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LIRG Research Scan Award

The Scan award is intended to encourage dissemination and take-up of research and innovation in library and information science. The value of the Research Scan Award is £500.

The award is not intended to be an annual award, but rather a special means to address an urgent current issue in library and information science, by acting as a summary of relevant research. It is not intended to generate new research, but rather to collect, analyse and present existing research in a report for application by practitioners.

LIRG Research Scan: 2012/13 topic: "What do LIS practitioners want from research?"

The winners of the LIRG Scan Award for 2012/13 were Helen Buckley Woods and Andrew Booth from Information Resources at Scharr, University of Sheffield.

The scan covered the published literature, across all domains of LIS, and focused on the following questions and more:

  • What kind of research is relevant to LIS practitioners?
  • What do practitioners understand by "research" and how do they use it?
  • What are the barriers and facilitators to using research in practice?

Helen and Andrew have conducted a scoping review of practitioner engagement with research. Interim findings were presented at the Pre-Umbrella Conference 2013 and a full paper based on this report appeared our journal, Library and Information Research (LIR), vol 37, no 116 (2013). The evidence will be used to inform LIRG/CILIP research policy.

LIRG Research Scan: 2010 topic: Methods for demonstrating the value of public libraries in the UK

The committee received the critical analysis of research on measuring the value of public libraries prepared by Christine Rooney-Browne, a PhD student at Strathclyde University. The analysis is a literature review of existing quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodologies for demonstrating the value of public libraries in the UK.

It is an interesting read which looks at defining the value of libraries (economic and social) and current methods for measuring performance including examples of best practice both within the UK and beyond. The literature search for examples of best practice in the UK proved difficult to uncover which reflects a common theme that few practitioner activities appear in writing.

The final paper arising from the scan was published in Library and Information Research, vol 35, no 109 (2011).

General conditions of the Award

These conditions apply when the Award is being offered.

NB it is not an annual reward.

Applicants should have the experience to perform a comprehensive review of the quantitative and qualitative methodologies and best practice currently available. Applications are open to lone researchers or research teams. Researchers may be academics and/or practitioners. Researchers must be residents of the UK. 

Please see below for how to apply and deadlines.

The Research Scan Award is not intended to create new research but involves performing a literature review of existing research. Synonymous terms for this activity are considered to be systematic review, scoping review and horizon scanning. If in doubt about what is required, please see below for contact email addresses for enquiries. 

The final intended output of the LIRG Research Scan will be a revised version of the Conference paper and will be published in LIRG's journal, Library and Information Research. The Research Scan Award is a fixed sum of £500 which will be paid on acceptance of the final paper for publication in Library and Information Research. The Research Scan award is a fixed sum and is not intended to cover institutional costs of the work (if any).

Research Scan Applications/Enquiries

There is no application form. Applicants are invited to submit a brief proposal outlining how the scan would be conducted and what it will cover.  Applicants should also submit one A4 CV per would-be researcher, containing relevant professional experience and / or academic publishing record.

The proposal, appropriateness, quality and depth of academic and professional achievements will form the criteria for the Scan Award.

Applications and/or enquiries should be sent by email to:

Alison Brettle
LIRG Awards Co-ordinator
Room 190 Mary Seacole Building
University of Salford
Frederick Road
M6 6PU

Tel: 0161 295 0447