Category Archives: research

BIR Annual Survey into the information and knowledge profession now open

The BIR annual survey now in its 28th year, has just opened for this year.  The survey provides a look inside the library, information and knowledge profession, highlighting key trends and changes that have taken place over the last 12 months.

The survey is run by Denise Carter, the Managing Director of DCision Consult, a competitive intelligence & business analytics service provider to the pharmaceutical & bio- technology industries. She has 30 years of experience working in the library and information management sectors.

The e Survey is open now just click this link to contribute and give your opinion https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BIRsurvey18 The survey is complemented by 30 minute interviews for those who wish to take part further.  These interviews, conducted by Denise are highly confidential in nature.   The resulting report does not identify any one person or company.

The report will be published in September’s Business Information Review.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) and LIS research

Louise Cooke and Hazel Hall have published an article in Journal of Documentation exploring the potential value of SNA in library and information science research.  Here’s the abstract:


Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a research approach that focuses on relationships among social entities, and the patterns and implications of these relationships. This paper reviews the value of SNA as a method appropriate to research in the domain of Library and Information Science (LIS). In addition to offering a brief overview of the academic antecedents of modern-day SNA, the relevance of SNA to LIS research is illustrated through the presentation of a case study.

The paper cites an article by Bonnie Cheuk (on SNA and knowledge transfer, published in BIR in 2007) and also develops ideas presented by Hall, Irving and Cruikshank in BIR in 2012.

If you would like to read the article, the published version can be accessed from JDoc contents page on the Emerald web site (non-subscribers to Emerald will need to pay a fee to reach the full text). The full-text of the manuscript is available also available and free to download.

Pharmaceuticals, research and data mining

An agreement has been reached between representatives of pharmaceutical companies and publishers which aims to help pharma companies undertake text and data mining.
The agreement has been made between the Pharma-Documentation-Ring (P-D-R – an association of 21 pharmaceutical companies), the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers.

You can read more about the agreement on Research Information.

The importance of demonstrating value

The concluding conference of the DReAM project last week showcased just how much had been achieved in promoting LIS practitioner research and in fostering the take up of new techniques from other disciplines in the last two years. The audience was held spellbound by Ben Goldacre – demonstrating the importance of robust research and lateral thinking beforehand on how to realise the full potential from data.  You can see and hear all the presentations from: http://lisresearch.org/event-5-presentations/
BIR joint editor, Sandra Ward contributed to the One Minute Madness session – see:
Sandra’s message was:  Because you’re worth it – the importance of demonstrating value!
*  As joint editor of Business Information Review, I believe strongly in the value of effective information management to business and other sectors.
*  As a consultant, I am appalled that few information functions have processes in place to calculate and demonstrate value.  As a result, we lose credibility, opportunities –and jobs! 
*  I am convinced that research techniques can be used to design value into services. 
We must apply them to:
·       Identify, with our organisations, where information skills will contribute most value;
·       Focus services on business critical activity;
·       Recognise it’s our customers that reap the value from services;
·       Partner with them to assess the real business benefit
And, where you can – I ask you to share good practice through publication!  Because you’re worth it!

Celebrating social science research


The Festival of Social Science 2011 takes place in London during the week 20th October to 5th November.
Coordinated by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) the events provide insights into the impact that social science research has on economic, social and political policies.

As part of the event, Sage and the British Academy (in association with Times Higher Education) will be hosting a debate on 31st October at the British Academy. How Can Social Scientists ad Government Work Together to Strengthen Public Trust in Scientific Evidence will be chaired by Evan Davis and speakers from academia, government and policy will be represented.
Other events at the Festival are listed here.

The future for LIS research is bright : DREaM launched

Business Information Review was privileged to be given a place at the launch of the DREaM project at the British Library’s Conference Centre this week.
DREaM (Developing Research and Excellence and Methods) intends to build research capacity and capability, raise the quality and standards of research through training, and attract LIS practitioners to undertake research and to collaborate with academic researchers. Watch out for the three training events that will take place in the next few months – October, January and April.
You can click on this link to access to the story of the day. The most impressive speaker for me was Blaise Cronin, the Rudy Professor of Information Science at Illinois – informative, entertaining and accessible. Blaise told the story of LIS research with a wealth of information. I was struck by many of his points. Has LIS research over many years actually created a consolidated body of accepted knowledge on which new research builds? Can the field be precisely defined? The questionable quality of much past research – which backs the need for DREaM); and the recent increase in citations to LIS research being made by non-LIS researchers. This suggests changes in the definition of ‘our’ subject area as well as useful opportunities for cross- discipline collaboration – and the need to identify where we are major players with influence and should be creating waves.
One minute madness sessions demonstrated the impact possible from very quick stories of new research – and certainly stimulated active networking in networking breaks. Two that particularly struck me were Frank Huysman, University of Amsterdam reporting on a survey sampling an entire community on the value of public libraries and Simon Burnett, Robert Gordon University, exploring whether storytelling and blogging can be used to transfer knowledge in the police service. An appropriate topic for this week in the UK!
Sandra Ward

LISRC announces review

The Library and Information Science Research Coalition (LISRC), which is now two years old, has announced a review of its value and impact.

The review will be conducted by Ian Wooler and co-Editor of BIR Sandra Ward.

A questionnaire, which should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete, will be published on the LISRC website next week and will be available until 8th April 2011.

ESRC relaunches website

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has just re-launched its website at esrc.ac.uk.

The site provides access to all ESRC-funded research findings including journal articles, books and papers as well as details of the impact that the reseach has on the economy, society and individuals. ESRC’s research covers a vast range of subjects including employment, education, health, crime, the environment, wellbeing, the economy, social diversity, innovation, skills, technology and security.