Realising the value of RiLIES: presentation at QQML2012

This week the 4th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries takes place in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. We have two papers at the conference. The first, entitled “Realising the value of RiLIES: the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study”, is by Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank and Ella Taylor-Smith. The abstract and link to slides for the paper are given below.

Abstract: Realising the value of RiLIES: the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study

In 2011 researchers at Edinburgh Napier University, supported by the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition, investigated the extent to which funded research projects in the domain of library and information science (LIS) influence practice in the UK. The Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) focused particularly on identifying factors that increase or hinder the impact of research findings on those who deliver library and information services.

This paper will present the main findings of the RiLIES project as derived from: (1) a review of the LIS literature on impact; (2) a practitioner poll; (3) case studies of five LIS research projects identified as “impactful”; (4) three sector-specific focus groups; and (5) a validation survey.

The findings highlight the evident disconnect between the LIS research and practitioner communities. They confirm that the level of impact that a research project enjoys depends on a number of factors, most importantly how it is planned and conceived, the extent to which practitioners are involved in its execution, and how its findings are reported. This work also demonstrates how organisational factors related to institutional and infrastructural support can engender receptive target audiences for research output.

The paper will offer new insight into the influence that research leadership and sponsorship, as well as choices related to the involvement of practitioners in research, play in the determination of research impact. In particular, these findings highlight a preference for face-to-face channels for the dissemination of research results that is greater than has been previously reported, and reveal the role of social media in raising awareness of research for the first time in work on this theme.

The presentation will be of particular interest to those keen to enhance the impact of their LIS research projects, and to practitioners who would like to become more engaged in LIS research.

Presentation slides

The slides for this presentation are available on SlideShare.

DREaM event 3 materials now all online

Thanks largely to the efforts of our event amplifier Kirsty Pitkin, and the hard work of the workshop 2 reviewers, we’re pleased to announce that all the resources from last week’s DREaM project workshop at the British Library are now available online.

From here you can link through to each of the session presentations:

Room signage

The second DREaM workshop was held at the British Library

We have also uploaded the video of delegate presentations in the unconference half hour. This includes contributions from:

  • Marshall Dozier
  • Jean Parris
  • Lauren Smith
  • Jenny Harbour
  • Sue Childs
  • Ella Taylor-Smith
  • Lesley Thomson

The workshop 3 reviews page provides links to all the delegate reviews of the event. Listed with these are Hazel Hall’s analysis of the workshop 2 evaluation forms, and Kirsty Pitkin’s analysis and review of Twitter activity on the day. (The CoverItLive archive of the event also gives a good flavour of the online conversations related to the event.)

If you would like to set up or join an online discussion based around any of the issues covered in this workshop, please feel free to do so with other DREaM network members in the DREaM online community. DREaM online community membership is open to anyone with an interest in library and information science research: you do not have to have attended a DREaM project event to join. You will also find the full set of photos taken at workshop 2 in the DREaM online community.

Discussions of the impact of librarianship research with librarians in Perth

Hazel Hall introduces the focus group

Hazel Hall introduces the focus group

Today team members of the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) Hazel Hall, Ella Taylor-Smith and Jenny Gebel travelled to Perth to run a focus group at the AK Bell Library.

The focus group was kindly organised by Elaine Fulton and Rhona Arthur of SLIC (the most recent associate member of the LIS Research Coalition) to take place before a meeting of the Scottish heads of public library services in the afternoon.

Jenny Gebel at the meeting

Jenny Gebel at the meeting

We enjoyed a lively discussion of the impact of UK funded librarianship projects on librarianship practice, with interesting points raised on ease of access (or not) to research output, roles of the librarian, the importance of context to the production and consumption of research, and the value of different dissemination routes. The data collected today will be analysed in full with that collected from the other two focus groups taking place in London on 20th June (with academic librarians) and Salford on 28th June (with medical/health librarians).

The visit to Perth also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the LIS Research Coalition amongst public librarians, and to encourage participation in the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project.

Focus group members discuss how research findings are disseminated

Focus group members discuss how research findings are disseminated

It is hoped that there will be good representation from the public library community at the DREaM project launch conference at the British Library in London on Tuesday 19th July.

We would like to thank everyone for their participation at the RiLIES project focus group in Perth, especially those who travelled from as far away as the Outer Hebrides and Shetland to contribute to the discussion.

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