OCLC/ALISE Library & Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRGP)

2018 Call for Proposals

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated and OCLC Research, in collaboration with the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), announce the Library and Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRGP) for 2018 and invite research proposals.

Program description

Recognizing the importance of research to the advancement of librarianship and information science, OCLC Research and ALISE, the Association for Library and Information Science Education, annually collaborate to offer the Library and Information Science Research Grant Program.

The overall goal is to promote independent research, particularly work helping to integrate new technologies that offer innovative approaches, and research that contributes to a better understanding of the information environment and user expectations and behaviors. We will prioritize submissions that integrate diversity, inclusion and equity aspects into these research areas.

Our intent is to create access and minimize barriers for people from a broad range of backgrounds who will add value to our professional communities. Grant awards range up to $25,000 and support one-year research projects. Research related, but not limited, to the following areas is encouraged:

  • Impact of digital technology on libraries, museums, and archives
  • Social media, learning, and information-seeking behavior
  • New developments in knowledge organization (metadata, social tagging, linked data, etc.)


Full-time academic faculty in schools of library and information science or related fields are eligible to apply. OCLC and ALISE encourage international proposals and collaborative projects under this program. To aid new researchers, priority will be given when possible to proposals from junior faculty and applicants who have not previously received LISRGP funds. Proposals must be signed by the principal investigator, by the dean/director (or equivalent) of the school, and by an authorized official of the university.

Application deadline

Applications must be submitted by 23:59:59 your local time on 15 September 2017. Receipt will be acknowledged. Late applications will be disqualified. Grant recipients will be notified prior to the ALISE 2018 Annual Conference, 6-9 February, 2018, in Denver, Colorado and announced at the Conference. Previous recipients and final papers are available at: www.oclc.org/research/grants/awarded.htm.

Project funding

The LISRGP provides grant awards of up to $25,000 for a one-year research project. Monies can be applied to the following costs:

  • Release time from teaching for the principal investigator
  • Research assistants
  • Stipends
  • Project-related travel
  • Required attendance and presentation of research results at the 2019 ALISE Conference
  • Equipment, if integral to the research
  • Other research expenses

In addition to costs for which grant funding is sought, any institutional cost sharing also must be specified in the application. All of the direct-funding categories above are eligible for institutional cost sharing. In addition, the following cost categories are eligible FOR INSTITUTIONAL COST SHARING ONLY:

  • Staff training
  • General operating or overhead expenses
  • Other indirect costs

All costs, both those to be directly funded as well as institutional cost sharing, must be clearly defined in the budget portion of the proposal. Capital equipment cost should be prorated if the useful life of the equipment extends beyond the end of the project.

Proposal review procedures

Proposals are evaluated by a panel selected by OCLC and ALISE. Occasionally, proposals may be distributed to additional expert reviewers selected by OCLC and ALISE who may advise the panel. The panel's recommendations are forwarded to the vice president of OCLC Research, for final review and funding decisions. The decisions of the vice president of OCLC Research are final.

Reviewers consider the following criteria, among others, when evaluating proposals:

  • Does the proposal meet the submission criteria as laid out in this Call for Proposals? Proposals not meeting these criteria will not be further evaluated and will not be funded. This includes length of proposal, margin and font-size specifications, presence of requested signatures, eligibility of requesting institution, presence of budget and description of role of all investigators.
  • Is the project clearly described, is the problem well defined, and the research objectives clearly stated?
  • Is the project designed to be successfully completed within one year?
  • Is there sufficient review of relevant literature?
  • Is the proposed methodology appropriate and are the investigative procedures clearly explained?
  • What is the significance of the proposed research to the library and information science community?
  • Are outcomes, impact and deliverables specifically identified?
  • Are sufficient resources and expertise available?
  • Is there institutional commitment as evidenced by cost share to support the project?

Project duration

LISRGP-supported projects will be conducted within one year from the date of the award in February 2018.

When a decision to award a grant has been made, a research project liaison is assigned by OCLC Research. The liaison serves as the point of contact for the LISRGP recipient during the duration of the project.

