|Don't be afraid to share your work! (Photo by Rusavia)|
Below is a quick round-up of some of the main threads of discussion that emerged:
There was a mix of participants from all sectors and locations (including New Zealand, Vermont and the UK - thanks guys :)) including some current library postgrad students. Several participants recommended that students should consider trying to publish their theses and capstone projects when finished as it is a great opportunity to get your work to a wider audience.
Whilst many stated that they are interested in researching and publishing, a number of challenges were raised. For instance, there was some discussion about whether LIS and other 3rd level qualifications sufficiently prepare LIS professionals to undertake research in the field. This was just one of the barriers mentioned, along with time pressures, a lack of confidence in research skills, and uncertainty as to whether people would be interested in reading your work (i.e. the feeling of "do I have anything worth researching?").
There was a lot of discussion about what kind of research LIS professionals should be publishing and where they can publish, and most agreed that blogs, newsletters, case studies and other less formal formats can be a great way of starting to share your work and ideas. The importance of conferences was also highlighted: "Different publication types have different outcomes (often). Conferences are sometimes the best/quickest way to get your msg [message] out" - @acarbery. Indeed, the growth in live tweeting and blogging from conferences now has increased their potential impact significantly: "The immediacy of conferences is astounding, especially if tweeted and blogged - and leads to a lot of interesting work" - @AnneMurphyAnne. Book reviews were also mentioned as a useful gateway into publishing (@ajwillemse91)
Several advantages of publishing were discussed also. Aside from sharing information and improving service delivery, it can be valuable for opening up career opportunities, and "can go a long way to building credibility with faculty". There was also discussion about whether we should be publishing exclusively in Open Access publications, as it seems many still publish in subscription journals. This raised the issue of creating a new Irish OA LIS journal - a great idea, and one worth considering. In fact a number of people also expressed a desire to see more Irish-based research published: "I would love to see more Irish-centric research published. So hard to find Irish examples in the literature"- @JenbearDublin). The journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice joined in and said "we love the Irish here at EBLIP! Send us more of your work!"
So the message is clear, get out there and share your work with others - publish, present, blog!
Three "librarians as authors" - including myself - will be speaking at next month's LAI HSLG conference in Dublin (#hslg2013) conference in Dublin - a great opportunity to hear more about how you can publish your work in peer-reviewed journals.
Some useful resources mentioned by participants included Helen Fallon's (NUIM) excellent blog, Academic Writing Librarian and A Library Writer's Blog.
We always welcome guest blog posts (on any LIS-related topic of your choice!) here at Libfocus - simply drop us an email at libfocusguestpost [at] gmail.com.