Report highlights lack of institutional recognition of changing librarian roles.
Librarians should be given more support and credit for their research contributions, which should be costed into grant proposals, according to Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a consortium of research libraries in the UK and Ireland.
Research Librarians can make valuable contributions to research outputs. This report from the UK suggests there is a trend toward a deepening of that role. Research teams should carefully consider the question, “Should the librarian be a co-author?” At the very least, their contribution should be prominently acknowledged. Regardless, it is vital that the essential role and contribution librarians make to research is recognised by institutions.
But as they transition from the position of service provider to research partner, their contributions are not acknowledged by academics and institutions, says Matthew Greenhall, deputy executive director of RLUK. For example, on the evidence of the report, when librarians have been involved as research collaborators, often no value is placed on the time they put in.
“The majority of the engagement has been uncosted,” he says.
Incorporating research into librarians’ job descriptions and performance reviews, giving awards for research achievements, and providing training opportunities as well as research funding for library staff are among the ways the report suggests institutions can better support their research work.