How far apart are L and M? The institutional and publishing disconnects between LIS and museum studies

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This article explores two considerations in the push toward joint “LAM” (Library, Archive, and Museum) programs of education and research: the organizational proximity of departments and schools of library and information studies (LIS) and museum studies (MS); and the degree to which individual scholars of LIS and MS share publishing outlets, as an indicator of current levels of scholarly interaction. An environmental scan of LIS and MS programs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand was conducted to investigate the extent to which the two sets of programs were based in different universities and disciplinary units. A bibliometric survey was also carried out to gauge the extent to which LIS and MS scholars based in Australia publish in common journals, conference proceedings, and books. Findings show that the extent to which LIS and MS programs are offered by the same universities and colleges varies widely across countries, even within the English-speaking world. Further, the results suggest that while museum and curatorial studies tend to be located with arts and humanities disciplines, LIS programs are more likely to be located, particularly in North America, with the social sciences and ICT, although the disciplinary location of LIS programs is relatively diffuse. The bibliometric analysis confirmed the authors’ hypothesis that Australian LIS and MS academics publish in different outlets, with academics from the two groups presenting at only one conference in common and publishing in no common journal in the period studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-63
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Education for Library and Information Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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