Presented at the 2016 Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Libraries conference (London, UK).
This presentation reports the findings of an analysis of personal network data gathered from the novice librarian researcher participants of the first year 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 librarians to support each other throughout the research process. Analysis of the first year of data (four waves) will be discussed in this presentation. 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 networks over a year’s time and show you visually how they evolved. The results have implications for how librarians develop themselves, and may influence the future of libraries generally.
A highlight of this presentation is to focus on our methodological decision to gather the four waves of data in survey format. We will describe the mechanism used to gather that data, the freely available, open source, web-based software used to gather personal network data, EgoWeb 2.0. We will describe the process of customizing the survey software to ask questions about the people in the librarians’ research networks. We will demonstrate the computations that the software provides, as well as the attractive visualizations of the personal networks.