EBLIP6 report: day 3, Thursday 30th June 2011

Our final EBLIP6 review is by Paolo Gardois, a PhD student at Sheffield University (@paologardois). Paolo reports on Thursday 30th June…

EBLIP6 tweeters and bloggers

Three of the LIS Research Coalition sponsored delegates eagerly await Thursday's keynote: Dr Katie Fraser, Katrina Dalziel & Paolo Gardois

Professor Hazel Hall opened the final day of EBLIP6 in Salford with a thought-provoking keynote speech on impact. Both patrons and managers demand services that really make a difference, and impact may take different forms: from changing users’ information behaviours to assessing academic impact through bibliometric measures, or evaluating services based on specific outcome measures, especially in the academic sector. Also, impact is very difficult to measure and evaluate. The impact of research on practice, for example, is often dependent on the cumulative and indirect effect of practitioners’ exposure to research output. Impact counts, anyway! In the current economic climate, research must demonstrate that it actually has an impact on practice, and the research–practice gap should be bridged, or at least reduced. Hazel then shared with the audience evidence emerging from the LIS Research Coalition’s RiLIES project which is due to report later this year. Several factors play a key role in increasing research uptake by practitioners: quality, scale and applicability of research itself; means of face-to-face dissemination; availability of accessible textual sources to be used as a reference in daily practice; high profile dissemination partners; and – last but not least – individuals who act as research connectors, as well as social media. Hazel finished her presentation by referring to the question “What difference does it make?” appropriately citing the Smiths, whose Salford Lads’ Club photograph is now one of the most iconic in British music history.

Later in the morning, parallel section 6 focused on a range of topics: (1) web-based services to enhance users’ experience of library services; (2) analysis of electronic resources usage by patrons as a key indicator of value generated by academic library services; (3) the development of evidence-based services in academic and health libraries, and their impact on quality improvement. As budgets shrink and patrons’ expectations rise, all three sessions offered really useful tools to improve service provision and demonstrate value for money.

The session before lunch showed an innovative and interactive format: the LIS Research Coalition organised a panel session involving LIS practitioners and journal editors.

Meet the editors

Panel members at the Meet the Editors session at EBLIP6: Professor Dick Hartley, Val Skelton, Dr Miggie Pickton, Denise Koufogiannakis, Dr Christine Urquhart

The session aimed to improve communication between the two parties and help information professionals plan the publication of their work with a better understanding of the goals and practical steps involved in editorial processes. For example, the editors advised the careful project-management of any potential publication, paying close attention to the information needs of the target journal’s audience, and not to underestimate the value of what professionals have to say to their colleagues and peers. Aiming for a high standard of work is important, but the editors encouraged members of the audience not to be obsessed with perfection: peer reviewers can help improve the quality of work submitted with their feedback. Importantly, the peer review process should be viewed as a dialogue during which both parties have a potential to learn. Also worth emphasising was the difference between research and practice-based articles: there are specific LIS journals for both categories. Even negative results, which are rarely published, are of great interest to audiences.

Poster explanation at EBLIP6

Dr Brian Detlor explains the content of his poster to Val Skelton

After a refreshing lunch and a final look at the posters (of amazing variety and really high quality), delegates were ready for the last two sessions of the conference. Parallel session 7 engaged the audience on a wide array of issues related to innovation and development of services, including the role of libraries in the management of scientific datasets, performance measurement techniques such as activities-based costing, methodological reflections on best practices and the uptake of an evidence-based approach in library services, and the available evidence base for evaluating the effectiveness of web 2.0 services. A specific session gauged the progress of evidence based practice in the health sector. Here topics included the value of services offered by NHS libraries, the efficient use of bibliographic databases and the impact of clinical librarianship on patient care and organizational objectives.

