Monday, July 23, 2007

OBS/TS Research Roundtable Meeting

The meeting of the OBS/TS Research Roundtable took place on July 17, 2007. There were ten of us in attendance and a good discussion took place. Susan Lupton agreed to take notes for the group. That is one of the perks of this Roundtable meeting—one of the attendees walks out with a publication in the Technical Services Law Librarian (TSLL) in the works due to his/her volunteering to take notes.

Brian Striman opened by encouraging us to consider publishing in TSLL. There are a few empty slots at present for regular TSLL columnists. Contact Brian (TSLL editor-in-chief) for details. It was noted that it is not necessary to be an expert in order to be a column editor. The column can be used to pose questions, disseminate news tidbits, report on programs attended, etc. You can even line up guest columnists to produce the content!

Caitlin Robinson, outgoing chair of the OBS/TS Joint Research Grant Committee, gave a plug for applying for a research grant. While the information on the web at

needs some updating, it can get you started. Along those same lines, don’t forget about the AALL Research Committee. Consult their website at:

Caitlin also mentioned the idea of possibly setting up a blog or some such mechanism to connect people interested in doing research/ writing and seeking guidance, co-authors, editing assistance, etc. Hopefully we will hear more about that in the future.

A few of the attendees are relatively new to the tenure track, so there was some information exchanged on that topic:

*Peer-reviewed publishing venues
*How to try to find out what the local university requirements for tenure are
*Making the most of an idea by turning it into multiple outcomes (presentation, AALL Call for Papers submission, peer-reviewed journal article, local bar association article, etc.)
*Websites, blogs, etc. as “published” works

There was also an interesting discussion about whether we should write what we know or use our research and writing to help us learn about a new topic. All were in agreement that either approach is fine (as long as your tenure committee thinks so). Just be sure your project is on a topic that you are passionate about. This tip was mentioned at the presentation “Rise to the Challenge of Publishing” which a couple of the Roundtable attendees had enjoyed the day before.

Thank you to all who attended!

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