No time to scale back: Gleaning best practices for librarian involvement in scholarly communication in Canadian research libraries
Objectives: An in-depth understanding of librarian involvement in promoting scholarly communication and the organizational structure in which they operate has not been fully investigated within Canadian research institutions. Funded by a Research in Librarianship grant from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the objective of this study was to investigate and analyze the roles that librarians play at their institutions in defining and shaping scholarly communication. Methods: The researchers conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with 29 librarians from institutions belonging to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. The transcripts were recorded and then analyzed using NVIVO qualitative analysis software. Results: The results of the study reveal a rich scholarly communication landscape in Canadian research libraries. Participants in both practitioner and administrative roles provided a diversity of opinions touching a variety of aspects related to scholarly communication and its future development in Canada. Findings underline the need for: A broad base of librarians and other professional staff who are committed to advocating and developing a new scholarly communication system at their institutions; Strategies for sharing, networking and collaborating by scholarly communication professionals across the country; and A sustainable approach to policy, advocacy, assessment and training development. In-depth analysis of the results suggests that scholarly communication would benefit from: - Knowledgeable librarians with experience and understanding of the full research cycle spectrum; - Strong leadership to push forward the scholarly communication agenda at universities and federal research funding institutions; and - Champions for change from across the academy on our campuses. Conclusion: The study is significant because it provides recommendations for librarians looking to develop or enrich existing programs. Interviews provided participating librarians with an opportunity to discuss and reflect on their roles in the context of recent developments in scholarly communication and to provide input on how their libraries are committing to this area of librarianship.