Dissemination of findings

As a condition of the grant, researchers must furnish OCLC a final project report in MS Word format within 60 days of the completion date indicated on the proposal cover page. The results of the research must be nonproprietary and in the public domain. OCLC and ALISE may elect to publish and distribute all or portions of the report without restriction. The final project report will be available on the OCLC Research Website. Presentation of research results at the 2019 ALISE Conference is required.

The report should:

  • Explain why the research is innovative in the context of current related research.
  • Describe the scope and methodology employed for the research, including completed phases of the research with dates.
  • Explain the analyses and discuss the findings of the research.
  • Describe outcomes or outputs of the research, such as papers, presentations, or publications, including venues and dates.
  • Suggest future research based on the results of the project.
  • Include a budget report, including institutional cost share.

If a paper describing the research methodology and findings is accepted for publication in a journal, a cover letter briefly explaining the research outcomes and a pre-print of the published paper, or a link to the network-accessible journal, must be submitted to OCLC Research for inclusion on the Website. Researchers must include, or cause to be included, recognition of the OCLC/ALISE LISRGP grant in all publications of research results from the LISRGP-funded project.

Submission criteria

To apply, complete and submit the items listed below. (A printable checklist (.pdf) is available to assist you in assembling your application package.)

  1. OCLC/ALISE LISRGP proposal cover page (.pdf). The principal investigator, dean/director (or equivalent) of the school, and an authorized official of the university must sign the proposal cover page.
  2. A research proposal that:
    • Describes the nature, scope, and method of the proposed research.
    • Explains why the research is innovative through reference to current related research reported in the literature.
    • Proposes the anticipated significance of the research to library and information science.
    • Identifies methods that will be used to measure the success of the project.
    • Clearly states the research problem and objectives.
    • Suggests future research based on the anticipated results of the project.
    • Includes letters of agreement from collaborators specifically stating how they will support the work.
    • Briefly notes dissemination plans.
    • Displays double-spaced lines with a minimum of .5” margins and a font size of at least 10 points.
  3. Detailed budget in US dollars that clearly identifies the funding requested and identifies institutional cost sharing. Equipment and travel (other than the required travel to the 2019 ALISE Conference) must be explicitly justified.
  4. Additional supporting materials such as curricula vitae of project staff (maximum of two pages per investigator), bibliography, project schedule, letters of support. The role and contribution of all investigators should be clearly specified.
  5. The cover page, proposal, budget and any supporting materials must not exceed 20 pages.

Submitting proposals

Submit proposals electronically via the online form. The deadline for submission is 23:59:59 your local time on 15 September 2017.

Contact OCLC Research for questions or clarifications. These must be resolved prior to 16:00:00 US-EDT 15 September 2017.

Submit proposals in PDF (preferred) or MS Word. See www.oclc.org/research/grants/call.html (this page) for details.

  1. Scan paper documents and convert digital files as necessary.
    • Submit proposals in PDF or MS Word.
  2. Verify the completeness of your application by using the checkboxes on the online submission form.
    • Recall that applications must not exceed 20 pages, including cover page, proposal, budget and any supporting materials.
  3. Attach the following items to the online checklist page:
    • Signed and scanned cover page
    • Proposal
    • Supporting materials
  4. Submit your application electronically by clicking the button at the bottom of the checklist.

About the sponsors

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC is a world leader in the library and information science community and its Inclusion Initiative is driven by the respect for the many nations, cultures and languages that are represented in libraries and cultural heritage institutions and the populations they serve. The OCLC Diversity & Inclusion Office is committed to finding innovative ways for the cooperative to foster an inclusive environment that affirms and values our differences and similarities and positively impacts all of our employees, partners and libraries, as well as the people they serve.

ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) is a non-profit organization that serves as the intellectual home of faculty, staff, and students in library and information science, and allied disciplines. We promote innovation and excellence internationally through leadership, collaboration, advocacy, and dissemination of scholarship.

ALISE believes that diversity is central to its mission and values. ALISE is committed to the active recruitment and equitable and full participation of members of all backgrounds, the promotion of diversity and its benefits in library and information science education, research and service by its personal and institutional members, and their full participation in the profession. www.alise.org.

Spread the word!

Please share this call with your colleagues. A print-friendly version is available (.pdf).

Updated 4 January 2017