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We have a DREaM: the Developing Research Excellence and Methods network

Brettle, Alison; Hall, Hazel; Oppenheim, Charles


Alison Brettle

Hazel Hall

Charles Oppenheim


This paper reports on UK efforts to support the building of the library and information science (LIS) evidence base through the work of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project ( The broad aim of this project is to develop a formal UK-wide network of LIS researchers. The grant is held by Edinburgh Napier University and the work is supported by the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition ( The project began in January 2011 and runs until August 2012. It focuses on bringing together those with an interest in developing LIS research at five UK events: two conferences (one at the start, and one at the end of the project) and a set of three linked workshops. These explore the scope of LIS and related research, the range of methods appropriate to research in the domain, and their strengths and weaknesses. Contributors include both methods experts from LIS, as well as experts from other subject domains, who explore and evaluate with participants a wide range of techniques that go beyond the standard qualitative and quantitative methods commonly deployed in LIS research. The participants, i.e., the members of the DREaM network itself, come from the full spectrum of LIS sectors, and hold roles at all career stages from student to senior management. Brettle is a participant in the DREaM network, and Hall and Oppenheim are the project co-investigators. Drawing on their respective experiences in these roles, and based on an analysis of data collected from network members, the presenters evaluate the project to date. This evaluation covers its impact on participants and their relationship with research. It also considers the value of the unique project approach that includes, for example, heavy reliance on event amplification to widen participation in the project beyond the delegates in situ, interactive sessions with network members, and the use of methods experts to share knowledge from domains external to LIS. This paper is of direct relevance to the conference theme of methodologies for building the evidence base in library and information services. It also raises important issues related to advocacy, networking and influencing. Conference delegates who are interested in developing research capacity or expanding the LIS evidence base will be keen to learn of the UK experience. The conference web site is at


Brettle, A., Hall, H., & Oppenheim, C. (2012, May). We have a DREaM: the Developing Research Excellence and Methods network. Paper presented at 4th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 4th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries
Start Date May 22, 2012
End Date May 25, 2012
Deposit Date Mar 14, 2012
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Library and Information Science; research; Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM);
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