onsdag 27 mars 2013

On Academic Library Support for Scholarly Publishing

Together with my good friend and colleague, Dr Krister Johannesson of Skövde University, I have recently wrapped up a two-year project in which we have studied the everyday experiences of academic librarians in their work with researchers. Special focus was put on issues concerning publication strategies and work with Open Access. The project, which was done without any ”external funding”, involved some 25 librarians in three library units at Linnaeus University and Skövde University, who participated in repeated focus-group interviews and wrote log books of their daily work over a period of six months. This provided us with a very rich material which was encoded with the analysis software NVivo and boiled down into two articles. We’ve had a good run and the project turned out very well.

We would like to extend a big ”Thank You” to the participating librarians, who put down both time and effort into this. To paraphrase the good Morrissey: the pleasure and the privilege was ours. We hope the results will contribute to further discussions on these issues – both within the participating libraries and inte the academic library sector in general.

The main article is now published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship:

Librarians' Views of Academic Library Support for Scholarly Publishing: An Every-day Perspective

Joacim Hansson, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden
Krister Johannesson, Skövde University, Sweden 


This article reports on a study of academic librarians' views of their work and possibilities regarding support for researchers' publishing. Institutional repositories and Open Access are areas being dealt with in particular. Methods used are highly qualitative; data was gathered at two Swedish university libraries over a six month period through focus group interview sessions and personal logs by informants. Findings indicate that attitudes are often in collision with practicalities in the daily work in libraries. Even though they have a high degree of knowledge and awareness of scholarly publication patterns, librarians often feel insecure in the approach of researchers. There is a felt redirection in the focus of academic librarianship, from pedagogical information seeking tasks towards a more active publication support, a change which also includes a regained prominence for new forms of bibliographical work. Although there are some challenges, proactive attitudes among librarians are felt as being important in developing further support for researchers' publishing.

  • Academic libraries;
  • Scholarly publishing;
  • Open access;
  • Sweden;
  • Organizational identity;
  • Focus group methodology
The DOI of the full article is here

The second article from the project is written in Swedish and published in a Danish anthology on current academic library challenges:

Johannesson, Krister & Hansson, Joacim (2012) ”Akademiska bibliotekariers förhållningssätt till forskares publiceringsstrategier – med särskilt avseende på frågan om Open Access”. Viden i spil: forskningsbibliotekers funktioner i forandring, Eds: Helene Hoyrup, Hans Jorn Nielsen & Birger Hjorland, Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur, pp. 280-302.

The book can be found and ordered here

Krister Johannesson and Joacim Hansson
Photo by Ingeborg Ekman Telehagen /LNU

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