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Executive summary:

An environmental scan of Australian Library and Information Studies research was undertaken focusing on the period 2005–2013. This was in response to a brief from ALIA that sought such an analysis to inform its decisions in relation to content of a future research agenda, support, advocacy, and future funding. The investigation was expected to include research priorities of other library and information organisations, topics of research undertaken in Australia, types of research, persons/organisations undertaking research, and how research activities are funded, communicated and applied.

The report took into account:

  • research priorities of LIS professional associations both within and outside Australia
  • production of higher degree theses over the period
  • publication by practitioners and academics in both Australian and international publications and
  • grant or other support for research or investigatory projects.

Methodologies employed included:

  • Website analysis for research priorities of LIS organisations
  • Database searching using Trove for higher degree theses
  • Database searching using multiple databases for publications
  • In the case of research in progress and resourcing via grants, methods employed were database searching, consultation and by survey methods

The limitations in these approaches are explained in each related Section or Appendix.
However, the major limitations were:

  • Poor response to the online survey despite its wide dissemination through ALIA and other
  • associations
  • Inconsistent responses to individual surveys directed specifically at academic departments
  • Coverage of publications by databases, particularly of material outside periodicals
  • Difficulties in categorising documents
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