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.