Apply for a Coalition-sponsored place at EBLIP6, Salford, 28-30 June 2011

The LIS Research Coalition is pleased to sponsor four places at the Sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference, which takes place in Salford from 27th to 30th June 2011. The places will be awarded to PhD students registered for their doctoral studies at a UK university and LIS practitioners based within the UK.

In exchange for the sponsored places, the award winners will play an active role as members of the LIS Research Coalition rapporteur team at EBLIP6, and contribute reviews of some of the conference sessions that they attend. Hazel Hall, who will be at the conference with her laptop, will add the reviews to the Coalition’s blog over the course of the event.

To apply for a place, please complete an application form (see below), ensuring that you select the one appropriate to your main status: PhD student or LIS practitioner. (If you are studying part-time while working, please use the LIS practitioner form and note your part-time student status on it.) We are interested in receiving applications from candidates who combine a keen interest in LIS research with an ability to grasp the key points of a discussion quickly. Members of our rapporteur team need to be able to synthesise points concisely in writing in order to communicate them effectively to a wider audience. Thus how you express yourself in your application for a sponsored place is as important as your reasons for wishing to attend the conference itself.

NB the awards cover the conference registration fee only. Therefore successful candidates will need to access funding from elsewhere to cover additional expenses such as travel, subsistence and accommodation. Suggested funding sources include the award winners’ home institutions/employers, and the support offered by professional bodies. For example, students will be encouraged to apply for a UKeIG Student Conference Grant. The registration page on the EBLIP6 web site lists a number of other sources of funding that are of relevance to students and practitioners alike.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd May 2011. Applications will be judged soon afterwards and winners notified by the end of May.

Any queries about the awards should be addressed to Hazel Hall.

Application forms

EBLIP6 Conference Award – PhD student application form
EBLIP6 Conference Award – practitioner application form

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.

LIS Research Coalition Review – survey now open

Today sees the launch of the online survey which forms part of the LIS Research Coalition’s review of its impact and value.

The survey has been designed to help assess the Coalition’s work and achievements to date, as well as gather comments on the Coalition’s plans for the next 12 months. We are pleased to invite you to participate in the review by completing the survey: it takes under 15 minutes to complete. The survey will remain open until 17.00 on Friday April 8th 2011.

LIS Research Coalition Review announced

It is now two years since our founding members agreed to establish the LIS Research Coalition (on 2nd March 2009 – see our History page), and we are now about to initiate a review of the Coalition’s value and impact. To encourage a wide contribution to this review, a link to an online questionnaire will be made available from these web pages in the week beginning March 28th. This will remain open until 17.00 on Friday April 8th 2011.

The questionnaire will take no more than 15 minutes to complete. It will ask you to comment on your familiarity the Coalition’s work, your assessment of its activities and achievements so far, its value to your work, and your comments on plans for the next 12 months. Do look out for the announcement of the questionnaire link, and please share this announcement with your colleagues and networks.

The review is being undertaken by external consultants Sandra Ward, Beaworthy Consulting and Ian Wooler, IDW Ltd.

Beaworthy logo

IDW Ltd logo

UKeIG guest post

Guest post by Chris Armstrong of UKeIG

UKeiG – the UK eInformation Group, is a special interest group of LIS Research Coalition member CILIP, and a respected and well-established forum for all information professionals, users and developers of electronic information resources. The Group promotes and advances the effective exploitation and management of electronic information, and offers a wide range of resources including training courses, a regular newsletter and publications.

UKeiG also offers a series of awards. The group is currently seeking 2011 nominations for its prestigious UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award. The award is given in recognition of an outstanding practical innovation or achievement in the field of information retrieval. This could take the form of an application or service, or an overall appreciation of past achievements from which significant advances have emanated. The award is open to individuals or groups from anywhere in the world. The deadline for nominations is Friday 26th August 2011. Full details of the award criteria and previous winners can be found on the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award page of the UKeiG web site.

UKeIG logo

RiLIES poll – summary of initial findings

As part of the RiLIES project we have just carried out a short initial survey on how LIS professionals find out about research project findings.
LIS RiLIES logo
We hoped to identify (1) the sources that are used by librarians to generate ideas for improvements in library services delivery and (2) any named LIS research projects that have been particularly influential in inspiring changes to practice.

If you took part, we’d like to start by saying thank you!

Here we share some of the results. Please bear in mind, however, that this is a self-selected and relatively small sample so the results cannot be considered to be statistically significant. Instead, we are using the findings to help direct further activities of the project.

Overall, 200 people took the time to complete the poll. Of these 175 have over 5 years experience, 173 are UK-based, and 155 describe themselves holding front-line or managerial roles. So we are pleased to have reached our core target demographic for the poll. However, although we had very good response from academic and health librarians, as the pie chart below shows, the number of public librarians who took part was disappointing. We’re now looking at other options for reaching this important librarian population.

Some findings

Even in this age of social media and e-books, face-to-face contacts (particularly informal networking) are still the key route to learning about new research results.

Even online, ‘traditional’ JISC discussion lists are considered as most useful (even more so amongst managerial and health-sector respondents). In fact they are reported as the leading alternative to face-to-face contact. As far as social media is concerned, practitioner blogs are popular, and in contrast, there is an emphatic lack of interest in virtual reading groups on platforms such as Second Life.

Twitter divided people. A significant number of academic librarian respondents, in particular, reported use of Twitter to both find out about, and report on, research projects. As would be expected, people who use Twitter are also more enthusiastic about it as a source of information. On the other hand, a significant number said that Twitter is blocked by their workplace. This is an issue within the healthcare and government sectors in particular.

Over half the respondents have used mailing lists in their own research work. Conference papers are the most popular route for reporting findings. Academic librarians dominate the more resource-intensive areas of creating peer-reviewed conference papers and writing research project reports. Our relatively high level of activity may, however, simply demonstrate that our poll attracted a more research-active demographic.

Offline, research reports and reading of (printed) news reports in journals are reported as being most useful.

The two graphs below summarise the popularity of sources of information as reported by the academic librarians:

… and healthcare librarians:

Please bear in mind, however, that the limitations of the poll data mean that we cannot do any more than note the variation in sources of information (and this is why we felt that a graph totalling up all the responses would be inappropriate at this stage).

One of the points of this poll was to draw on librarians’ collective inspiration to identify any gaps in our questions, and we were not disappointed! In particular, responses highlighted:

  • The role of professional bodies in networking professionals together.
  • The important role played by intermediaries (such as trainers) in turning research findings into useful information: consultants, trainers, conference speakers etc. and associated artefacts such as books/monographs or training course serve as intermediaries research results to practitioners, even if they are not strictly research-intensive in their own right.
  • The importance of a small number of individuals as information sources, in particular Andrew Booth, Alison Brettle, Phil Bradley, and the LIS Research Coalition’s Hazel Hall.
  • The use of RSS feeds for following multiple sources of information.

Next steps…

The results will contribute to the broad project aim of exploring the extent to which funded librarianship research projects influence library practice.

We have been able to identify some projects which we could potentially use in the case study phase of our work. Also, the results give a direction to potential focus group questions, and who we should involve in our future data collection exercises. For instance, the low number of public librarian contributions at this stage mean that we will have to find other ways to identify their needs and activities.

Finally – 64 people have said they would take part in future research – thank you! We may be in touch later on.

Hazel Hall and Peter Cruickshank

Promotion for Hazel Hall

The LIS Research Coalition’s Hazel Hall has been promoted to the role of Professor within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. Further details are available in this news item on the web site of the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation.