UoA 37: Library and Information Management

In the RAE2001 submission, plans were made for researching users of digital libraries and archives in the humanities, collaborative research and extending subject coverage: considerable progress has been made in making these plans a reality. Four major projects have been won in digital humanities (Terras, Warwick), five research groupings introduced to promote collaboration, and new research territory established in scholarly communication (Nicholas, Rowlands), publishing (Watkinson, Stevenson) and community archives (Flinn). Also a new strategy and infrastructure have been established to provide research of a high quality.

A vibrant research culture now exists, delivered through research centres/groups and based on viable and sustainable research lines, and the dividends are proving to be rich, with major research growth achieved over the past three years culminating in the award, in the summer of 2007 (post census), of eight prestigious projects, worth approximately £400,000:

  • Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology (Warwick, Terras, University of Reading), JISC, £553,164 (UCL share £72,590);
  • Image, Text and Interpretation (Terras, Oxford University), AHRC/EPSRC/JISC, £341,969 (UCL share £26,133);
  • Community Archives and Identities (Flinn, Shepherd), AHRC, £166,080;
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI): Value for Money Review (Rowlands, London Economics), SFI, £10,000;
  • Impact of Open Access Journal Publishing (Huntington, Nicholas), OUP, £30,000;
  • Digital Lives (Beagrie, Rowlands, Nicholas, BL), AHRC; £165,657 (UCL share £65,014);
  • UK National E-Books Observatory (Nicholas, Huntington, Rowlands), JISC, £167,785;
  • Student expectations of the job market in archives and records management (Yeo, Shepherd), Unilever, £8000.

UCL has strongly supported research development through the recruitment of senior researchers (Nicholas, Rowlands, Huntington) and promising early career researchers (Terras, Flinn), internal promotion of skilled researchers to senior positions (Warwick, Miller, Shepherd), the £350,000+ investment in the Centre for Publishing (CfP) and establishment of the first UCL Chair in Publishing (Stevenson). SLAIS will move to a single site in 2008/9 which will further enhance the research environment, an investment worth £750,000+. The value of interdisciplinary research is recognised and there are strong internal links with: Museum Studies (Shepherd), Constitution Unit (Shepherd), Computer Science (Miller), Geography (Stevenson), Engineering (Terras) and the Institute of English Studies, University of London (Stevenson).

The main source of research funding comes from grants in areas where we believe there is sustainable research income in the medium to longer term. Around £760,000 in grants was obtained during the census period, with funding being obtained from a rich array of commercial companies, research councils, UK/US government, charities and professional/trade associations. Since 2002 income has proved steady; however, research plans introduced in 2004 have brought forth rich dividends with more income obtained in 2007 (including projects started after the census date) than in the previous 6 years. These projects will give us a complement of 5 research assistants/senior research associates.

The School has an excellent infrastructure in place to support long-term research growth. We place a high value upon integrating research students and early stage researchers and providing them the proper facilities for post-graduate and career development, including a new research room for doctoral students.

Since 2005 SLAIS research has been organised into 5 entities; 3 centres and 2 groups. These facilitate interaction between established researchers, and offer research training and career development opportunities for early stage researchers and graduate students. Importantly, they provide visibility, coherence and a critical mass of researchers in key areas.

i.    CIBER (Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research), a long-established centre, which moved to UCL in 2004.
ii.    ICARUS (International Centre for Archives and Records Management Research and User Studies), formed to promote growth in fields for which SLAIS is well known.
iii.    CIRCAh (Cultural Informatics Research Centre in the Arts & Humanities), which formalises our rapidly growing strengths in humanities computing.

Groups (less formal associations of researchers):
iv.    Knowledge Organisation Group, concerned with the intellectual foundations of information organization and the development of tools for the management and retrieval of information.
v.    Applied Logic Group, an interdepartmental and cross-institutional collective of researchers, with an interest in the application and development of formal logics within computing and information sciences.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Library & Information Management (pdf 168Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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