RLUK is delighted to announce that it will shortly commission a major piece of research, in partnership with the AHRC, exploring the current and potential role of academic and research libraries as partners in, and leaders of, academic and scholarly research.

This research will stretch beyond the RLUK membership and any academic or research library is encouraged to participate. Although primarily UK focused, the research will consider international examples of research partnerships involving academic and research libraries.

Colleagues working within bodies affiliated or within a library structure (e.g. a university museum or gallery) are also encouraged to participate.

Context

This is an exciting time for academic and research libraries, as many transition from a position of ‘service provider’ to one of active and meaningful partners in the conception and production of academic and scholarly research. In doing so, academic and research libraries are bringing a multitude of skills, knowledge and expertise to the scholarly research process, crossing disciplinary boundaries, and enabling the involvement, communication, and dissemination of research with diverse audiences, and supporting the ‘real world’ applicability of research outputs. Staff working within academic and research libraries are well placed to bring advanced and multidisciplinary expertise to scholarly research and are looking for ways of furthering the role of the library as research partner, and leader, through continued investment in the skills and competencies of their staff, the flexibility of their spaces, and the discoverability and availability of collections, both onsite and virtually, to be used in an increasing variety of ways. 

This research will establish the existing role, and future potential, of academic and research libraries as partners in, and leaders of, academic and scholarly research. It will explore the opportunities open to academic and research libraries to develop these roles and establish the nature and extent of any barriers preventing these, and how they might be overcome.

Call for participants

We invite colleagues working across the academic and research library sector, within university research offices, and individual members of the academic community to be involved in this research. It will be essential that this research includes the views and experiences of colleagues from a wide variety of institutions, backgrounds, and professional disciplines.

In particular, this research seeks the views and experiences of:

  • LIBRARIES: Colleagues working within academic and research libraries, from a variety of professional backgrounds, and with varying experience of partnering and leading academic research. This can also include colleagues working within information or cultural organisations which are integral to, or closely associated with, an academic or research library such as a university museum, gallery, archive or special collection.

  • ACADEMICS: Academics and scholars working within the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (known collectively as SHAPE) disciplines who have and have not worked in partnership with an academic or research library.

  • RESEARCH FACILITATORS: colleagues responsible for facilitating the research process, including colleagues working within research offices, finance departments, or other research facilitation units.

  • UNIVERSITY LEADERS: University senior decision makers, such as vice chancellors, pro-vice chancellors for research, and registrars, responsible for setting overarching institutional direction and strategy.

  • FUNDERS: Colleagues within academic funding and grant giving bodies responsible for awarding research funding.


IMPORTANT:
This research will stretch beyond the RLUK membership and any academic or research library is encouraged to participate. Although primarily UK focused, the research will consider international examples of research partnerships involving academic and research libraries, and instances where these have led research. The research will also include colleagues working within other heritage and cultural institutions within or alongside a library (e.g. university museum or galleries).

Research will be conducted via a series of quantitative and qualitative techniques (as outlined in the ITT).

Get involved

If you would be interested in participating in this research, whether by completing its survey, being interviewed, or by participating in one of its workshops, please complete the form below. 

PLEASE NOTE: that in completing this google form you agree for your details and submission to be shared with the appointed contractor and for RLUK to contact you in relation to this research.

For further details about this project, please contact: matthew.greenhall@rluk.ac.uk