DREaM and RiLIES project papers well-received at QQML

QQML conference

QQML conference materials

We’re pleased to report that both our papers delivered yesterday at the 4th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries in Limerick, Republic of Ireland, went well.

The paper on the DREaM project co-authored by Alison Brettle, Hazel Hall and Charles Oppenheim and presented by Alison as the last paper in the final session of the evening (18:30-20:00) was particularly well-received. Its content prompted several questions and much discussion amongst the conference delegates and led Hazel to suggest that perhaps she and Charles should set up a DREaM franchise overseas! We believe that the delivery of the paper by a participant in the DREaM project – rather than the co-investigators – lent authenticity to the messages it conveyed, and we are particularly grateful that Alison was willing to give up time both to develop the slides and travel all the way to Ireland for the conference.

This paper has helped us to disseminate information on the operation of the DREaM project, as well as raised awareness of all the resources to help support LIS researchers that we have assembled over the past year or so. Clearly the more people that can make use of these resources (particularly those from the workshops), the more valuable they become.

There is already evidence of our DREaM paper’s impact: there have been a number of new membership requests for the DREaM online community (open to anyone interested in LIS research), a surge of hits to the DREaM project pages on the LIS Research Coalition web site, and viewings of the presentation slides themselves on SlideShare (270 within 24 hours of the delivery of the paper). We’re also hopeful that some of those who attended the presentation – or heard about it – will be encouraged to come to the DREaM conference at the British Library on Monday July 9th.

Alison tweets

Alison Brettle (@BrettleAli), seated next to Alvin Schrader, was one of the top tweeters at QQML on Tuesday

Earlier in the day Hazel Hall delivered the paper she co-authored with Peter Cruickshank and Ella Taylor-Smith on the RiLIES project. It fitted nicely with two other papers in the same session: one by Dian Walster that considered how much “theory” there is in librarianship research, and another on impact measurement presented by Alvin Schrader. Unfortunately time was very tight in this session and there was no time for questions or discussion in the conference room. However, a number of delegates spoke privately with Hazel afterwards and showed interest in both phases of the RiLIES project. Hazel’s presentation on SlideShare has also attracted much attention since it was delivered in Limerick, with 244 viewings to date.

The conference itself continues until the end of the week and can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #qqml.

We have a DREaM – the Developing Research Excellence & Methods network: presentation at QQML2012

Our second paper at QQML 2012 this week is entitled “We have a DREaM: the Developing Research Excellence & Methods network”. The paper is co-authored by DREaM cadre member Dr Alison Brettle, and the DREaM project co-investigators Professor Hazel Hall and Professor Charles Oppenheim. The abstract and link to slides for the paper are given below.

We will also use this opportunity to promote the forthcoming DREaM conference on Monday 9th July at the British Library in London, and highlight the availability of bursary places for PhD, new professional and international delegates. (The deadline for the international travel bursary is Wednesday 30th May. The bursaries for PhD students are awarded on a “first come first served” basis when eligible individuals book their conference place through the online registration process.)

Abstract: We have a DREaM – the Developing Research Excellence & Methods network

This paper reports on UK efforts to support the building of the library and information science (LIS) evidence base through the work of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project. The broad aim of this project is to develop a formal UK-wide network of LIS researchers. The grant is held by Edinburgh Napier University and the work is supported by the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition.

The project began in January 2011 and runs until August 2012. It focuses on bringing together those with an interest in developing LIS research at five UK events: two conferences (one at the start, and one at the end of the project) and a set of three linked workshops. These explore the scope of LIS and related research, the range of methods appropriate to research in the domain, and their strengths and weaknesses. Contributors include both methods experts from LIS, as well as experts from other subject domains, who explore and evaluate with participants a wide range of techniques that go beyond the standard qualitative and quantitative methods commonly deployed in LIS research. The participants, i.e., the members of the DREaM network itself, come from the full spectrum of LIS sectors, and hold roles at all career stages from student to senior management.

Brettle is a participant in the DREaM network, and Hall and Oppenheim are the project co-investigators. Drawing on their respective experiences in these roles, and based on an analysis of data collected from network members, the presenters will evaluate the project to date. This evaluation will cover its impact on participants and their relationship with research. It will also consider the value of the unique project approach that includes, for example, heavy reliance on event amplification to widen participation in the project beyond the delegates in situ, interactive sessions with network members, and the use of methods experts to share knowledge from domains external to LIS.

