DREaM conference special issue of Coalition newsletter now available

In 2012 we are issuing regular newsletters to keep the LIS research community informed of the work of the LIS Research Coalition. The newsletters will be mailed to relevant listservs, and a copy of each one archived on the newsletters page.

The fourth newsletter, which is a special issue devoted to news of the forthcoming DREaM conference at the British Library Conference Centre on Monday 9th July, is issued this week. Our top stories are:

  1. Last chance to book! Registrations for the DREaM conference close on Monday 2nd July
  2. DREaM conference keynote speaker Ben Goldacre features on the Radio 4 Today programme
  3. Sponsored places at the DREaM conference: the winners
  4. Speaker previews of DREaM conference sessions now available
  5. Coming up soon on the Library and Information Science Research Coalition web site

DREaM keynote speaker Ben Goldacre on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

Dr Ben Goldacre (copyright Rhys Stacker 2009)

This morning Ben Goldacre – author, broadcaster, medical doctor, academic and keynote speaker at our forthcoming DREaM project conference at the British Library on 9th July – gave an interview on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme. In it he discussed a report from the Behaviour Insight Unit of the Cabinet Office which suggests that government policy initiatives should be subject to the same kind of randomised control trials used to test new medicines and new ways of doing business.

The interview is available online on the Today programme’s web site. Ben writes about the report on the Bad Science web site in his posting entitled Here’s our Cabinet Office paper on randomised trials of government policies. Read it.

If you would like to hear Ben speak in person, there are still some places available for the DREaM project conference on Monday 9th July at the British Library, but hurry – registrations close next Monday.

Re-engaging with research: some thoughts from the Library and Information Research Group

Ronan O'Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne

Ronan O’Beirne, Chair of CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group – LIRG and member of the Board of Directors of the LIS Research Coalition – has contributed a guest blog post on the research and librarianship, and the role of LIRG. If you would like to meet Ronan, he will be at the British Library on Monday 9th July to attend the DREaM conference, and to chair the LIRG AGM, which follows the formal sessions of the DREaM conference. Ronan writes:

The Library and Information Research Group – LIRG, a special interest group of CILIP – believes that research, in all its many manifestations, should be an essential dimension of librarianship.

Indeed LIRG believes that research can be an important and powerful weapon in the librarian’s arsenal and, as such, we champion the use of research across all sectors of the profession. More specifically, and through its various activities, LIRG aims to raise the profile and to influence the direction of research within the world of libraries. Founded 35 years ago in 1977, the group continues to be engaged with three main aims:

  1. promoting the dissemination of sound research methodology and results;
  2. assisting in the development of emerging researchers;
  3. enabling networking between researchers.

Of course back in 1977 there was no such thing a tweeting or blogging, but a company called Apple was incorporated in the US and – in response the Commodore PET, with 8kb of RAM – came to be the first “all-in-one” computer. From then on everything changed utterly and the terrible beauty of the Internet was born. The library profession and the substance of what the library does, or is, fundamentally changed.

A necessary question that follows this is how has research changed? Academic and scientific research can be seen, with the notion of mode 2 knowledge production, to have become more context-driven and solution-focused. Knowledge itself has become the product of research and its “transfer”, within an increasingly market-driven higher education, forms the unit of production upon which is based a new “academic capitalism”. Models such as the triple helix see government, academia and private business exploiting research. Where might LIS research fit in with models such as these?

More recently, with the abundance of networked information systems, the ability to disseminate research globally with the press of a button has challenged traditional scarcity models of publishing and given rise to new forms of scholarly communication. Certainly librarians continue to play an important part in innovations such as open access journals and institutional repositories.

Yet, while the impact of the Internet and technology on research approaches has been profound, the nature of LIS research has perhaps not kept pace. Indeed, in his keynote address at the launch of the DREaM project Blaise Cronin lamented the quality of LIS research and noted that very much of what might pass as research is not research that can be usefully applied. He uses the term “theoretical bricolage” to illustrate how the results of the many “cookie cutter” research projects fail to contribute to theory, and seem to take a piece of theory from here and from there in an almost haphazard way.

