I’m pleased to announce the publication of the latest title in our series of white papers, an expert literature review on disciplinary research behaviors that we commissioned from Carole Palmer, professor in the Graduate School of Library & Information Science at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. With colleagues in the Center for Informatics Research in Science & Scholarship (CIRSS), Carole has produced a splendid report synthesizing decades of literature on scholarly information practices and highlighting implications for library service development. It’s a significant piece of work that deserves a wide readership, particularly within the research library community, where there is much discussion about where local development resources should be directed.
I was privileged to have the opportunity to draft the scope of work for this report and read (and comment on) successive iterations of the text. In the course of doing so, I created a kind of companion piece: a list of the sources cited in the report that are included in WorldCat. I did this as an experiment, as I was interested to know how much of the literature was indexed in the WorldCat database. Most of it is. The advantage of producing this list in WorldCat is that the citations link directly to information about library holdings. So, if you are actually interested to read the source material, it is relatively easy to identify potential suppliers. Much of the literature on the topic of ‘information work’ is quite dense and it is for this reason that we invited Carole and her colleagues to provide a concise synthesis. It will be interesting to see what kind of readership this report (and the referenceable WorldCat bibliography) attracts.
Constance Malpas is a Research Scientist at OCLC. Her work focuses on data-driven analysis of library collections and services, with a special emphasis on strategic planning and managing institutional change. She has a particular interest in the organization of knowledge and research practices in the sciences.