Framing research and researchers


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Presentation and workshop notes from session on how to apply the Researcher Development Framework to library and information service provision for research/e support

Uses case studies of different types of researchers.

Workshop notes integrated into the presentation

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Framing research and researchers

  1. 1. Framing research and researchers Maximizing the value of library and information services in research support Jo Webb, Head of Academic Services and National Teaching Fellow, Department of Library Services, [email_address] .ac. uk
  2. 2. What do we mean by providing effective support for research? <ul><li>Research support or researcher support? </li></ul><ul><li>Resources, services, systems, training, relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know about researchers’ needs? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Theory-led, data-led, scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded in discipline or multi/inter/trans disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Investigation, interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>A holistic activity, a set of transferable skills </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative / solo </li></ul><ul><li>Related to self </li></ul><ul><li>Validated by peer group </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>People who find things out </li></ul><ul><li>Work in different domains </li></ul><ul><li>Obliged to share their knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Work is validated by peer review and publication </li></ul><ul><li>Need to earn their keep </li></ul><ul><li>Ready to be challenged </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate </li></ul><ul><li>Ambitious </li></ul>
  4. 4. Researcher Development Framework <ul><li>Tool for planning, promoting, supporting personal, professional and career development </li></ul><ul><li>Describes knowledge, skills, behaviours and personal qualities of researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages researchers to aspire to excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Builds on the Joint Skills Statement to cover full career continuum </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily for researchers and those supporting researchers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Researcher Development Framework Stage Description New researcher Researcher in training, new doctoral candidate or early career research assistant Researcher <ul><li>Newly qualified researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Early career research, in the first years of employment as a researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Those who are close to completing or who have recently completed a doctorate but have not yet established a significant level of independence </li></ul><ul><li>Other researchers with equivalent level of experience, such as technical/research laboratory staff in higher education (and other public and private sectors where the doctorate in not the norm) </li></ul>Established researcher Postdoctoral or experienced researcher who as developed a level of independence Developing or has a national reputation in their field Advanced researcher <ul><li>Leader of research </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher who is leading in their field </li></ul><ul><li>Team leader of a research group </li></ul><ul><li>Has a national reputation and a developing or has an international reputation in their field </li></ul>Eminent researcher Has globally recognized eminence in their field, is an international leader and an acknowledged expert
  6. 6. Example
  7. 7. Practical <ul><li>In groups, each consider one of the case studies below. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What aspects of your library and information service (and of library and information services in general) are of greatest value to your case study person? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What else can your library service do to provide effective support to that specific group? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. New researcher <ul><li>Lee is in the first year of an MPhil/PhD. He is taking part, somewhat reluctantly, in his university’s research student training programme. He is active within the Postgraduate Society and many of his friends are research students, from within his own department and more widely within the university. He thinks he wants to become an academic when he has completed his PhD, but is not completely sure. </li></ul><ul><li>He finds attending courses quite a distraction when he could be doing bench work in his laboratory. So far, the major surprise of embarking on his research has been the volume of reading and writing he has had to do so far. </li></ul>
  9. 9. New researcher - suggestions <ul><li>Greatest value </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of online information resources and print </li></ul><ul><li>Compulsory research training </li></ul><ul><li>Named (subject) specialist support </li></ul><ul><li>Help in accessing specialist resources </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of resources and information management </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on intellectual propert, Open Access, institutional repository, and data management </li></ul><ul><li>What else to do </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated researcher space in the library </li></ul><ul><li>Hold research seminars/events </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a Community of Practice (face-to-face, virtual via wiki or other social software) </li></ul><ul><li>Support on getting published </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on how to focus literature search and prepare review </li></ul><ul><li>Departmental drop-ins for research postgraduates </li></ul>
  10. 10. Researcher <ul><li>Chris is a contract researcher in a university. He has been in his current post for just over a year. He finished his doctorate a couple of years ago, but was not able to secure a mainstream academic post nor a longer-term postdoctoral fellowship. Nevertheless, he is keen to stay in higher education. He did think about moving into commercial R&D and although some friends from his student days have done this – and are earning really healthy incomes – he does not feel that this is right for him. </li></ul><ul><li>He still finds that he is fairly dependent on his supervisor, with whom he got on quite well. He has co-authored a fair number of papers already and gets to go to some conferences. He has not yet got a permanent contract, so his existence is a bit hand-to-mouth, and he has needed to shift research focus a few times in order to fit the needs of particular contracts. He is pretty comfortable at using databases and has become the literature search person in his team and manages several in-house bibliographic resources. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Researcher - suggestions <ul><li>Greatest value </li></ul><ul><li>Supervisor training - or to researcher when he was a research postgraduate </li></ul><ul><li>Databases and other sources he uses </li></ul><ul><li>Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Information on where to publish </li></ul><ul><li>What else to do </li></ul><ul><li>EndNote / RefWorks training, or new free products like Mendeley </li></ul><ul><li>Point him in the direction of new staff/researcher forum </li></ul><ul><li>Help him raise his profile - where to publish, benefits of open access </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight resources which will give him ideas on where to go next - bibliometrics </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced database training </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist training at the start of new research projects </li></ul><ul><li>Access to e-resources between contracts - e.g. visitor / walk-in use </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest he become a librarian! