The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research
Research Libraries UK is delighted to publish the results of a major research project exploring the role, and potential role, of research and academic libraries as partners in, and leaders of, research. Read the final report.
Research Libraries UK, working in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), commissioned Evidence Base to undertake a major scoping study to explore the role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research. This included colleagues working within other collection-holding institutions, such as archives and museums, closely associated with or integral to an academic or research library.
Running from January-June 2021, the project explored the role of academic and research libraries, and associated collection-holding institutions, as places of scholarship and experimentation, for a wide variety of disciplines, and the role, and potential, of library, archive, and museum staff in envisaging, initiating, and leading high-quality scholarly research. The project examined the expertise held within libraries, and associated collection-holding institutions, to lead and partner in multi-disciplinary research projects, and the opportunities and barriers of them doing so. The latter included an examination of issues such as the terms of funding, institutional policies, perceptions of the library, and working cultures.
This research made recommendations to the AHRC and the wider research community in terms of enabling library, archive, and museum staff to be active partners in academic and scholarly research, and identified the potential for collective action between research and academic libraries to enable this.
For further details of the project, its aims, objectives, and key deliverables, please see the original Invitation to Tender issued by RLUK in December 2020.
Key project elements and outcomes
This was a major piece of cross-sector and interdisciplinary research. RLUK and the AHRC would like to thank all of those colleagues who contributed to this research. The project has included a series of engagement events, including workshops and town hall meetings, alongside sector wide surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
The project’s research phase is now complete and a full project report will be published shortly. Headline findings and recommendations have now been published: