Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship
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Academic librarians and archivists occupy a unique role as researchers and as practitioners who support faculty and student researchers. However, the ways in which librarians and archivists think about research is largely unexamined, while faculty conceptions of research have been studied extensively. In this study, we analyzed drawings and interviews of 25 Canadian academic librarians and archivists and identified six conceptions of research: research is a shared, community experience; research leads to learning and growth; research is influenced by personal and professional experience; research is a process involving interrelated components; research involves refining and answering a question; research by librarians and archivists is not “real” research. Our analysis also shows that librarians and archivists experience research in much the same way as faculty researchers. These findings represent a new understanding of librarians and archivists as researchers, and are a contribution to the literature on conceptions of research more broadly. The six conceptions of research will help librarians and archivists think in new ways about their roles as researchers and as practitioners.
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