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Was RIN wrong? A discussion of information-handling training for researchers. Howard

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Presented at LILAC 2009

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Was RIN wrong? A discussion of information-handling training for researchers. Howard

  1. 1. Was RIN wrong? A discussion of information- handling training for researchers Helen Howard & Katy Sidwell http://library.leeds.ac.uk/
  2. 2. University Library Who are we? Helen Howard  Information Literacy Team Leader  Central point of contact for IL in the Library and for IL research training in particular Katy Sidwell  Faculty Team Librarian Engineering  Research training provider for PhD students and research staff Engineering Faculty (as well as UGs)
  3. 3. University Library Aims of this symposium  Consider the RIN report’s findings  Look at all of our experiences and share them  Present Leeds University as a case study  Think about our key priorities  Consider how to kick-start research support  Think about building networks  Look at how we can work together
  4. 4. University Library Research Information Network Report  “Mind the Skills Gap: Information-handling training for researchers” (2008)  Key questions were:  “nature and extent of the training in IS and competencies provided to researchers  how such training is planned and delivered, and by whom  the resources provided for and used in such training  the role that librarians play in providing training  how researchers’ training needs are assessed and how the impact of training is evaluated”
  5. 5. University Library RIN Report - Summary of Findings  Lack of shared vocabulary between researchers and librarians  Lack of strategic management at both institutional and library levels  Library independent of other training providers – lack of collaboration  Library training focuses on information seeking  Librarians (and bodies representing librarians) do not engage with research training bodies e.g. Vitae
  6. 6. University Library Right or wrong?  In your experience is the report right or wrong?  Lack of shared vocabulary between researchers and librarians “central units responsible for developing and delivering training for researchers tend to emphasise the generic skills in line with the lead from RCUK and Vitae (“accessing and interpreting information; searching and systematic appraisal”). Library and information specialists emphasise a different set of skills and competences based on the concept of “ information literacy”” p7
  7. 7. University Library Right or wrong?  In your experience is the report right or wrong?  Lack of strategic management at library level “although some HEIs are making concerted efforts to rationalise and co-ordinate training for researchers, in many institutions there is little sign of strategic management of such efforts” p7
  8. 8. University Library Right or wrong?  In your experience is the report right or wrong?  Lack of collaboration between training providers “the planning, management and control of the collaboration [between librarians and other training providers] …seems usually to be linked to informal relationships within the university, rather than formal collaborative structures” p8
  9. 9. University Library Right or wrong?  In your experience is the report right or wrong?  Library training focuses on information seeking “libraries tend to focus in their training on information seeking, citation of sources, and the portfolio of services that the library itself provides. There is much less coverage of issues such as evaluating, organising, managing, transforming or communicating information, or of key underpinning issues such as copyright and open access” p14
  10. 10. University Library Right or wrong?  In your experience is the report right or wrong?  Lack of librarian engagement with key research training bodies e.g. Vitae “Vitae organisers currently perceive that there is relatively little involvement by libraries in their programme” p11 “Few libraries are actively engaged with the Vitae regional hubs, or aware of its database of practice” p12
  11. 11. University Library What’s happening at Leeds  Strategy maps  Collaboration between training providers  Content of our courses  Librarian involvement with research training bodies
  12. 12. University Library What’s happening at your institution?  Discuss with your neighbour the research support at your institution considering the RIN findings:  Strategy  Collaboration between training providers  Content of teaching  External engagement  Feedback one example of good practice from your neighbour
  13. 13. University Library What’s your priority?  How important is increasing your support for researchers?  To you?  To your library?  To your institution?  Relative merits of top-down strategy or bottom-up practice
  14. 14. University Library University of Leeds priorities  University strategy map “refresh” has boosted priorities of:  Internationalisation  Research and research students  Health & safety  Library strategy aims:  provide training in IL and the use of virtual environments to strengthen research skills  embed IL training into the professional development of researchers
  15. 15. University Library Kick-start your IL research support  Consider your existing resources / materials  What is relevant for researchers  New resources – multiple audiences  Quick wins:  Researchers’ webpage (linked from central/faculty training pages)  Marketing appropriate courses suitable for postgrads  Share and steal resources with other institutions  Persuade your library to have a research champion  Get help from other staff with UG teaching to free-up time
  16. 16. University Library Building networks  Working with others providing training & development for researchers is key  Who could you contact to start your network?  Who is in your network already?  Who is missing from your network?
  17. 17. University Library Our network Library IL Team Faculty Team Librarians Faculties: Faculty Training Managers: •Engineering •Medicine & Health •Earth & Environment etc. Central support: •Graduate Training & Support Centre •Staff and Dept Development Unit •Researcher Roundtable (all training providers) •Research support unit Informal contacts: Research students group Research staff group
  18. 18. University Library Community of Practice  There is lots of good practice - so how do we work together?
  19. 19. University Library References  RIN (Research Information Network). 2008. Mind the Skills Gap: Information-handling training for researchers [online]. [Accessed 13th November 2008]. Available on the World Wide Web: <http://www.rin.ac.uk/training-research-info>

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