Call for Book Chapter Proposals: Becoming a Practitioner-Researcher: A Practical Guide for Information Professionals

Thank you to Caryn Radick for passing this on!

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Dear colleagues,
We are soliciting chapter proposals for our forthcoming ACRL book, Becoming a Practitioner-Researcher: A Practical Guide for Information Professionals [working title]This book will gather practical advice from practitioners conducting research as part of their tenure or professional responsibilities at academic, public, and special libraries, and/or archives. We are seeking chapters from novice or seasoned practitioner-researchers who want to share their experiences in executing research and/or evaluation projects.

Focus of the Book:
This edited volume will address the challenges of undertaking research and offers support and advice for all stages of a project, from writing the proposal to collecting the data, to disseminating the findings whether it be an internal report or published journal article, and the myriad pitfalls that may occur in between.

Rather than focusing solely on methods, this book tackles issues such as balancing research project and work responsibilities, scaling your project to fit your budget and time constraints, collaborating with a partner or team, and other issues that impact projects. Our vision for this book is to curate an edited volume of insights that we wish we would have known when we embarked on our own research projects. Chapters will introduce and discuss a specific project in a specific institution, in order to frame the discussion of the aspects of the research process the chapter addresses. The narrative should be reflective and discuss what can be generalized about the experience that would be helpful for other practitioners in a “lessons learned” approach.

Part 1: The Research Process (starting your research, crafting a proposal, figuring out logistics)
Part 1 is about creating a holistic approach to undertaking research in a library or archive setting. We are seeking chapters that include sections addressing topics such as, but not limited to:

  • Developing an idea into a research proposal
  • Obtaining administrative buy-in and support
  • Budgeting (time, money, personnel)
  • Choosing a research design and data collection method
  • Navigating the IRB process
  • Deciding on the scale of a project and what is feasible
  • Analyzing your data
  • Sharing research (reports, formal outlets including journals)

We chose the term holistic because we feel the chapters should integrate several of the above bullet points when reflecting on research project experiences in the context of their library.

Part 2: Social Research Methods for Information Professionals (survey, content analysis observation studies, focus group, interviews, etc.) 
Part 2 is about the application of common research methods found in the library literature. Chapters should revolve around creating a research design and reflect on the realities of research practice, conveying to readers methods that worked well for particular contexts and projects. Each chapter in Part 2 will include sections on how the particular method was applied, the institutional context, and the bumps and bruises of going from research design to data collection. Please address these sections in your proposal if you are seeking inclusion in Part 2.
Potential topics include:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Ethnographic methods (observation, visual, storytelling)
  • Interviews
  • Document/content/textual analysis

Part 3: Managing a Research Project (individual researchers and team-based collaboration)
Part 3 will bring into focus the experiences of individual researchers and teams. The purpose of this section is to provide readers a range of basic and complex project examples and how these projects have been managed by individual practitioners or collaborative teams.
Example topics for inclusion in a chapter:

  • Project management as a solo researcher
  • How teams determine responsibilities for a project
  • Cleaning and analysis of data as a team
  • Collaborating on cross-institutional projects
  • Publishing or writing as a team
  • Short reflective essays by individuals who have been both solo researchers and on a research team

Don’t see your topic here? Contact the editors at libresearcherbook@gmail.com to discuss how your idea may fit within this book’s scope.

Proposal Guidelines:
To submit a proposal,  fill out the short Survey Monkey form and attach your proposal as a Word document (.doc or .docx). The form will require author names, job titles, and institutional affiliations. The Word document for the proposal itself should be written in Times New Roman, 12 pt., be double-spaced, and include:

  • A working title for your chapter
  • A 500-word description and chapter outline including topic keywords.
  • Authors must indicate which part of the book your chapter will address: Part 1: The Research Process, Part 2: Social Research Methods for Information Professionals, or Part 3: Managing a Research Project.
  • Authors will include one or two summary sentences that make explicit the chapter’s major themes, ideas, and learning outcomes.
  • Do not use any identifying information in your proposal (e.g., do not include author names or institution names in the Word doc).
  • Citations should follow the Endnotes-Bibliography format in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition).

Proposals are due by Friday, April 13, 2018 at 11:59PM PST and must be submitted via online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/libresearcherbook

  • Contributors will be notified of their status (acceptance or rejection) within 6–8 weeks of the due date of proposals.
  • The first draft of chapters will be due in August 2018.
  • Estimated length of chapter: 2,500–4,000 words.
  • Projected publication date: Summer 2019.

Should you need to contact the editors, use the following email address: libresearcherbook@gmail.com. Bookmark the Google site: https://sites.google.com/view/libraryresearcherbook/home.

Thank you,
Lee Ann Fullington (Health Sciences Librarian, Brooklyn College/CUNY)
Brandon K. West (Head of Research Instruction Services, SUNY Geneseo)
Frans Albarillo (Social Sciences Librarian, Brooklyn College/CUNY)

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