This paper is of direct relevance to the conference theme of methodologies for building the evidence base in library and information services. It also raises important issues related to advocacy, networking and influencing. Conference delegates who are interested in developing research capacity or expanding the LIS evidence base will be keen to learn of the UK experience.

Presentation slides

The slides for this presentation are available on SlideShare.

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.

Ben Goldacre and the DREaM project: read all about it in CILIP Update

CILIPUpdate May 2012 cover

DREaM keynote speaker Ben Goldacre features on the cover of CILIPUpdate (photograph of Goldacre copyright Scott Hurst)

Check out the May 2012 issue of CILIP Update for news of the DREaM project and the forthcoming conference at the British Library on Monday 9th July 2012.

As well as featuring Ben Goldacre on the front cover of the magazine, there is a news item on Goldacre’s involvement in the presentation of the Library and Information Science Practitioner Researcher Excellence Award (“Ben Goldacre to present award”, p. 7).

The issue also includes a full-length feature article by Hazel Hall and Charles Oppenheim. They discuss their involvement in the DREaM project, and its efforts to mobilise the UK library and information science research community (“The possible DREaM: developing LIS research excellence”, pp. 32-33).

There are still conference places available, with travel bursaries to support the attendance of new professional, PhD student, and international delegates. To book your place please go to the DREaM conference registration page.

DREaM event 4 speaker insight: Hazel Hall

Professor Hazel Hall

Our final preview interview ahead of DREaM event 4 is with Professor Hazel Hall from the LIS Research Coalition. She will be leading a session on research impact at the workshop entitled: Impact snakes and ladders.

In this interview, Hall discusses the importance of impact and describes how her session will help participants to consider the impact of their research in the planning stages.


What is the theme of your session?

The theme of the session is research impact. We’ll be considering how researchers can ensure that their research projects are designed with reference to their potential impact on practice, and what makes the practitioner audience receptive to using the output of library and information science research in their practice of information services delivery.

Have you used your knowledge of strategies to increase research impact this in your own research work?

Yes, when we plan research projects in my research centre at Edinburgh Napier University we take care to consider means of ensuring that the work we complete does not simply end up sitting unnoticed in a formal project report or journal article. A recent example is the second part of our Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) project. Here, for example, we have been involving practitioners in the project from the outset (currently we have a practitioner poll open, which we are keen for LIS practitioners to complete), and the primary role of one member of the project team is to develop the strategy for embedding the research output in the LIS practitioner community.

How do you think the topic of impact is relevant to LIS researchers?

The theme of impact is relevant to all research, particularly at a time when value for money in public spending is paramount, and the forthcoming UK assessment of academic research (REF2014) requires the submission of impact evidence for research by universities. In short, it’s a question on return on investment.

Where can people will find more information?

Our report from the first part of the RiLIES project Enhancing the impact of LIS Research Projects identifies factors that increase/hinder the impact of research findings on those who deliver library and information services. The report also includes an extensive reference list of material related to the theme of research impact.

Professor Hazel Hall will be presenting a session titled: Impact snakes and ladders: workshop exercise on links between research and its impact on practice at the fourth DREaM workshop at the Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 25th April. She will also be concluding the workshop task. For full details about the workshop, please see the workshop programme.

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.

Online Information 2011 and RiLIES update

We are very much looking forward to being at the Online Information 2011 conference next week in London. Amongst those associated with the LIS Research Coalition who will be at Olympia are Hazel Hall, Stephanie Kenna, Charles Oppenheim and Kirsty Pitkin. Hazel and Charles are chairing sessions in the main conference. Meanwhile Stephanie will be working as an official conference tweeter using the @LISResearch account. Kirsty Pitkin, who is known to all who have attended an LIS Research Coalition organised-event as our regular Event Amplifier, is delivering a paper on the theme of event amplification.

If you have been following the RiLIES project, or have even participated in it, you will be interested to know that RiLIES will be the theme of  Hazel’s presentation on Thursday morning. Hazel will take the opportunity to give the first official account of the project’s findings. We can confirm that the final RiLIES report will be out before Christmas, but in the meantime, here is a preview of her presentation.