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Supporting Research Students

Dec 2009 | 208pp

Paperback
9781856046855
Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.95

eBook (PDF)
9781856049245
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Supporting Research Students

Barbara Allan

The importance of supporting the needs of research students has recently risen higher up the academic agenda around the world. Numbers of postgraduate students have expanded, and the traditional PhD has now been joined by a new range of doctoral qualifications including professional doctorates such as the Doctor in Business Administration (DBA). These developments have led to a more diverse student body which now includes senior professional practitioners.

This shift has seen an acknowledgement that support services within universities must cater more for the needs of research students. While the library and information profession is a graduate one, a relatively small number of LIS professionals have a research degree. This means that, though they are likely to have experience of carrying out smaller scale research projects, they will not have experienced and internalized the distinct learning processes involved in gaining a doctorate.

This timely book offers guidance to enable them to support the specialist needs of research students effectively. Individual chapters are designed to be read and worked through in any order. The key areas covered are:

  • research and the research process
  • the research student’s experience
  • research skills training
  • supporting research students in academic libraries and information services
  • virtual graduate schools
  • introduction to research communities
  • professional development.  

Readership: This is an essential text for all library and information professionals in higher education institutions globally that cater for the needs of research students. It will also be valuable reading for LIS students.

1. Introduction 

  • Structure of this book 
  • Introduction to the world of research and research students 
  • The production and dissemination of knowledge 
  • Types of research degree 
  • Stakeholders in research degrees 
  • Contemporary issues regarding supporting research students 
  • Summary   

2. Research and the research process 

  • Introduction
  • Research proposal 
  • Research approach and methods 
  • Data collection and analysis 
  • Access and ethical issues 
  • Summarizing the research process 
  • Research issues 
  • Writing up 
  • The complexity of the research process 
  • Summary   

3. The research student’s experience 

  • Introduction 
  • Starting points 
  • Induction 
  • Working with a supervisor 
  • Getting started on the doctorate 
  • Selecting a topic 
  • Developing the study 
  • Summary   

4. Moving forward and completing the research 

  • Introduction 
  • Moving forward 
  • Methodology 
  • Fieldwork 
  • Writing up 
  • Viva voce examination 
  • Amendments and completion 
  • Summary   

5. Research skills training 

  • Introduction 
  • Training and skills of research students 
  • The UK Research Councils’ Joint Statement of training requirements for research students 
  • Skills development 
  • Library and information research skills 
  • Case Study: Use of information sources 
  • Summary   

6. Supporting research students in academic libraries and information services 

  • Introduction 
  • Information needs 
  • Current approaches to supporting research students 
  • Case Study: Example session plan – introduction to referencing 
  • Case Study: MI512 research training course for PhD students 
  • Targeting and communicating with research students 
  • Self-assessment: how do you support research students? 
  • Summary   

7. Virtual graduate schools 

  • Introduction 
  • The development of virtual graduate schools 
  • Case Study: University of Hull Virtual Graduate School and the Graduate Virtual Research Environment 
  • Other approaches to developing a virtual graduate school 
  • Implications for library and information workers
  • Summary   

8. Introduction to research communities 

  • Introduction 
  • What are communities? 
  • Research communities 
  • Information sharing in academic communities 
  • Professional associations 
  • Academic conferences 
  • Online networking
  • Implications for library and information workers 
  • Summary 
  • Notes   

9. Professional development 

  • Introduction 
  • Professional organizations and networks 
  • Development offered by higher education institutions 
  • Research degrees 
  • Conclusion 
  • References and bibliography 
  • References 
  • Bibliography

"Easily readable, the book is well structured, and has clear objectives and summaries of each chapter...Supporting Research Students provides a much needed lifeline for new academic contact librarians, and will help to refresh the skills and perspective of more experienced librarians."
- Australian Academic and Research Libraries

"Barbara Allan's book does live up to the last paragraph of the book by contributing to LIS workers, 'juggling with heavy workloads and competing demands' who certainly will be able to use it to support research students."
- Ariadne

"This book is recommended for academic libraries, as well as for large public libraries and for the information professional working with postgraduate students."
- Collection Building

Professor Barbara Allan is Dean of Westminster Business School. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus is on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization agenda. She was awarded a National teaching Fellowship in 2008 from the Higher Education Academy. Barbara is the author of several Facet Publishing titles including: Project Management (2004), Blended Learning (2007) and The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013).