The Availability and Effectiveness of Research Supports for Early Career Academic Librarians

Erin Ackerman, Jennifer Hunter, Zara T. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


For many academic librarians, scholarly research is required in order to attain tenure or promotion and it is widely acknowledged that many early career librarians find this process challenging. Using a survey of >200 untenured or recently tenured academic librarians, this study investigates early career academic librarians’ access to and experiences with research support activities designed to develop research skills and confidence. Specific attention is paid to informal mentoring, formal mentoring programs, and writing groups. Responses indicate that early career librarians need supports that target three dimensions of the research experience: research design and methods; work practices and accountability; and emotional elements. Despite this, survey respondents had limited access to formal research supports that offer instruction and guidance in the research process, leaving them to rely heavily on informal mentoring. This study highlights the need for libraries and library organizations to invest their resources in research supports for early career academic librarians, helping them to become more effective and confident researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-568
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Academic Librarianship
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The Availability and Effectiveness of Research Supports for Early Career Academic Librarians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this