From a social justice perspective more qualitative research is needed, particularly in relation to the public library, and also with regard to the need for a greater emphasis on digital literacy and citizenship. Public libraries – and for that matter school libraries – so often accused of not engaging with research, may be excused because frequently “the research game” is sold to them from a singularly higher education academic viewpoint. Moreover, as the evidence-based policy-making of today’s neo-liberalism manifests itself in a managerialism intent on counting the cost of everything within the public sector generally, public librarians specifically will tell you that within local authority library departments datasets on, for example, numbers of book loans become the evidence used to justify library closures. Such an approach is a poor advertisement for the research that actually needs to be undertaken in public, school and college libraries. There has to be a hope and expectation that through a range of different research approaches we might get to a deeper, more honest understanding of our profession.

We know from the response to our regularly held events that there are many enthusiastic researchers within our ranks keen to make a positive contribution to the knowledge. If issues such as those mentioned above interest you, then take a look at the LIRG web site or dip into our open access journal Library and Information Research (LIR) to get a better insight into the work of this group. I’m sure you will be surprised.

The 2012 AGM of the The Library and Information Research Group will be held on 9th July at the British Library at the end of the DREaM conference. All-comers are welcome.

LIRG offers opportunity to apply for DREaM conference bursaries to all

The Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) invites applications for two bursaries to attend the DREaM conference. All are eligible to apply, whether or not they hold membership of LIRG. The closing date for applications is Friday 22 June.

LIRG is pleased to provide two bursaries to cover registration at the DREaM conference on 9th July 2012 at the British Library. The awards will cover the conference registration fee (£95).

Applicants should provide a brief statement (up to 50 words) outlining how attendance at DREaM conference will impact on their professional practice. The two best statements (as judged by two LIRG committee members) will receive the bursary.

Closing date for applications: Friday 22 June.

Conditions: applicants will be responsible for meeting their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs (if required).

To apply for the bursary, please e-mail the following details to the LIRG Awards and Prizes Co-ordinator, Alison Brettle at lirg.awards@gmail.com:

  1. name
  2. e-mail address
  3. employer details

Please include a statement on how attendance at the DREaM conference will impact on your professional practice (50 words maximum).

New summer intern joins the team: meet Maja Ilievska

Maja Ilievska has joined Hazel Hall’s team at Edinburgh Napier University to work on LIS Research Coalition projects DREaM and RiLIES. In particular she will be helping on final preparations for the DREaM conference. She will also work with the team to identify possible ways for the LIS research community to continue to support research in the domain beyond the formal end of the LIS Research Coalition projects. You will be hearing more from her soon. Meanwhile, we hand over to Maja to introduce herself:

“Hello. I am starting my internship in the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, so this seems a good time to introduce myself. I applied for the position of an intern through the IAESTE internship programme and I am now working with Professor Hazel Hall on her LIS research projects.

Maja Ilievska

“I am a student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. Currently I am in the last year of my undergraduate studies and recently I have been working on a project about social network analysis, online communities and spreading the information within them as part of a course in Intelligent Information Systems. I hope that I will be able to use this to help LIS practitioners reach the information they require.

“I am looking forward to my involvement in the DREaM and RiLIES, projects and meeting all the people working on these projects.

“I am also looking forward to amazing weekends organized by IAESTE Scotland along with the rest of the interns because it is great opportunity to meet new people from different parts of the world and learn about Scotland’s history and culture. As I will be in the UK this summer I really hope to catch a glimpse of the Olympics or Wimbledon.”

Maja has set up a new Twitter account @MajaNapier, which she will use while she is on placement over the summer.

June 2012 issue of Coalition newsletter now available

In 2012 we are issuing regular newsletters to keep the LIS research community informed of the work of the LIS Research Coalition. The newsletters will be mailed to relevant listservs, and a copy of each one archived on the newsletters page.

The third newsletter dated June 2012 is issued this week. Our top stories are:

  1. Places still available for the DREaM conference, British Library, 9th July 2012
  2. Apply for CILIP-sponsored places at the DREaM conference by Thursday 14th June
  3. DREaM project wins front page coverage in CILIP Update
  4. Winners of the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award announced
  5. Materials from DREaM event 4 now available
  6. How to deploy social media for research impact, and lessons from impactful research projects – read the latest updates from the RiLIES1 project team
  7. RiLIES2 project highlights pressing need for a centrally-funded community-maintained directory of LIS research resources
  8. Places still available to attend free LIS research resource briefing at CILIP HQ on Tuesday 10th July
  9. LIS Research Coalition project presentations well received at QQML2012 in Limerick
  10. Miggie Pickton and Biddy Fisher contribute guest posts to the LIS Research Coalition blog

Deadline extended for applications for sponsored places at the DREaM conference

CILIP logoWe recently announced that two CILIP groups are offering sponsored places at the DREaM conference for their members. The deadline for applications has been extended to 5pm on Thursday 14th June for both schemes:

CILIP North West branch and LIRG look forward to receiving all applications by Thursday 5pm at the latest.

