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The Research and Development Imperative in the Academic Library: Path to the Future

Neal, James G.

"Librarianship is an 'information poor' information profession. Decisions are routinely not supported by the evidence of well-designed investigations. Research in the field is poorly communicated, understood, and applied. It is imperative that academic librarians and higher education libraries develop and carry out systematic research and development programs.
What is research and development (R and D)? Research is thorough investigation, experimentation focused on the discovery and interpretation of new facts, and the practical application of new or revised theories or laws. Development is making research results visible, available, and useful. R and D is thus solving real problems in real situations. R and D has its roots in the late nineteenth century corporation when new products and processes became essential to market share and profit. The needs of national defense and global economics pushed the U.S. government into a major R and D role through two world wars. American universities have developed over the last 50 years as major centers of R and D activity and technology transfer, particularly as a result of expanding federal investment through grants. Other organizations in the not-for-profit sector, including libraries, have not advanced an R and D capacity or commitment. This needs to change." -- page 1

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Also Published In

Title
Portal: Libraries and the Academy
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2006.0007

More About This Work

Academic Units
Libraries and Information Services
Publisher
Johns Hopkins University Press
Published Here
May 16, 2014
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