Breaking the silos

Collaboration between practitioners and academics in the Canadian LIS community


Philippe Mongeon - -
Dalhousie University

Presentation outline

  • Breaking the silos in LIS: the project
  • Embracing the silos: some thoughts

The breaking the silos in LIS project


  • Build an open and exhaustive database of the scholarship produced by LIS academics and practitioners in Canada.

  • Promote the scholarship produced by LIS academics and practitioners in Canada.

  • Encourage research collaboration between academics and practitioners in Canada.

Researcher-based field delineation

  • Advantages

    • Less ambiguous than field-delineation based on topics.
    • Manageable scope.
    • Capture mutlidisciplinarity within the group/unit.
  • Challenges

    • Author name disambiguation is tedious.

    • Mobility

    • Excludes LIS scholars with non-LIS affiliations and non-LIS scholars contributing to the LIS scholarship.

Data sources/process

  • Canadian Academic Libraries and LIS department websites.

  • Google Scholar and ORCID.

  • OpenAlex


A dataset of LIS practitioners and academics

  • About 2,630 individuals (2022 librarians, 608 academics) from 93 institutions.

  • 6500+ publications (journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings).

  • OpenAlex author IDs and work IDs, Google Scholar IDs, ORCIDs, etc.

  • Citation index (including links to records outside of the dataset)

  • Web app to explore and visualize the data.

Map of research by LIS academics

Topic specialization (publications)

Topic specialization (authors)

Collaboration between academics and practitioners (ongoing)

Two objectives

  1. To map the scholarship produced by Canadian LIS scholars and academic librarians to identify similarities and differences in research output, impact, topics, and publication venues.
  2. To measure the degree of engagement between scholars and practitioners through research collaborations or references to the scholarship produced by each group.

Next steps

  • Data cleaning.

  • Publication of full dataset.

  • Publication of the Shiny app.

  • Publication of scripts to optimize the data collection/cleaning process.

Embracing the silos

Towards an open national bibliometric data infrastructure

  • Institutional data stewardship

    • Systematic collection of research output published by the institution.

      • Only the metadata!
    • Mobilizing institutional repositories for full text when possible.

    • Disambiguation of authors affiliated with the institution.

An opportunity for libraries

  • Core skills of LIS practitioners.
  • Emerging mandate in academic libraries.
  • Core values of LIS practitioners.
  • Vroom’s expectancy theory: Motivational Force (MF) = Expectancy x Instrumentality x Valence
    • Expectancy: Belief that the outcome will be achieved.

    • Instrumentality: Belief that a reward will be obtained.

    • Valence: The value placed on the reward/outcome.

Keeping it small and simple

  • The number of individuals included in the breaking the silos project is about three times the size of Dalhousie University.

  • Local data for local needs

  • No more data than is needed.

The right tool for the job

  • Bibliometrics do not need to be about impact.

  • Technologies can be overrated.

  • Beware of tools that just create more work.

  • Manage your urge to automate processes.

A wish list

  • Open disambiguated publication data for all Canadian universities.
  • Open and exhaustive classification(s) of journals.
  • Normalization denominators.

Building collective capacity, one silo at a time.

Thank you!

Philippe Mongeon, Dalhousie University - -