and perceived capabilities.” College & Research Libraries 73(5): 431-448.
  4. 4. IMLS grant funds IRDL  Funded by IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, 2013-2016  To create a learning experience and support network for academic and research librarians
  5. 5. IRDL Summer Workshop  Centerpiece of the program is a nine-day summer research “boot camp” for academic and research librarians  Convened on the LMU|LA campus June 15-26, 2014
  6. 6. IRDL goal Increase the number of academic librarians with specific research skills in conducting and disseminating the results of research
  7. 7. Assessment plan for IRDL Four-part assessment plan: ◦ Scoring of research proposals ◦ Social network analysis ◦ Mastery of curriculum content ◦ Confidence
  8. 8. Assessment plan for IRDL Four-part assessment plan: ◦ Scoring of research proposals ◦Social network analysis ◦ Mastery of curriculum content ◦ Confidence
  9. 9. Research question Does participating in IRDL have an effect on the persistence (or loss) and social support of people in the personal networks of the Scholars?
  10. 10. Methods Survey using EgoWeb 2.0 Repeated: ◦ before the summer workshop ◦ after the summer workshop ◦ six months after the workshop ◦ one year after the workshop
  11. 11. Methods (continued)  Design  Population  Instrument
  12. 12. EgoWeb 2.0 Open-source survey software Easily create social network data collection instruments ◦ Generate lists of network members  “Who is in the network?” ◦ Ask questions about network members  “What are the characteristics of these people?” ◦ Ask about connections among network members  “How are they connected to each other?”
  13. 13. EgoWeb 2.0: Network Elicitation Generate a list of collaborators
  14. 14. EgoWeb 2.0: Network Composition How do they impact the respondent’s research?
  15. 15. EgoWeb 2.0: Network Structure Are they connected to each other?
  16. 16. EgoWeb 2.0: Data Processing  Visually analyze each interview within EgoWeb or export raw data to other analysis software Adjust display settings
  17. 17. Preliminary results Time 1 toTime 3 comparisonsNumber of people with whom the Scholars had research interactions average range T1 (pre-IRDL) 11.26 5-20 T2 (post-IRDL) 24.78 8-40 T3 (6 months post-IRDL) 16.13 5-42
  18. 18. Stability in the network Observe those network members identified in only one wave, in two waves, or all three waves.  Purpose: Did participation in IRDL affect their network composition?
  19. 19. Stability of total network composition T1 T2 T3 abs. % abs. % abs. % only one mention 255 54% 570 63% 371 58% onlyT1 andT2 72 15% 72 8% onlyT1 andT3 7 1% 7 1% onlyT2 andT3 116 13% 116 18% allT 141 30% 141 16% 141 22% Total 475 100% 899 100% 635 100%
  20. 20. Support Personal friend Professional colleague Both friend and colleague abs. % abs. % abs. % I'm usually asking this person for advice or help 12 67% 31 55% 25 37% I'm usually giving this person advice or help 0 0% 1 2% 5 7% It's pretty even; I ask for help but also give help in equal amounts 6 33% 24 43% 37 55% Total 18 100% 56 100% 67 100%
  21. 21. Visualization of the IRDL networks Time 1, pre-IRDL Density = 0.321 Max Degree = 4
  22. 22. Visualization of the IRDL networks Time 2, post-IRDL Density = 0.608 Max Degree = 27
  23. 23. Visualization of the IRDL networks Time 3, 6 months post-IRDL Density = 0.267 Max Degree = 6
  24. 24. Benefits of using EgoWeb 2.0  Web-based  Intuitive to program  Easy for the respondent to use (UI)
  25. 25. Future research  T4 of cohort 1  T1 of cohort 2  Is the network composition a predictor of an IRDL Scholar disseminating results of research?
  26. 26. Questions, comments, suggestions? For additional information about IRDL: http://irdlonline.org For additional information about EgoWeb: http://egoweb.info Background article: Kennedy, Marie R. & Brancolini, Kristine R. (2012).“Academic librarian research: A survey of attitudes, involvement, and perceived capabilities.” College & Research Libraries 73(5): 431-448. Contact us: ◦ Marie Kennedy (marie.kennedy@lmu.edu) ◦ David P. Kennedy (davidk@rand.org) ◦ Kristine Brancolini (brancoli@lmu.edu)

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