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

Forced migrants, integration, and public libraries: new research published in ‘Information Research’

forced migrants, public libraries, integration, local authorities, Scotland, research, Salzano, Hall, Webster, Brazier

Abstract of ‘Is the public library included? An analysis of local government documentation on the integration of forced migrants in Scotland’ (Salzano, Hall, Webster & Brazier, 2022)

Is the public library included? An analysis of local government documentation on the integration of forced migrants in Scotland by Rachel Salzano, Hazel Hall, Gemma Webster, and David Brazier has been published. The paper features in the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science as the October 2022 special issue of Information Research.The 2022 CoLIS conference was held at Oslo Metropolitan University between May 29th and June 1st 2022. Continue reading

What is career information literacy and what can it do for you? Seminar presentation by Marina Milosheva

career information literacy talk Marina Milosheva CPUT librariesToday Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Marina Milosheva is delivering a presentation entitled ‘What is career information literacy and what can it do for you?’ at the second Research and information literacy skills in the workplace seminar hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Libraries. Continue reading

What are public libraries for? Rachel Salzano presents doctoral research at #asist2022

The 85th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week. Those of us who cannot be there in person have been following the conference proceedings on Twitter at #asist2022 over the past couple of days.

Amongst the conference speakers is Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Rachel Salzano. Today at 15:00 UK time (09:00 in Pittsburgh) Rachel is presenting a paper co-authored with her PhD supervisors entitled ‘What are public libraries for? Culture as a determinant of conceptualizations of public library services for forced migrants’. The slides are available on SlideShare, and the full text paper can be read online in the conference proceedings. Continue reading

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

Platform to Platform project presentation at the Creative Informatics showcase

creative informatics logoYesterday afternoon, Bruce Ryan and I headed over to Inspace to participate in the latest Creative Informatics showcase event organised by Vikki Jones and Caitlin McDonald. Members of eight project teams gave short presentations on their research, most of which have been funded in the last couple of years through small research grants. Continue reading

Spreading the word of Lorna Lloyd’s ‘Diary of the war’ podcast series at #ARA2022 and #BBCat100

Members of the Platform to platform (P2P) and Heritage organisations and podcasts: scoping study (HOPSS) project teams from the Centre for Social Informatics have enjoyed presenting their work at two conferences this month. First, at the start of September I attended part of the Archives and Records Association’s annual conference 2022 in Chester. Then, with my colleagues Dr Bruce Ryan and Marianne Wilson, I spent most of last week in Bradford at the BBC at 100 Symposium. Continue reading

All set for #ISIC2022

iSchools, Inc. - Contributions sought for 2022 Information Seeking in ContextThe 2022 Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) conference will be hosted next week from 26th to 29th September by our colleagues in the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt University.

Staff and PhD students from the Centre for Social Informatics have regularly contributed to the biennial ISIC conference series over the years, most recently in 2020, 2018, and 2016. This time around, third year PhD student Marina Milosheva will be flying the flag for Edinburgh Napier University. Continue reading

Case study on the creative use of digitised archives: presentation on Lorna Lloyd’s ‘Diary of the War’ podcast series at #BBCat100

Bradford City Hall

Bradford City Hall

The BBC at 100 symposium is taking place in Bradford, and online, this week.

This afternoon (Wednesday 14th September) I’m presenting on a panel about the creative use of digital archives. This will be with reference to the production of the podcast series of Lorna Lloyd’s Diary of the war.

Supported by AHRC funding through the Creative Informatics programme, the Platform to Platform project team at Edinburgh Napier University worked on the podcast series between February and July 2022. We combined a personal chronicle of the early months of World War II with contemporaneous news material, some of which was sourced from the BBC Archive. Continue reading

New roles for Social Informatics PhD graduates Buunk, Middleton, Mowbray, and Ryan

What can you do with a PhD from the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University? Find out here with news of four former PhD students who graduated between 2018 and 2020. Continue reading