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Established researcher <ul><li>Dr Helen is a Senior Lecturer in the Social Sciences. After completing her doctorate she originally worked in policy development in both government and some independent think tanks before returning to an academic post six years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>She balances her research work alongside a reasonable teaching load, and luckily to a large extent she is able to choose what she teaches. She focuses mainly on final year undergraduate teaching and a specialist applied masters. Life is busy: she needs to win enough funding to continue with some of her large-scale data-gathering research work, and although she is supported by research assistants and is part of an active research cluster in her school, she still finds that she needs to be very disciplined to reach all of her targets, especially when her head of school has started to talk loudly about impact measurement. </li></ul><ul><li>She has supervised a couple of PhD students to completion, and is just about to start a year-long sabbatical. This is a make-or-break period for her: She had to make a very persuasive case in order to get released from her teaching and administrative responsibilities and she has set herself some tough targets for publication. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Established researcher - suggestions <ul><li>Greatest value </li></ul><ul><li>Provide training on e-resources and up-to-date information especially web (policy documents, think tank reports), RSS feeds, ZETOC </li></ul><ul><li>Provide information on where to get published and impact factors </li></ul><ul><li>Assist with reference management and bibliometrics (if not already done) </li></ul><ul><li>Training on using the institutional repository </li></ul><ul><li>Useful sources to point to (e.g. EPPI Centre) </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy support for her research assistants </li></ul><ul><li>Schemes like SCONUL Access, interlibrary loans (for her and her assistants and students) </li></ul><ul><li>Remote access to resources and support (via VLE, virtual enquiry services) </li></ul><ul><li>Up-to-date information about the REF </li></ul><ul><li>What else to do </li></ul><ul><li>Keep on updating her and enabling her to keep herself up-to-date </li></ul><ul><li>Work more with her research assistants? And/or help her to train her research assistants? </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that you remain visible/present/available to help her </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage networking across disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Academic social networking ( </li></ul><ul><li>Explore web 2.0 for researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage knowledge-sharing </li></ul><ul><li>More outreach - distance learning support </li></ul><ul><li>Promote special collections </li></ul><ul><li>Data curation/management support </li></ul><ul><li>Information about digitization </li></ul>
  14. 14. Advanced researcher <ul><li>Professor Forder is a leading researcher in his chosen field of Engineering. He leads a research group, which is a mixture of main grade academic staff, research fellows, contract researchers and PhD students. His unit brings in enough in contract research and EPSRC funds to cover all its costs, and by many research indicators it is seen as thriving. In the last RAE all the outputs of his group were classified as at least 3* and a good proportion were identified as 4*. He has a national reputation in his area and a growing international reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>Already a professor, he is not sure whether to get drawn further into university management (where, it is suggested, his experience of big project work and commercial exposure would lead to steady promotion to the role of Dean or Pro Vice-Chancellor) or to build his career further as a researcher. </li></ul><ul><li>He was a very heavy user of libraries. Much of his work is part of larger projects and his research assistants and PhD students cover a lot of the literature search and review elements of his work. Many of his papers are co-authored with students and collaborators. </li></ul><ul><li>He likes to keep a sharp eye on the competition and likes to keep in touch with new developments in his area and what his competitors are doing. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Advanced researcher - suggestions <ul><li>Greatest value </li></ul><ul><li>High quality resources (journals and conference papers) </li></ul><ul><li>Online resources </li></ul><ul><li>Alerting service for up-to-date information </li></ul><ul><li>Support (and training) for research assistants </li></ul><ul><li>Interlibrary loans </li></ul><ul><li>What else to do </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal agreements with specialized libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Locating and acquiring specialized publications (possibly through collaboration) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased loan entitlement </li></ul><ul><li>In-house document supply </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional repository </li></ul><ul><li>Support on impact factors and maximizing these </li></ul>
  16. 16. Eminent researcher <ul><li>Sue Brimmacombe is a top-rated researcher in her field in the Humanities. With all her submitted outputs to the last RAE classified as 4* (world-leading), she has a reputation as a leading, if not the defining figure, in her field of study. She runs a specialist research group in her area and has been Dean of Research at her university, responsible for research student training and research strategy in addition to the development of her own work and discipline area. As well as an active publishing schedule (she has been responsible for twelve books in her twenty-five year career as an academic), she is a regular keynote and plenary speaker at conferences in the UK and across the world. Her research group is responsible for a journal published by OUP and she manages significant research budgets. </li></ul><ul><li>She uses her own university library, and is active in encouraging her research students to attend library training courses. She also uses a very wide range of libraries and information services beyond local provision, as much of her research requires access to specialized collections. She has been involved in some major digitization projects. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Eminent researcher - suggestions <ul><li>Access to special collections </li></ul><ul><li>Current awareness about relevant libraries and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-library loan service </li></ul><ul><li>Support with digitization projects and grant applications </li></ul><ul><li>Research repository </li></ul><ul><li>Showcasing research outputs e.g. online exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration to deliver bespoke training to research students </li></ul><ul><li>Develop the library collections in her field </li></ul><ul><li>Current awareness of new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Remote library support if working away </li></ul><ul><li>Support for her external academic visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Access to ‘low use’ monograph collections </li></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>Bent, M., P. Gannon-Leary and J. Webb (2007) Information literacy in a researcher’s learning life: the seven ages of research, New review of information networking , 13(2), pp. 81-99. </li></ul><ul><li>Joint response to Vitae consultation on draft Researcher Development Framework . Available from: http://www. rin </li></ul><ul><li>Vitae (2009) Researcher development framework (draft version for consultation) Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>Webb, J., M. Bent and P. Gannon-Leary (2007) Providing effective library services for research . London: Facet. </li></ul>