Research literature and its perceived relevance to university librarians

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There has been considerable debate over many years as to the relevance of LIS research to practitioners. Numerous findings, published over that time, show that this relationship has been seen by most (researchers and practitioners) as at best, tenuous, and at worst, non-existent, through much of the profession. Following a review of these findings, Haddow and Klobas identified 11 factors that contributed to the lack of communication and impact between researchers and practitioners. Two of these factors, terminology and relevance, were the focus of this paper. A questionnaire was distributed to senior staff in 30 Australian academic libraries. They were required to assess five abstracts, drawn from articles appearing during 2006 in the top ranked LIS journal literature, against criteria for relevance, clarity and applicability in the work place. Results indicated a relatively high level of understanding of the articles, indicating that terminology (at least in the abstracts) was not a problem, with two thirds of the articles rated as relevant to the LIS profession as a whole. This positive result suggests that among senior academic library staff, there is less of a gap in understanding between researchers and professionals than has generally been perceived. It may be that involvement of practitioners from this group in joint projects, long called for by the profession, is more feasible than was previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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