CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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CILIPS Research Hub

A graphic of a researcher showing two hands holding a piece of paper and a magnifying glass with the CILIPS logo underneath it

Keeping up-to-date with the latest LIS research is a useful way of ensuring you have the evidence and research to back up any points you are making when engaging in advocacy/lobbying. It can also be a good way of developing and informing individual and collective practice. Read this page to discover ways that you can easily and freely access some of the latest LIS research. You might also be interested in reading this 2018 article by Lesley Pitman. It outlines the history of Open Access and introduces ways academic publications can be accessed. It was written originally for public librarians but is useful for people in all areas.

  • CILIP Membership

CILIP members have free access to the databases Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) and ProQuest Library Science and also a number of journals such as the Journal of Information Science (JIS) and the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JOLIS). All you need to do to access these is visit the CILIP website and log into your account.

CILIP also enjoy exclusive access to the comprehensive CILIP eLearning Hub: a suite of online resources including recordings, webinars and training courses. Why not try some of those addressing PKSB area 9, Research, like the Library Information Research Group’s ‘Introduction to Research Skills’, Scholarly Communication 101 or this Impact Toolkit: Impact and Evidence training?

Our #LibrariesAreEssential campaign evidence banks brought together a wide range of evidence, from case studies and statistics to external reports and supportive quotes, to demonstrate the vital value of our nation’s libraries. Click here to consult them. The Libraries Week website also provides strong examples of how to use case studies persuasively – read case studies on themes such as East Renfrewshire Libraries’ use of virtual reality to tackle social isolation or how a visit from acclaimed author Matt Wesolowski tangibly inspired the users of HM Prison Library Edinburgh. The Scottish Library & Information Council Advocacy Toolkit includes a template for creating case studies of your own – find it here.

  • University Repositories

Many higher education institutions publish research by their staff and students in their own repositories, and often full-text or abstracts can be viewed. The following are examples of some Scottish institutional repositories that publish research in the LIS field:

  1. Strathprints at the University of Strathclyde provides Open Access to the research outputs of university students and staff. The easiest way to find relevant information is to ‘Browse by Subject’ and you will be able to access the abstracts and/or full-texts of lots of useful LIS research, as well as research on other topics.
  2. Robert Gordon University also has its own repository called OpenAIR. Use the search bar on the main page to look up research using keywords, or search by department or school.
  3. Enlighten at the University of Glasgow publishes the theses of all postgraduate research students. Resources are available on all subjects. Again, the best way to find research is to click on the ‘Browse Repository’ link and search by subject.
  • Open Access Journals

There are a number of LIS journals which are Open Access. These provide immediate free access to quality, peer-reviewed articles. Visit the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) where you will find a huge directory that you can search through to find both articles and full journals that are freely accessible. To get you started, here are a few examples of Open Access, LIS journals:

  1. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal: this journal is published quarterly and is a place where library and information professionals can discover and contribute to research that can help to inform professional practice.
  2. Journal of Information Literacy: this journal focuses on making available articles on the latest and innovative information literacy thinking in theory, practice, and method. It is published twice per year and is the professional journal of the CILIP Information Literacy Group.
  3. In the Library with the Lead Pipe: an open access, open peer-reviewed journal run by an international team of librarians. It publishes original research and articles that help drive developments in librarianship, providing practical examples for practice.
  4. College and Research Libraries (C&RL): this is the scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. All content is immediately freely available.
  5. Journal of the Medical Library Association: an international journal that aims to advance the practice and research base of those working in health librarianship
  6. Focus on Internation Library and Information Work: this is the journal of the CILIP International Library and Information Group. It usually publishes three times per year and has recently gone Open Access. As such, issues from November 2012 onwards are now freely available
  • Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a very common and useful tool that allows you to search for and access full-text journal articles. It provides a direct link to Open Access versions of a vast number of research articles and also links to abstracts where the full-text is not available. However, it is important to note that search results may be based on the number of citations it has received rather than solely on relevance to the search query.

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