Network development to narrow the LIS research-practice gap: Emerald EarlyCite paper now available

Amongst the latest articles published online ahead of print by the Journal of Documentation is one on narrowing the research-practice gap that I have recently co-authored with my Edinburgh Napier University colleagues Dr Bruce Ryan, Rachel Salzano, and Katherine Stephen.

Here we discuss the ways in which we applied our learning on network development between researchers and practitioners from the AHRC-funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project completed in 2011/2 to the development of a new network: Research, Impact, Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL), funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh between 2019 and 2021.

Our analysis evaluates the impact of our approach, including the actions taken to (unexpectedly) deliver part of the programme of network events remotely due to the COVID19 pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

This evaluation includes a series recommendations. These are applicable to any professional group that strives to strengthen links between research and practice, and researchers and practitioners. Each recommendation can be categorised under one of three headings:

  1. Network events: allocate time for social interaction, and ad hoc member presentations; offer sessions with broad appeal
  2. Network members: limit membership size; insist that membership requires participation at most events; invest in key members
  3. Network infrastructure: use social media; source resources for activities beyond the funded period

The detail of the empirical study presented in the paper is prefaced with an extensive literature review on the related topics of (1) the research–practice gap in Library and Information Science (LIS); (2) LIS practitioners as researchers; and (3) research collaborations between LIS practitioners and researchers. We explain that the extant body of knowledge in the domain is focused primarily on mechanisms that help ambitious academic librarians in North America with their research productivity. Less common are studies on the ways that LIS practitioners from different sectors/geographies are encouraged to engage with research. Even rarer is discussion of strategies to persuade LIS researchers to engage with practice.

For those who do not have subscription access to the Journal of Documentation, a full text pdf of the manuscript accepted for publication is available from the Edinburgh Napier repository.

RIVAL logo

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. Continue reading

Paper accepted for #ASIST2020 on the development of a network for LIS researchers and practitioners in Scotland

ASIST2020 logoMy Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I are delighted that our short paper ‘Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL): development, implementation and outcomes of a Scottish network for LIS researchers and practitioners‘ has been accepted for presentation at the (virtual) 83rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST2020). We are grateful to our Centre for Social Informatics Visiting Professor Brian Detlor for providing internal peer review feedback on an early draft of our paper, especially since the acceptance rate for short papers at the conference this year was just 48% this year. Continue reading

Collaboration and networking: learning from DREaM and RIVAL #UofGISTalks

This afternoon I am giving a SICSA-sponsored talk at the University of Glasgow. I have been invited to present by Dr Paul Gooding, Dr Nicole Smith, and Professor Maria Economou of the School of Information Studies as a contributor to the School’s seminar series. Continue reading

RIVAL event 2: review and resources

#lisrival bagsLast month Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted the second of four Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network meetings. This event took place on Thursday 7th November 2019 at St Cecilia’s Hall in central Edinburgh.

It was an excellent day that prompted great feedback on the programme content on the day: ‘exciting’, ‘fantastic’, ‘fascinating’. Continue reading

RIVAL returns! Follow #lisrival today follow to hear the latest from the RIVAL network on research, impact, value and LIS

Today Dr Bruce Ryan and I are hosting the second of the four Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network events. The members of the RIVAL network are meeting in central Edinburgh at St Cecilia’s Hall from 10:00 onwards to discuss the impact and value of library and information science research and – in particular – the ways to maximise this in practice. Continue reading

RIVAL Network event 1: review and resources

#lisrival RIVAL event 1 delegate badgesLast Thursday 11th July 2019 Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted the first of four Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network events. Thirty-five people in total came to Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus for a day of presentations, discussion, and networking. Continue reading

Follow #lisrival today to join the first RIVAL Network event remotely

Today Dr Bruce Ryan and I are hosting the first of the four Royal Society of Edinburgh funded Research Impact Value and Library and Information Science (RIVAL) network events at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus. Continue reading