Then the time came for the closing address by Andrew Booth, who underlined the multidimensional and complex nature of “evidence-based library and information practice”. Virtually all the vocabulary used in the label can be discussed and modified, and the EBLIP6 conference had proved a valuable forum for the concepts to be discussed. Andrew also pondered the future of EBLIP. One key development resides in focusing less on research and randomised controlled trials and more on more on what really needs to be done to improve users’ experience in a really messy world. Andrew referred to the concept of “knowledge interaction”, which accounts for the need for genuine partnership between actors. Picking up on previous speakers’ references to music (keynotes Dr Ross Todd and Professor Hazel Hall had cited Bjork and the Smiths respectively) Andrew recited his own version of the lyrics of the Go-Go’s “My lips are sealed” to close the formal programme. Then awards were conferred and votes of thanks given. Mary Dunne was judged to have presented the best poster, and Kate Davies and Zaana Howard the best paper. Finally it was “Goodbye Salford” after a very interesting and stimulating three days.

Valuing knowledge and expertise: reporting from EBLIP6

Salford University logo This week the sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference takes place in Salford, Greater Manchester. The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to be a sponsor of the event. Coalition activities at the conference include:

It was also possible for the last of the RiLIES project focus groups with librarians working in medicine and healthcare to be scheduled to take place at the conference.

The four winners of the sponsored places are reporting on each of the four days. Their reviews will be posted to this blog over the course of the week.

Sponsored delegates at EBLIP6

Winners of sponsored places Alison Millis, Katrina Dalziel, Katie Fraser & Paolo Gardois

CILIP Update and Gazette draws on the expertise of Coalition project staff and previews EBLIP6

Last month team members working on the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) responded to a request for information from freelance journalist Debby Raven. Debby was preparing an article on evidence-based librarianship in CILIP Update with Gazette. This article has now been published, and provides an interesting review of some of the current thinking on evidence based librarianship from key advocates of the approach in the UK. If you’re a member of CILIP you can click through to the June 2011 issue of CILIP Update with Gazette to read Debby’s article online.

The article also previews the sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) conference which takes place at the University of Salford, 27-30 June 2011. The LIS Research Coalition is one of the sponsors of EBLIP6.

eblip6 image The Coalition has organised a panel session on publishing entitled “Meet the editors” as part of the conference programme on Thursday 30 June, and funded four places for UK delegates at the event. Professor Hazel Hall is delivering a keynote presentation at the conference, and chairing one of the sessions. On the Tuesday the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) project team will be in Salford to run the third of the RiLIES project focus groups with librarians working in medicine and healthcare.

If you are unable to attend sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) conference in person, you can follow it remotely by tracking the conference Twitter hashtag #eblip6. There is also the option of remote registration with access to streaming and recorded video (for a fee), the details of which are given on the conference FAQ page.

Meet the Editors at EBLIP6 – session preview

The Sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference takes place from June 27th until June 30th at the University of Salford. In a blog posting of March 30th 2011 we reported that the LIS Research Coalition is sponsoring part of the programme with a panel session entitled “Meet the editors” on Thursday 30th June. We are now pleased to introduce the panel members at the session and preview the discussion.

Denise KoufogiannakisDenise Koufogiannakis, Editor-in-Chief, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

“I am the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, which is a relatively new open access journal. We publish quarterly, and have an extensive network of LIS volunteers from around the world who contribute to the journal’s success.

“I am looking forward to Chairing the Meet the Editors session at EBLIP6, and will attempt to ensure that no one editor takes over the conversation! All journals have different approaches, and so I am also looking forward to hearing about how the other LIS journals operate. I think we all have the same overarching goal of publishing articles that are useful to LIS professionals in order to improve practice and advance knowledge. I am looking forward to answering any questions about EBLIP, how we work through the process from submission to publication, how we operate without a budget, and the roles that each of our team members’ play. I would also like to help demystify the process of publishing, which may come across as scary for new authors.”

Miggie PicktonMiggie Pickton, Joint Editor, Library and Information Research

Library and Information Research covers a broad field and attracts submissions from all sectors and parts of the globe.  We are particularly keen to publish research that is accessible to, and usable by, the LIS community and to encourage new authors to write for publication.

“As a practitioner myself, I know that the day job is often so busy that the thought of “doing research” is just one extra chore.  As an editor, I know equally that where librarians have conducted research projects, they have derived enormous benefits at both personal and professional level.  Many of us conduct research on an everyday basis without seemingly recognising the fact: we do original and innovative things in our working lives but we don’t tell anybody about it.  I’d like to set the record straight!

