Institutional Stakeholders in Research Support

Research universities face significant challenges in supporting research workflows and ensuring institutional competitiveness. Previously siloed campus units—many that have never before collaborated—must increasingly work together to address complex institutional challenges and to support enterprise-wide services. Operating in this enterprise ecosystem is challenging, in great part because most stakeholders lack a complete picture of institutional functional areas necessary to effectively engage, identify points of common interest, and collaborate to support research services

To help fill this gap, OCLC Research is leading an effort to better understand the operations, goals, and pain points of research university stakeholders to inform communications and partnership. We will engage Research Library Partnership institutions to collectively learn about how campus units are working together to offer research support. These units include:  

  • Institutional research office, with subunits like:
    • proposal development
    • pre- and post-award management
    • tech transfer/commercialization
    • ethics and compliance
  • Library 
  • Institutional research
  • Campus communications, advancement, and corporate relations
  • Campus technologies/IT
  • Academic affairs (provost/regent, deans, department heads)
  • Graduate school
  • Postdoctoral affairs
  • Undergraduate research
  • Registrar
  • Human resources

In order to collect and synthesize this information we will:

  • Conduct interviews with cross-institutional stakeholders 
  • Present webinars in which different campus stakeholders will share information about their operations, goals, and challenges 
  • Present case studies that exemplify successful (and sometimes the not-so-successful) campus partnerships
  • Conduct a literature review and share with the community
  • Discuss the challenges with members of the RLP research support interest group

We will conclude our project by synthesizing this knowledge into an OCLC Research Report to benefit the entire research community. 

This project is inspired and informed by previous OCLC research on research data management and research information management, which documented significant cross-institutional collaborations. Library leaders attending the Research Library Partnership Research Retreat also described this as pressing issue facing their institutions. 

Read the announcement of the project launch.

Resources will accumulate on this web page in the coming months. 

Recommended reading 

Cox, John. 2018. “Positioning the Academic Library within the Institution: A Literature Review.” New Review of Academic Librarianship 0 (0): 1–25.

Day, Annette. 2018. “Research Information Management: How the Library Can Contribute to the Campus Conversation.” New Review of Academic Librarianship 24 (1): 23–34.  

Oakleaf, Megan, and ACRL. 2010. The Value of Academic Libraries. Association of College and Research Libraries.  

Smith, Dean O. 2011. Managing the Research University. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Team members

Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer
Annette Dortmund, Research Consultant
Brian Lavoie, Senior Research Scientist

OCLC Research Library Partnership Activities

OCLC Research collaborates with librarians from OCLC Research Library Partnership member institutions to learn, share, and collectively conduct research. The Research Support listserv provides a discussion forum exclusively for RLP members. Interested in joining us? Learn more.