Research is creating new knowledge. – Neil Armstrong
Merriam-Webster defines research as “studious inquiry or examination, especially investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws.
Research is an important aspect within Library and Information Science. It is necessary for providing better service, solving problems, developing tools, and finding new ways to use and organize information. Although school librarians may not conduct formal research studies, they can certainly improve their services by keeping up to date with the current research in the field.
School Library Research (SLR) is the peer-reviewed research journal of the American Association of School Librarians. The purpose of the journal “is to promote and publish high quality original research concerning the management, implementation, and evaluation of school library programs.”
To have a manuscript published in SLR, authors must submit their manuscript to the editors, who conduct a double-blind peer review. If the manuscript is not accepted, the authors may be able to use recommendations to revise their manuscript until accepted. Manuscripts are posted for full board review and majority approval before being published online.
The SLR Editorial Board chair is appointed by the AASL President Elect for a two-year term, and editors are appointed in alternate years for staggered terms. They must have prior SLR Editorial Board experience. Committee members are appointed by the AASL President Elect for two-year terms. The SLR Editors’ authority is given by the AASL Board of Directors, and the AASL Executive Director directly supervises the content.
Some of the most interesting topics covered in SLR are related to teacher-librarian collaboration and online trends. In the latest (2018) issue, there is an interesting article about collaboration: School Librarians as Co-Teachers of Literacy: Librarian Perceptions and Knowledge in the Context of the Literacy Instruction Role, and in the 2017 issue, I was intrigued by the article School Librarians Fully Online: Preparing the Twenty-First Century Professional.
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) is the peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the University of Alberta Learning Services. The purpose of the journal “is to provide a forum for librarians and other information professionals to discover research that may contribute to decision making in professional practice.”
Just as with SLR, to have a manuscript published in EBLIP, authors must submit their manuscript to the editors to undergo a double-blind peer review. Authors can monitor the progress of their submission, and editors have the right to edit submissions for length, style, and clarity.
EBLIP has a large editorial team consisting of several editors, editorial advisors, a communications officer, indexing support, copyeditors, an evidence summaries team, a writing assistance team, and a myriad of peer reviewers. Since EBLIP is a non-profit, open-access journal, all positions are voluntary. Editors are elected for three-year terms and are expected to be well-versed in evidence-based practice and research.
Many of the articles seem geared toward public and academic libraries, but much of the information can be applied to school libraries as well. There are interesting articles about social networking, e.g. Visualization of the Scholarly Output on Evidence Based Librarianship: A Social Network Analysis, and about expanding the library’s use to include things such as music or photography, e.g. Through the Students’ Lens: Photographic Methods for Research in Library Spaces and Connecting Music and Place: Exploring Library Collection Data Using Geo-visualizations.
Bedi, S. & Webb, J. (2017). Through the students’ lens: Photographic methods for research in library spaces. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (12)2. https://doi.org/10.18438/B8FH33
Doi, C. (2017). Connecting music and place: exploring library collection data using geo-visualizations. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (12)2. https://doi.org/10.18438/B86078
Reed, K. & Oslund, E. (2018). School librarians as co-teachers of literacy: Librarian perceptions and knowledge in the context of the literacy instruction role. School Library Research (20). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/slr/vol21/SLR_SchoolLibrariansasCoteachers_V21.pdf
Santos Green, L., Jones, S., & Burke, P. (2017). School librarians fully online: Preparing the twenty-first century professional. School Library Research (20). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/slr/vol20/SLR_SchoolLibFullyOnline_V20.pdf
Vahed, N., Gavgani, V., Jafarzadeh, R., Tusi, Z., & Erfanmanesh. (2018). Visualization of the scholarly output on evidence based librarianship: A social network analysis. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (13)4. https://doi.org/10.18438/eblip29396