Bridging the Gap Between Research & Practice

In this article Haddow and Klobas identified eleven different factors that contribute to the growing gap between research and practice in the LIS field. Based on current literature this article identified and defined those eleven factors, the authors then went on to offer suggestions on how these gaps could be bridged. However, it recognised that there has not been enough research done on this topic in order to lessen these gaps. Thus, it has highlighted a research area that both practitioners and researchers could collaborate on.

One of the key issues raised at a recent LAI seminar organised by the Career Development Committee highlighted the need for a forum where practitioners could discuss research but it also acknowledged that access to research was a key issue for those not working in academic libraries. This blog will try to address these issues by regularly posting discussion questions related to current literature.

The Haddow and Klobas article failed to mention where students fall into this gap. Some become researchers others practitioners and as the job market becomes more competitive, some find it difficult to find work in the LIS field due to lack of opportunities or gaps in their skill set. The idea for this blog came about after reading a lot of literature for a MLIS assignment and realising that there was no avenue to discuss the research we did. It is hoped that this blog will act as a platform for postgraduate LIS students to discuss their research interests or individual articles that raised points that they agreed or disagreed with. By engaging with the wider LIS community in these discussions it is hoped that we can make a small contribution to reducing the gap at least between students and practitioners.

The question that we are raising here is what do you think could lessen the gap between students/recent graduates and practitioners?

Share your views on Twitter using #SLIPIreland

Haddow, G., & Klobas, J. E. (2004). Communication of research to practice in library and information science: Closing the gap. Library & Information Science Research, 26(1), 26-43.

Jane Burns Guest Post


Communication is at the heart of everything a LIS student or professional engages in. We like connecting people to content that helps them develop new ideas and support the research they are investigating.

Understanding the first question is never really the “question” users are seeking answers to is a part of this skill set. As students you are learning a combination of theory and applications of LIS principles. The more tacit knowledge you will obtain from guest speakers, conference attendance and work experience. This kind of knowledge is life long and it will evolve on a constant basis.

By creating this Student LIS centred blog you are well on your way to further developing your communication skills. Sharing your ideas and skills in this format will allow you to engage with the wider LIS community in Ireland and beyond, will keep you anchored to each other no matter where your paths take you and you will in a very real way be contributing to the body of knowledge of our profession.

As someone who has had the pleasure to be your teacher, I know what each you individually and collectively can achieve. From a professional point of view I am delighted that this initiative is emerging- it will benefit us all.

For all your current and future readers I offer this advice…”Watch this space- you will be amazed at what you will learn!”

All the best wishes for success with this endeavour!

Jane Burns

11292807_10153296212485155_957898825_nJane Burns, MBA,MLIS, MPhil, FLAI is a Library and Information Services professional with over 20 years’ experience developing and managing a range of knowledge solutions in different environments, including Universities, Government, Educational, Science, Digital Media and Medical Education. Jane serves on the LAI Executive Council and the CPD Group. She is the Research Officer in the Health Professions Education Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is an Occasional Lecturer in the School of Information Studies at UCD.