Library and Information Research welcomes submissions from both practitioners and academics.  If you don’t have a paper in the pipeline just now, you may like to get involved as part of our team of peer reviewers. Alternatively, over the next few months we are hoping to appoint a new editorial team. Watch out for notices about this and please do consider applying.”

Dr Christine UrquhartChristine Urquhart, Editorial Board member, Journal of Documentation

“The editorial criteria for the Journal of Documentation are: “The Journal of Documentation has the unique perspective of focusing on theories, concepts, models, frameworks, and philosophies in the information sciences. The journal also publishes research reports, where these have wide significance, and articles on the methodology of research, information history, the information disciplines – including educational issues, curricula and links with other disciplines – and relations between academic study and professional practical. Critical and scholarly reviews are welcome, as are reviews of the evidence base for professional practice.”

“I am interested in how useful theories, concepts, models, frameworks and philosophies are to practitioner thinking about evidence-based practice. Which philosophical perspective – or view on the truth (if any) – is helpful and illuminating? In what respects is communication with people from different disciplinary backgrounds difficult?

“If delegates have a chance to scan some titles and abstracts of recent issues of the Journal of Documentation before the session, it would be interesting to know how the journal’s content provokes thought, provides different viewpoints, or may even seem totally out of touch with professional practice. These ideas would be helpful. We do, after all, require some evidence to justify our opinions!”

Dick HartleyDick Hartley, Editor, Education for Information

“We live in an increasingly demanding world of work, and a world where there is steady progress towards open access academic publishing. As an editor I would be interested to hear what potential authors think editors and publishers do well, what we do not do well, and what the community would like us to do.

“Presumably because of the pressures I referred to, and not least the demands of research assessment, I am finding it increasingly difficult to get referees who can turn around submissions rapidly. So I would be very interested in hearing from some volunteer referees!”

Val Skelton  Val Skelton, Editor, Europe e-news, Information Today; Joint Editor Business Information Review

Business Information Review (BIR) is a quarterly journal focused on information provision and management within organisations.

“Whilst many business information professionals and librarians are still involved with published information – its supply to the desktop, skills for users, research and analysis services – the range of professional activities has expanded. BIR seeks to provide insights across the full range of organizational information activities whilst retaining a keen interest in business information resources.

BIR content is written by information professionals, content, technology and service suppliers, academics and researchers, and leading thinkers from within and outside the information world. Its international readership and authorship covers the corporate sector, consultancies and law firms, publishers and information providers, government and other public institutions, academia, and the third sector.

“I look forward to a lively conversation about why people should consider writing for “formal” publication when there are so many alternative outlets, and (hopefully) to encouraging more people to write so that they can share experience and opinions. I will share some tips on how to become an editor’s favourite contributor!”

LIS Research Coalition sponsors “Meet the editors” session at EBLIP6 in June

Would you like to:

  • See reports of your project work published in the LIS press?
  • Learn how to target your submissions at appropriate publications?
  • Understand more about the relative status of the range of LIS publications, from the practitioner magazines to the high impact journals?
  • Find out from the experts what makes the difference between material that is accepted and that which is rejected?
  • Volunteer your services to an editor as a peer reviewer?
  • Discover what it takes to be invited to join an editorial board, and the responsibilities of the role?
  • Offer to write book reviews for the LIS press?
  • Work out if you could make any money from working for an LIS publication?
  • See some real, live editors and editorial board members discuss how the output from LIS research projects reaches the pages of their journals?
  • Pose further questions about publishing in LIS?

If so, read on…

The Sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference takes place from June 27th until June 30th at the University of Salford. The LIS Research Coalition is sponsoring part of the programme with a panel session entitled “Meet the editors” on Thursday 30th June. We are pleased to announce that the following editors and editorial board members will be representing a range of LIS publications on the day:

If you would like to join us at the panel session, please sign up for EBLIP6 in Salford in June, either as a day delegate for Thursday 30th, or as delegate for the full conference from 28th until 30th June. Early bird registrations are available until 15th April. We’re all looking forward to lively discussion on the day.

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