How academic librarians, IT staff and research administrators perceive and relate to research

COX, A.M. and VERBAAN, Eddy (2016). How academic librarians, IT staff and research administrators perceive and relate to research. Library & Information Science Research. (In Press)

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Abstract

Academic libraries are changing how they support research. For example, their involvement in Research Data Management (RDM) implies a much deeper relationship with researchers throughout the research lifecycle. Perhaps we are witnessing a shift from support to partnership. The study reported here examined how librarians, IT staff and research administrators see research and their own relation to it. Within an interpretative methodology, twenty semi-structured interviews with librarians, IT staff and research administrators were analysed thematically. Librarians often talked about research via the discourse of research-led teaching. They also conceived of it via notions of collection and to a lesser extent through reference work or copyright expertise. They saw some of their own continuing professional development or service development work as akin to the work of university researchers, but at the other end of a spectrum. Some saw a categorical difference and considered that research was only conducted by people who had a job title of researcher. IT managers tended to see research via infrastructure or specialist expertise. But at least one IT staff member saw himself as both partly a researcher and a bridge between research and support. Research administrators tended to see research through the roles of administrative support and policy influence. In summary, seven broad narratives about research were identified, namely: influencing researchers to align with policy; being a researcher; being a bridge with research; offering expertise; providing infrastructure; supporting a research/teaching nexus; relieving researchers of administrative burdens. As institutions develop research partnerships, e.g. around RDM, training and curricula will need to expand existing conceptions and build deeper empathetic relationships with research.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Library Services
Depositing User: Eddy Verbaan
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 12:02
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 00:31
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8906

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