North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group wins Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award

Ben Goldacre announcement

It was announced at the DREaM workshop in January 2012 that Ben Goldacre would present the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award at the DREaM conference

Congratulations to the members of the North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group, winners of the Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award. They will be collecting their prize at the DREaM conference at the British Library on 9th July. Keynote speaker at the conference, Dr Ben Goldacre will present the award.

The fifteen winning library and information science practitioner researchers, who work together as a team across eleven different organisations in the North West, are:

  • Lucy Anderson, Bury Primary Care Trust
  • Rosalind McNally, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
  • Michelle Maden, Edgehill University (Aintree Hospital NHS Trust)
  • Helen Medley, Liverpool Primary Care Trust
  • Pippa Orr, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Morag Platt, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Clare Payne, Mersey Care NHS Trust
  • Tracy Pratchett, University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay Foundation Trust
  • Michael Reid, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gary Sutton, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jenny Tancock, University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay Foundation Trust
  • Debra Thornton, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Denise Thomas, St Helens and Knowsley Health Informatics
  • Anne Webb, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Riz Zafar, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Alison Brettle of Salford University mentored the team.

If you would like to attend the DREaM conference and meet members of the North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group, there are still places available, including some that are funded. Expert speakers and panelists participating at the DREaM conference include Jo Alcock, Dr Carla Basili, Dr Louise Cooke, Professor Hazel Hall, Annie Mauger, Professor Charles Oppenheim and Professor Carol Tenopir. Dr Ben Goldacre will be delivering the closing keynote paper.

For further details of the work of the North West Clinical Librarian Systematic Review and Evaluation Group and why the team won the award, please see the media release.

Sponsored places at the DREaM conference: an update

Over the past few weeks we have announced a number of schemes to support those who would like to attend the DREaM conference at the British Library on Monday 9th July. Applications for the international travel bursary closed yesterday on May 30th, and we’d like to thank all who made submissions. These are now being assessed and the name of the award winner will be announced soon. Three schemes remain open to which all eligible individuals are invited to apply.

Delegates at last year's DREaM project launch conference

Delegates at last year’s DREaM project launch conference

If you are considering means of funding your place at the conference other than asking your employer to meet the £95 registration fee or paying yourself, don’t forget that a number of professional groups also offer awards to support professional development opportunities throughout the year as identified by individual members. For example, the UKeIG Student Conference Grant scheme offers three grants a year to enable students attend UK-based conferences relevant to their professional studies, and the CILIP North West branch makes four grants a year to individuals to support their CPD. It is worthwhile checking with the web pages of the professional groups to which you belong to see which offer similar schemes to give their members opportunities to develop their careers. For general current awareness about professional awards you can also subscribe to the JISCMail list LIS-AWARDS.

LIRG offers two sponsored DREaM conference places

Newton by Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi’s Newton at the British Library

CILIP’s Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) has announced that it is offering two bursaries to cover registration at the DREaM Conference on 9th July 2012 at the British Library. The awards will cover the conference registration fee (£95). The two award winners will also be able to attend the LIRG AGM, which takes place immediately after the formal close of the conference.

All LIRG members are eligible to apply for the award. Applicants are asked write a brief statement (up to 50 words) that outlines how attendance at DREaM Conference will impact on their professional practice. Those who submit the two best statements (as judged by two LIRG committee members) will each receive a conference place. (Applicants will be responsible for meeting any travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with participation at the conference.)

The closing date for applications is Monday 11 June 2012 5pm Thursday 14th June (new extended deadline), and the names of the award winners will be announced in mid-late June.

To apply for the bursary, please e-mail the following details to the LIRG Awards and Prizes Co-ordinator, Alison Brettle at LIRG.Awards@gmail.com: your name, contact e-mail address, employer details and your application statement.

Further details of the award are provided on the LIRG web pages.

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