Since the end of May my colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I have been investigating the long-term impact of the AHRC-funded DREaM project (for which I was Principal Investigator in 2011 and 2012), and the forms that such impact has taken.
As part of this work we have been considering what ‘impact’ means in the context of library and information science (LIS), and how this relates to conceptions of the term in other domains where there is a perceived research-practice gap, such as policing, social work and nursing. This first part of the study has been based on an analysis of the extant literature. We intend to write this up as a review paper.
Our empirical work has involved contacting the members of the DREaM workshop cadre and asking them to tell us about any research in which they have been involved since 2012. In particular they have been invited to complete a survey. This has been designed for them to report their use of the methods presented at the DREaM workshops; any new DREaM-inspired LIS research and publications, and their impacts; and the influence of DREaM on their career paths.
So far we have had a very good response rate to the survey and are extremely grateful to those who have already taken the time to answer our questions. However, because we would like to update the social network analysis that Louise Cooke and I published in our paper for the Journal of Documentation in 2013 what we are really after is a 100% return.
If you happen to be reading this post as one of the minority of cadre members who has not yet completed survey link that we have emailed to you, please could you do so by 10:00 on Wednesday 15th July? We will be downloading the survey data later that morning to start the analysis proper, so we need your responses by then. Thank you!
As well as the survey, we have been collecting data in focus groups. Two meetings are in July, and the data collected from these will be analysed alongside the survey data. We are also organising a third meeting in London in early September at which we will gather informant feedback on our findings. Early indications is that we will have a lot of talk about, including a number of unanticipated outcomes of the DREaM project.
In the meantime we will busy analysing the data collected to date, drafting our project report, and planning the wider dissemination strategy for the project. We’ll be fitting this in amongst other on-going work over the summer, including reporting on the Workforce Mapping Project, writing new grant proposals, presenting our work at conferences, preparing for the new academic year ahead – and perhaps taking some holiday too!
Bruce has also been blogging about his involvement in DREaM Again. Visit his blog for posts on NoviSurvey for data collection, and the planned social network analysis of the DREaMers in 2015.