Research Policy [January 2009] |

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Research Policy [January 2009]

Library Association of Ireland


Research Policy


Education Committee


The Library Association of Ireland has developed a Research Policy in order to encourage members to carry out research and to develop a reflective approach to the practice of librarianship.

Research is crucial for any profession, in order to drive forward the theoretical foundation, and to provide evidence and support for developing practice. Engaging in research is a core aspect of what it means to be a librarian or information manager. The purposes of research include:

  • Driving the profession forward in its philosophical and theoretical thinking
  • Supporting practical service delivery, innovation and improvement
  • Supporting policy
  • Questioning and challenging the assumptions of practitioners.

The LAI considers research to be an original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding. It involves the systematic and critical investigation of materials, sources, behaviour, etc, in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Searching, reviewing and synthesising literature do not constitute research, although they contribute to the research process. Similarly reference or enquiry work in a library is a component but not the totality of research

McKee identifies three main types of research in librarianship:

  • Research which has validity within the academic environment – which contributes to the knowledge base
  • Research which has value within the practitioner environment – which contributes to service innovation and service development
  • Research to inform policy.

Research Opportunities

Information on research opportunities is available from:

The Secretary, Education Committee, Library Association of Ireland

The Administrator, School of Information and Library Studies, UCD






J. Eve and N. Schenk. ‘Research and practice: findings from the Interactions project.’ Library & Information Research, 96, 2007, pp.37-47.

Evidence Based Practice

G. Haddow and J. E. Klobas. ‘Communication of research to practice in library and information science: closing the gap.’ Library & Information Science Research, 26, 2004, pp. 29-43.

B McKee

R. R. Powell, L. M. Baker and J. J. Mika. ‘Library and Information Science Practitioners and Research’. Library and Information Science Research 24, 2002, pp. 49-72.

RAE 2008: guidance on submissions. HEFCE, 2005

K Smith

H Somers


Approved by Education Committee

14th January 2009