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Title: Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communication in the Light of Digital Transition: Embedding Practices and the Required Competencies for University Librarians
Authors: Abrizah Abdullah, Prof. Madya, Dr.
Issue Date: 15-Sep-2015
Publisher: Persatuan Pustakawan Malaysia (PPM)
Abstract: Introduction: Librarians in higher education is not viewed as an academic; but primarily working in a supportive role. This assumption leads to the belief that the role concentrates on information service delivery, rather than knowledge creation. A restricted view confining to “support research” denies librarians themselves the chance to realise their capacity to build new knowledge in research. It could instead be asserted that the role of a librarian in higher education is academic and that as information professionals, they have much to offer in scholarly communication. Librarians in academic libraries are increasingly required to “understand” research in order to meet institutional service needs and to further their own careers. Objective: To provide evidence to support the idea that university librarians play an important role in research undertaken by their organisations, this paper provides an overview of the author’s investigation into the research project Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications: The Periphery of World Scholarship in the Digital Era conducted in Malaysia (Abrizah et al. 2015a; Abrizah et al. 2015b; Abrizah 2015c). Method: This paper uses findings from Abrizah et al. (2015a, 2015b, 2015c) to provide evidence to support the idea that university librarians play an important role in scholarly communication undertaken by their organisations. Findings: The study has shown views, perception and behaviours of Malaysian authors (academic researchers) in respect to scholarly channels and resource they trust to publish in. Peer-reviewed journals are still the central to the authors, however authors seem to have more freedom in relation to journals they read and cite, compared to publish. Peer review was highlighted as the most important factor for trust and authority to Malaysian researchers only when it comes to evaluate open access journals. Where researchers publish was strongly influenced by institutional research policy directives or mandates, and the pressure applied is to publish in high impact factor, international journals. Impact factors very much come into their own when it comes to the dissemination of research results. The study indicates that the main drivers affecting the market for scholarly journals relate primarily to the attitudes and actions of the main players, i.e. the authors. Looking at the authors’ trust-related views, needs and issues in scholarly communication, it is emphasized that academic librarians apply their understanding of scholarly communication towards delivering the right services to meet the needs of the academic community. Librarians need to demonstrate competency in critically evaluate journals and published research. Conclusion: The paper presents the notion of the embedded librarian in relation to scholarly communication, and implication for a set of competency supported from the findings of the research. It is the view of the author that a key way of supporting research as a librarian is to engage in the practice oneself, to partake in knowledge creation rather than simply providing information. Librarians need to perform self-assessment of current competencies and competencies they need to develop. This calls for academic librarians whose jobs involve supporting or conducting research, or who have an interest in conducting research, to develop research competencies, and the academic libraries to source research training for their librarians.
Description: This paper was presented in the Conference on Librarians for the Cyber World, 13-15th September 2015, held at Pullman Hotel, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Appears in Collections:Kertas Kerja Persidangan /Seminar

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