Week 11: Twitter Chat Reflection

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    • #2748
      Bronwyn Linthwaite

      Week 11 Twitter Chat Champion – Research and Libraries

      This week’s twitter chat was in relation to research and libraries. Carmel O’Sullivan Director Library Services, at USQ Toowoomba joined us as guest Tweeter. We were also joined by Andrew Spencer (health librarian). Overall it was great to have a supported experience of engaging with others in the field using this medium and was a valuable opportunity in considering future professional practice.

      The questions included:

      1. Should librarians create more partnerships with researchers and contribute actively to research projects? How?
      2. Can you see any possible negative impacts of an increased focus on research support in academic libraries?
      3. How important is subject specialiation to effective research support? Are librarian’s subject experts? Should they be?
      4. Is it fair that HDR students enjoy ‘privileged treatment’ over undergrads (Keller 2015: 78)

      For brevity’s sake I’ve decided to focus on the first issue for discussion which was the question whether librarians should create more partnerships with researchers, actively contributing to research projects. Paola stated that “A1 It is already a big part of what Liaison Libs do, will prob increase #ifn614researchchat”. Carmel replied that “#ifn614researchchat academics so often love the perspective and specialist knowledge librarians bring to the table.” Additionally, Andrew Spencer stated that “From a health librarian perspective Systematic Reviews are a good way for librarians to work with researchers #ifn614researchchat”.

       This was interesting to me as last semester I took an elective Health Librarianship Essentials, in which students had the opportunity to hear from a diversity of librarians working in the health field. Although there were many issues discussed and librarians had experienced downsizing of their facilities and even closure in some cases, emerging partnerships and strengthening of existing ties with medical researchers were also articulated. In some cases librarians were embedded within the research teams at university hospitals and were acknowledged for their role in the research project through a contributor acknowledgement in the published paper. We were also informed of the potential for authorship, and opportunities for following through from the mediated literature searches which comprise the systematic review of the literature for the purposes of peer-review.

      In relation to the pressure and pace of academic research Carmel O’Sullivan stated that “#ifn614researchchat librarians need to understand better the tremendous pressures academics work under. Then fill in the gaps.” From my knowledge digital publication has significantly increased the output of academic research which has engendered numerous problems including a drop in the quality of scholarly writing, increased pressure on researchers and their supporting institutions to produce output in order to compete. Information overload is a significant issue as the volume of research relevant to the needs of health practitioners has greatly increased making it difficult to read, analyse and absorb the results of studies into practice. The creation of permalinked search strings designed by librarians for specialised topics can be used by medical practitioners to receive instant updating of the new literature in their subject area. Assessing research impact was mentioned which is a new concept for me I wasn’t fully aware of librarians role in this process. Overall it was an interesting discussion which I gained a lot of knowledge from, it was great to have established librarians on hand to share their views and experiences.

    • #2786
      hanan albishri

      This is awesome review of the discussion, Great post, thank you!

    • #2851
      Steven Walker

      This is awesome review of the discussion, Great post, thank you!

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