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Librarian Research Resources: Research: Getting Started with My Project

This guide provides research resources to assist academic librarians, who choose to do research, in their promotion. This provides support to library faculty members’ in their research component for their tenure, or post-tenure review.

Other Useful Links:

Other Important Links Regarding Research Procedures

Are you interacting with human subjects?

Are you doing a survey, focus groups, or unobtrusively studing individuals? Any time people are a part of your research you must get training and approval. Learn more under the Research Procedures IRB tab.

Having trouble deciding on a research topic?

Research ideas can come from:

  • Work that you do every day
  • Colleagues
  • Conference poster sessions are especially fertile ground for gleaning ideas
  • Looking at the professional literature. What are other people writing about? At the end of articles, writers often identify areas for further research; this is a great source of ideas.
  • Keeping an open mind and being curious
  • Cutting-edge things the Library is doing
  • Getting on professional committees with "research" or "statistics" in their names
  • Looking through encyclopedias of library science
  • Checking annual reviews of library and information science
  • Listserv threads


Burke, Mary, Min-min Chang, Charles H. Davis, Peter Hernon, Gary Marchionini, Paul Nicholls, Candy Schwartz, Debora Shaw, and Alastair Smith. "Editorial: A Research Agenda Beyond 2000." 'Library & Information Science Research' 19, no. 3 (1997): 209-16. Call Number: Z671 .L71531xAvailable:

Hernon, Peter. "Editorial: Service Quality: a Research Agenda." 'The Journal of Academic Librarianship' 27, no. 5 (2001): 349-51. Call Number: Z675 .U5 J67Available:

Richardson John V. Jr., Ragnar Audunson, Beverly Lynch, Deanna Marcum, Barbara B. Moran, Virginia A. Walter, and Darlene Wiegand. "Millenium Research Adenga Project: Management of Libraries and Information Centers." 'Library Quarterly' 70, no. 3 (2000): vii-xvii.

Richardson, John V. Jr., David Carr, Jacqueline C. Mancall, Carol Hansen Montgomery, Donald G. Jr. Davis, Kathleen M. Kluegel, and Anne Lundin. "Millenium Research Agenda Project: Collection Development." 'Library Quarterly' 70, no. 4 (2000): xi-xix.

Richardson, John V Jr., W. Michael Havener, Martin Dillon, Matthew L. Saxton, Carolyn Radcliff, and Carol C. Kuhlthau. "Millenium Research Agenda Project: Reference Services." 'Library Quarterly' 70, no. 1 (2000): vii-xvii.

Richardson, John V. Jr., Elaine Svenonius, Joan Mitchell, Diane McIlwaine Ia Vizine-Goetz, Chrystal Graham, Ling Hwey Jeng, and Michael Carperter. "Millenium Project Research Agenda: Cataloging and Classification." 'Library Quarterly' 70, no. 2 (2000): ix-xx.

'Research Agendas'

Professional societies often publish research agendas. Some are listed below. You can do a Google search on "academic library research agenda" or similar terms to find other such resources.

American Association of Law Librarians. AALL Research Agenda. 2000.

Association of College & Research Libraries. Instruction Section. Research and Scholarship Committee. Research Agenda for Library Instruction and Information Literacy.

Liddy, Elizabeth et al. Research Agenda for the Intelligent Digital Library.

Your Librarian

Erin Thomas's picture
Erin Thomas
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886