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College & Research Libraries

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Academic librarians face multiple barriers in conducting the research that is expected in their work, yet they still manage to successfully complete it. This study aimed to identify the factors that contribute to their success. Through an online survey sent via email to a random sample of academic librarians in the United States, we gathered and analyzed quantitative data about education and experience, demographics, success factor statements, and research productivity to determine which factors are related to increased research output. We found that three categories of factors—Individual Attributes, Peers and Community, and Institutional Structures and Supports—contribute positively to overall research output. We identified several elements that academic librarians may want to pursue to increase research productivity, with Peers and Community identified as a category for exploration. Overall, we found that academic librarians are highly motivated to conduct research, yet the factors leading to their success are complex and varied.


This is the authors' accepted manuscript, which was accepted in May 2022 and is forthcoming in College & Research Libraries.

Data availability: Hoffmann, Kristin, Selinda Adelle Berg, Kristine R. Brancolini, and Marie R. Kennedy. “Factors Related to Research Productivity for Academic Librarians - Survey Instrument and Data.” Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1, 2022.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License