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November 9, 2017

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The Research Librarian of the Future


If you are a research librarian (or you know someone who does this job) you are no doubt familiar with the mounting pressure to “keep up” in the rapidly evolving digital scholarship environment. In a recent London School of Economics and Political Science blog, a team of educators suggests that there is a clear gap in perception and expectations between academic librarians, for example, and the audiences they serve.

Far from seeing this perception gap as negative, however, the authors of the LSE blog imagine a future where “research librarians are equal partners in the research process, helping a researcher in any discipline to map existing knowledge gaps, identify emerging disciplinary crossovers before they even happen, and assist in the formulation and refinement of frontier research questions.”

And it is the very digital technologies that librarians are under pressure to adopt that will propel them into their new and more valuable roles as research partners. Many of the skills and competencies librarians are developing in order to deliver ‘core’ services in both academic and corporate research environments can actually directly serve the research lifecycle and workflow. “Competencies such as mapping the knowledge landscape, digesting volumes of heterogeneous data or presenting in understandable formats are not things every researcher is armed with but which every hypothesis can benefit from,” say the LSE blog authors. “Imagine a librarian armed with the digital tools to automate literature reviews for any discipline, for example, by reducing thousands of articles’ ideas into memes and then applying network analysis to visualize trends in emerging lines of research.”

At Reprints Desk, we, too, imagine a future where all research librarians have access to the tools and technologies they need to do their jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively and, thus, significantly increase their value in the research lifecycle. Transforming information into knowledge you can use is what we do. And we are making it very easy for librarians to not only keep up with new research technologies, but excel at deploying them to realize immediate results.

Learn more about how you can become a more valuable asset in the research process. One step on the journey to turn information into knowledge is to simplify access to scientific literature. Read our white paper “Acquiring Scientific Content – How Hard Can It Be? to get started

Topics: reprints desk library research lifecycle digital technologies academic librarians acquiring content