23 Nov 2011

Blazing a Trail Beyond LIS

Anyone interested in LIS research, breaking the boundaries of LIS education and is around Dublin on 13 December, could do a lot worse than attend the SILS Alumni event with guest speaker Professor Blaise Cronin. Blaise will be speaking on the subject of "Never Too Many Cooks: The Evolving Nature of Scientific Authorship". I am guessing this refers to the changing face of publishing in general, which should be of interest to everyone working in the field of LIS. What constitutes and who contributes to authorship is changing and librarians and 'information professionals' need to keep up to date with these changes.

Back in July I had the opportunity to attend the LIS DREaM Conference at the British Library in London where Blaise was the opening keynote speaker. LIS DREaM is the brainchild of the LIS Research Coalition. It was refreshing to hear an 'information person' acknowledging the weaknesses that exist in LIS research. The key criticism that Blaise put forward was that LIS research tends to talk to itself. Blaise argued that in order for LIS research to have real impact, LIS researchers need to strive for recognition across other disciplines. This could be achieved through collaboration and hyper-authorship bringing LIS research findings to a larger audience and (hopefully) resulting in greater impact. He argued that LIS needs to be open to change and influence from other disciplines. Blaise's keynote sat well with the general theme of the conference which was 'Out of the Comfort Zone'.

It is all too easy to get sucked in to operating in silos.  This is especially important now when resources are under threat and jobs are thin on the ground, not to mention the fact that LIS graduates are choosing more and more diverse professions. It would be interesting to hear about unusual or unexpected cross-disciplinary projects that people have come across in the Irish LIS context. I am sure there are lots out there but we need to be speaking about them.

Here is a taster of what to expect from Blaise.

Opening Keynote: Blaise Cronin from LIS Research Coalition on Vimeo.

Professor Blaise Cronin will be speaking on 13 December, 2011 at 5.00pm in SILS, Room 107, UCD. The event is open to SILS Alumni and friends.


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