Introducing RiLIES2

Mary Queen of Scots (Lesley Smith)

Mary Queen of Scots (Lesley Smith) after her presentation at the Edge conference dinner

Regular visitors to these web pages will be familiar with the work of the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES) that we completed last year.

Using the findings from RiLIES1, the team has just embarked on a second follow-on project. RiLIES2 will produce a series of outputs to support the use and execution of research by librarians and information scientists.

Presented in the form of training, good practice and community support materials, the RiLIES2 outputs will provide practical guidance covering how to: (1) consume extant research (e.g. offer guidance on where to find high quality research output that can be used to improve services delivery); (2) do research; and (3) maximise the impact of research undertaken.

Common to all outputs is the goal of embedding in the LIS community an appreciation of research as essential to high quality services delivery.

At the early stages of the project the team is keen to spread the word of the work in progress. For example, last week Hazel Hall met delegates of the Edge conference in Edinburgh where she was able to introduce the project. A highlight of Hazel’s participation at the event was meeting the after-dinner speaker at the conference dinner. Billed as a “royal visitor”, Mary Queen of Scots (AKA Lesley Smith) gave a very entertaining performance.

Next week we will be discussing with the Library and Information Research Group how we can work together to ensure that the project fits with the needs of the community, and that the work completed will have impact.

RiLIES2 will report in Q3 of 2012.

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RiLIES1 report highlights 1: main findings and recommendations

In a blog post on February 2 2012 we announced that the full report of the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study (RiLIES1) was available to download, and that we would be blogging highlights of the report over the coming weeks. This is the first of RiLIES1 highlights postings. Here we summarise the main findings of the report, and its recommendations.

The broad aim of our first RiLIES project was to investigate the extent to which funded research projects in the domain of library and information science (LIS) influence practice in the UK. It focused particularly on identifying factors that increase or hinder the impact of research findings on those who deliver library and information services.

The project’s findings generated new insights related to the roles of research leadership and sponsorship, and means of involving practitioners in research projects. In particular, 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 a report on this theme.

Eleven detailed project recommendations were made for strategies to ensure that:

  • LIS research undertaken has high level support;
  • the execution of LIS research involves practitioners;
  • dissemination plans for LIS research take into account practitioner preferences for consuming research output;
  • LIS research output is accessible to the target audience;
  • practitioners are given support to engage with research by their employers and professional bodies, drawing on good practice within the broad community of librarians and information scientists.

Our next RiLIES1 report highlights post will consider dissemination strategies for impact.

To read further details of the study please see the full RiLIES1 report, freely available to download.

Enhancing the impact of LIS research projects: RiLIES1 report available

Between February and July last year Hazel Hall and her Edinburgh Napier University colleagues Peter Cruickshank, Ella Taylor-Smith and Jenny Gebel explored the extent to which funded librarianship research projects influence library practice in the UK. Of particular interest to the Research in Librarianship Impact Evaluation Study were the factors that increase or hinder the impact of project outcomes on practice.

We are pleased to announce that the project report Enhancing the impact of LIS research projects is now freely available to download. We will also be blogging here highlights of the RiLIES1 project findings over the coming weeks.

Thanks are due to the librarians and library and information science researchers who contributed to the study in a variety of ways: by completing the initial poll around this time last year, participating in the three focus group discussions, and responding to the final validation survey in summer 2011.

A follow-up project starts this month. For further details of RiLIES2 please see the RiLIES project web page.

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.

Coalition review 2011, and priorities for 2011/12

A review of the Coalition’s work since its foundation in 2009 was undertaken by external consultants Sandra Ward, Beaworthy Consulting and Ian Wooler, IDW Ltd and completed in April 2011. The consultants presented their report at the May 2011 meeting of the Coalition Board and the results and recommendations were subsequently discussed in detail at a Special Meeting of the Board held on 27 July.

The Board welcomed the findings of the review and agreed on the following three priorities for the third and final year of the Coalition:

  1. The AHRC-funded DREaM project: Developing Research Excellence and Methods.
  2. Follow-up work arising from the Research in Librarianship – Impact Evaluation Project (RiLIES).
  3. Raising the profile and visibility of the Coalition and what it stands for by engaging more effectively with the LIS researcher and practitioner communities.

The DREaM project will:

  • create a formal UK-wide network of Library and Information Science (LIS) researchers;
  • promote research capability and capacity in the LIS community;
  • connect LIS researchers and practitioners;
  • aim to leave a sustainable long-term legacy.

The findings from RiLIES project will be used to:

  • strengthen the link between LIS research and practice;
  • support those engaged in LIS research by ensuring their work has impact;
  • help those engaged to LIS research to develop strategies for
    • generating new research ideas
    • deciding research approaches
    • determining project scale
    • dissemination of research results

Raising the profile and visibility of the Coalition among the LIS researcher and practitioner communities will:

  • realise value from the work of the Coalition;
  • help the practitioner community demonstrate service impact;
  • contribute to service improvement through use of research resources provided by the Coalition;
  • feed into the DREaM and RiLIES projects;
  • leave a sustainable long-term legacy.

This is an ambitious programme for the next twelve months and we need to work with the LIS research and practitioner communities to deliver it. If you would like to help with this work – either as an individual or on behalf of your organisation – please contact Hazel Hall.

Coalition review update

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the recent Coalition review by completing the survey and/or participating in an interview. The objective of the study was to investigate familiarity with the Coalition’s work, assess its activities and achievements so far and value to of its work to LIS professionals, and gather comments on plans for Coalition work in 2011/12.

External consultants Sandra Ward of Beaworthy Consulting and Ian Wooler of IDW Ltd presented their report to the LIS Research Coalition Board of Directors earlier in the summer. One of the main findings of the study is that those who are familiar with the work of the Coalition are highly supportive of it. However, the Coalition is not well-known across all sectors. There is a need to improve the visibility of the Coalition and to communicate its aims and objectives. The findings also indicate where the LIS community would like the Coalition to focus its efforts in the coming months. Taking the responses as a whole, these are (in order of importance):

  1. to promote the development of LIS research capacity and capability and good practice in LIS research;
  2. to develop and articulate (with the LIS community) a strategic approach to LIS research;
  3. to facilitate dialogue between LIS research funders, researchers and practitioners;
  4. to bring together information about LIS research opportunities and results of research projects;
  5. to promote LIS practitioner research and the translation of research outcomes into practice i.e. promoting engagement between researchers and practitioners.

Study respondents who are aware of the DREaM and RiLIES projects recognise the value of these in contributing to the meeting of the goals listed above.

At the end of July the Coalition Board is holding a special meeting to discuss these and the other findings of presented in the consultants’ report, and to develop an action plan in response. Further information on this will be posted to this blog in due course.

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RiLIES project final survey now available

We have launched a short online survey as the final part of the LIS Research Coalition’s RiLIES project. Update: this survey closed on 15 July.

Aimed primarily at UK-based Library and Information Science (LIS) practitioners, its purpose to is check our findings to date on the relationship between the output of LIS research projects and its impact on practitioners. (If you live in another country, or are an LIS researcher or student, we would still be interested in your answers, so please feel welcome to participate too.)

You can access the survey by visiting: http://bit.ly/RiLIES2

The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Please submit your responses by Friday 15 July. If you can, please pass the word on to your colleagues so that they have an opportunity to make a contribution too. Many thanks!