Establishing a culture of research practice in an academic library: an Australian case study

Ian McBain, Helen Culshaw, Elizabeth Hall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the establishment of a Research Working Group at Flinders University Library, a mid-sized teaching and research university located in South Australia. The group was founded to encourage staff to develop a more reflective, research-oriented and evidence-based professional practice initially for a three-year term. This paper comes at about two years into the pilot and provides an interim report of the group's experiences and achievements. Design/methodology/approach: As a case study, this paper describes the introduction and background of the Flinders University Library Research Working Group, its purpose, the selection of projects, and its work to date. Findings: The paper reports on the management-driven practical supports that have been implemented to assist practitioners undertaking research at Flinders University Library. Practical implications: The paper can be used as an exemplar for other academic libraries with staff with non-tenured staff which lacks a culture of research. Originality/value: This paper adds an Australian perspective to the existing literature on support for academic librarians undertaking research. The literature is dominated by US and Canadian experiences based on academic status.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)448-461
    Number of pages14
    JournalLibrary Management
    Issue number6/7
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Academic libraries
    • Academic staff
    • Australia
    • Practitioner-researchers
    • Research
    • Research work
    • Staff development


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