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Researchers learning lives

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information literacy and research

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Researchers learning lives

  1. 1. Researchers’ learning lives symposium information literacy and researchers Moira Bent Jo Webb Pat Gannon-Leary
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>RIN surveys and research </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>De Montfort workshops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subsequent presentations, feedback and research and reflection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergent model of ‘7 ages of research’ (articles at press and conference papers) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What this session will cover <ul><li>Interactive discussion of how: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we sh/would define and describe ‘research’ and ‘researchers’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what we might agree to be researchers’ learning needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how those learning needs change based on age / career stage / experience and external influences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some ways of using educational theory to interpret researchers’ learning needs </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for practical application </li></ul><ul><li>Session will be interactive and participative </li></ul>
  4. 4. What we won’t tell you <ul><li>How to run a perfect workshop </li></ul><ul><li>A blueprint for working with all researchers </li></ul><ul><li>The solutions to the JSS / Roberts / REF agenda/s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You must define your own institutional framework </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What do you think? <ul><li>What is research? What is a researcher? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the researchers with whom you work? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think are your researchers’ learning needs? </li></ul>
  6. 6. What the researchers said 1 <ul><li>Research is </li></ul><ul><li>Theory-led; Data-led; Scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded in disciplines; multi / inter / trans disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Investigation; interpretation; gathering evidence </li></ul><ul><li>A holistic activity; a set of transferable skills </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative / solo activity </li></ul><ul><li>Related to self </li></ul><ul><li>Validated by peer group </li></ul><ul><li>Made meaningful by an external audience </li></ul><ul><li>… concept is disputed at every level but meaning is often implicit and not known outside CoP </li></ul>
  7. 7. What the researchers said 2 <ul><li>Researchers are: </li></ul><ul><li>Usually recognised within organization and… </li></ul><ul><li>people who find out new things, reflect and take action </li></ul><ul><li>at different levels and career stages </li></ul><ul><li>working in different disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>obliged to share what they find – to put knowledge into the public domain </li></ul><ul><li>ready to be challenged </li></ul><ul><li>making connections </li></ul><ul><li>passionate </li></ul><ul><li>ambitious </li></ul>
  8. 8. Life course analysis of IL <ul><li>Sociological approach to reviewing sociostructural and institutional contexts of life paths in contemporary societies </li></ul><ul><li>Perspective on research/er careers and hence information needs </li></ul><ul><li>Individual through progress/process of life and organization </li></ul><ul><li>Stages / Link of learning / information need and development </li></ul>
  9. 9. Researchers’ learning lives - the 7 ages model <ul><li>Different conceptions of research and learning needs / IL by age and/or career stage </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews indicated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earlier experiences (and emotions) influenced present behaviours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs and priorities varied at discrete career stages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes and values change at each stage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Threshold concepts and life course analysis </li></ul><ul><li>IL is more than skills and training and must include attitude and values based in the wider concept of a life course </li></ul>
  10. 10. 7 ages of research <ul><li>Masters students </li></ul><ul><li>Doctoral students </li></ul><ul><li>Contract researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Early career researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Established academic staff </li></ul><ul><li>Senior researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Experts </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul>
  11. 11. Early <ul><li>Apprenticeship - influenced by supervisors / tutors / mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Skills and competences are defined (also funded and monitored) </li></ul><ul><li>Different levels of control </li></ul><ul><li>Transition from structured learning to self-organization </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction between personal life / prior experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Managing different roles e.g. other jobs, developing teaching skills </li></ul><ul><li>Information consumer, objective is production </li></ul>
  12. 12. Early <ul><li>I consider myself to be at the start of my research career, although I have been doing research for about 4 years. [Recent PhD graduate, South Africa] </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t think I was a good researcher for my PhD. You need to have a mentor to show you the ropes and the pitfalls. You can train for some things. The best is to work alongside someone successful and learn from them. [Dean of Research, UK] </li></ul><ul><li>I reckon I spent nearly all my first year reading journal articles. [Computing Sciences Final year PhD] </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mid <ul><li>Moving field / moving role / learning a different landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing teaching and research </li></ul><ul><li>support / info guiding work management in different circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>situating yourself / making your name / establishing credentials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>locally (e.g. in department) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wider research community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to be adaptable / avoiding isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Starting to supervise other researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Starting role in management / administration </li></ul><ul><li>Information production and consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from systematic to pragmatic information retrieval </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Librarians love to search. Everyone else likes to find’ </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Mid <ul><li>I hardly ever use databases, probably because I’m not usually starting from a position of knowing nothing. I tend to start with a few key papers and then follow up their references. [Senior lecturer in Biology] </li></ul><ul><li>I used to be focused in my approach to finding mainstream resources, now I’m less so, more explorative. I guess looking for inspiration for my more mainstream ideas. [Senior Research Fellow in creative technologies] p.158 </li></ul>
  15. 15. Late / Senior <ul><li>Developing into/ having a significant role in research leadership and administration </li></ul><ul><li>Leading research teams / research centres / research projects / mainstream management </li></ul><ul><li>Supervising and examining theses </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching research methods </li></ul><ul><li>Plenary conference speaker </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial board of journals etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Refereeing / peer reviewer / specialist assessor </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminating research practice or defining their field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different IL skillsets for range of activities </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Late <ul><li>I have 5 years to retirement but research is becoming more important in my career. I still have one, even though retirement is looming [South African researcher] </li></ul><ul><li>If I couldn’t find it myself on the Internet, then I’d ask my students first, my RAs, then I’d come to the library. The RAs live and die finding info. [Professor of Industrial Statistics, UK] </li></ul><ul><li>These days all my papers are invited plenaries and similar tertiary reviews. [Retired Professor of Chemistry, UK] </li></ul><ul><li>As a researcher, the difference is that I know how to do research and I am connected into all the networks. [Dean of Research, Humanities, UK] </li></ul>
  17. 17. 7 ages of research <ul><li>Masters students </li></ul><ul><li>Doctoral students </li></ul><ul><li>Contract researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Early career researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Established academic staff </li></ul><ul><li>Senior researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Experts </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul><ul><li>{ </li></ul>
  18. 18. Researchers learning lives <ul><li>Andragogy or pedagogy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognise the need to know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers should be responsible for own decisions and treated as capable of self-direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of previous and ongoing experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Readiness to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orientation to learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overly-didactic approaches are not key to effective IL development </li></ul>
  19. 19. IL and Researchers <ul><li>Recognise differences </li></ul><ul><li>Skills and information behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on management and information need rather than finding </li></ul><ul><li>Change agency / advocacy role </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul></ul>

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