Narrowing the research-practice gap through network building between researchers and practitioners: new paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation

Cover of Journal of DocumentationFrom a network model to a model network: strategies for network development to narrow the LIS research-practice gap has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation. I recently co-authored this article with my Edinburgh Napier University colleagues Dr Bruce Ryan, Rachel Salzano, and Katherine Stephen.

In this article we discuss the applicability of  strategies shown to work well in one model of network development to the development of another. It in an output of the Research Impact Value and LIS (RIVAL) project, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh between 2019 and 2021. We used the grant to bring together a collaborative network of Scotland-based Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers and practising library and information professionals interested in maximising the impact and value of library and information science research.

From the analysis of survey data collected from the RIVAL network members at the end of the funded programme, we demonstrate the transferability of an existing model of network development – DREaM (Hall, Cruickshank & Ryan, 2019) – to RIVAL. We also show that the DREaM model can be successfully adapted for online delivery of network events and activities by drawing on our experience of running the project during COVID19 lockdown periods in 2020 and 2021.

A large proportion of extant work on narrowing the LIS research-practice gap tends to focus the support of research productivity of academic librarians in North American universities for the purposes of career development. One of the main contributions of our new work here is that we consider wider aspects of research engagement beyond the North American context, and with reference to purposes that extend further than personal advancement. We also identify criteria for network evaluation, and highlight that funding bodies may use our findings as demonstration of the value of investment in network grants.

A PDF of the full text of the manuscript of this article is available for download from the Edinburgh Napier repository. It can be cited as:

Hall, H., Ryan, B., Salzano, R. & Stephen, K. (2022, in press). From a network model to a model network: strategies for network development to narrow the LIS research-practice gapJournal of Documentation. 

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