RLUK-AHRC Report on the Scoping Study: The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research

RLUK and AHRC have released the report on the scoping study, The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research. This excellent report is fully available online: https://www.rluk.ac.uk/rluk-publishes-report-on-the-role-of-research-libraries-in-the-production-of-scholarly-research/

I super highly recommend that folks read the full report. That said, I know many of us under constant work and life demands and so are in the realm of tldr;. The headline findings or highlights are also available, and are short to read. A very short selection of those includes:

Collaborative by default: Collaboration is in the nature of libraries and the staff that work within them. Libraries sit at the centre of a complex web of communities, and can act as conduits and catalysts of collaboration between multiple groups and disciplines. Libraries can leverage this central position to foster new collaborative relationships and to lead and contribute to innovative and cross-disciplinary research partnerships.

Perceptions are shifting: Perceptions of the library continue to shift within institutions and amongst members of the academic community, from one of service provision to one of active and equal partnership, and, to a lesser extent, research leadership. This progress varies between institutions, amongst individual academics, across disciplines, and is not uniform.

Opportunities to be seized: There are many exciting opportunities for libraries to further develop and enhance their role as partners in, and pioneers of, research. These require changes around how research is viewed within libraries, how the library is perceived within their institution, and a focus on building the research capacity and visibility of library colleagues. RLUK and the AHRC stand ready to support the research and academic library community seize these opportunities.

The whole report is geared to realizing the benefits of including library workers as partners and leaders in research, and how to do so. The report is fantastic overall, and includes references to other fantastic resources like the CRediT Contributor Roles Taxonomy. I’m also excited for this report and for the accompanying case studies (and I supported the case study for UF). I look forward to many great conversations and new ways of working from this!