Week 11 – Issues Based Reflection – The future of research support

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    • #2463
      Shannon Franzway

      The future of research support – from accommodation to collaboration
      Perhaps I live under a rock, but I was completely unaware that the reputations of Australian universities sits so squarely with research excellence. This weeks’ readings opened my eyes of course and there’s a whole area of academic librarianship I have not yet considered as a potential career path. So many librarianship specialties, so little time!

      So, research excellence doesn’t happen within a vacuum – researchers need support. Enter the latest librarianship specialty – research support, an increasingly important strategic activity in Australian university libraries.

      Mamtora’s survey identified that no matter the stage of career a researcher is at, help and assistance is needed. Keller describes a current picture of the support services research librarians currently provide within Australian universities, however Keller also acknowledges the research landscape is constantly changing, therefore the research librarian needs to continually update their skills to ensure researcher’s needs are being met.

      There’s conjecture as to what research support will look like in future. An ALIA discussion paper proposes a university library scenario in 2025 where we will see academics reliant on partnerships with library and information professionals to assist with their research and information skills base. ALIA has also published a Future of the LIS Profession document where they support the idea of library and information professionals in universities taking a far greater role in research. This might take the form of making research outputs more accessible or becoming part of the research team itself. Also in this report, ALIA identifies their commitment to ALIA PD and training to help library and information professionals further develop the skills they need to support academic research.

      I was very interested in the language used to discuss this topic, especially when @MysliwyL identified in the Twitter chat this week that currently there appears to be an implication of subservience. I find it encouraging and empowering that the discussion revolves around partnership, collaboration and reliance. In fact, Keller reports the contributions of librarians have successfully supported research proposals and earned money for their institution – nothing speaks louder than funding dollars, my fellow information professionals!

    • #2484
      Sarah Ross

      Hi Shannon,

      I was also particularly interested in the collaborative possibilities and the idea of the research librarian being part of a team.  Keller was also interesting in that librarians in Oz were more proud of what they did, than what the collection held.  In the European context this is understandable – but it also annoyed me by implying we don’t have any ‘history’ here in Oz.  We do – it is just a different kind.

      Cheers, Sarah

    • #2720
      Shannon Franzway


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