Literature Management and Scholarly Communication at USN
Background: The PhD course Literature Management and Scholarly Communication was established in 2019 through a library-faculty collaboration. This is the first
accredited generic and interdisciplinary PhD course at this university, and it provides 5 ECTS credits. The course has participants from all our eight PhD programs,
researching topics spanning from religion to robotics. Our main idea was that bringing PhD candidates from different programs together for such a course may add extra value in
the form of enhancing communication and understanding across the disciplines.
Methods: The study has a mixed methods design. A preliminary survey was conducted in 2017 to reveal the PhD candidates’ information needs, which provided a basis for
planning the course content. To examine the candidates’ learning outcomes and further improvements for future courses, NVivo was used to analyse observations that were recorded during the course,
in addition to the participants’ course essays and evaluation forms.
Results: The 2017 survey had a response rate of 43% (n=91). More than 50% of the respondents expressed a need for library courses in literature searching, systematic
reviews, research data management and the publishing process. The PhD course was designed based on these findings and has become a popular course with a total of 111
participants on four courses, of which 23% are international candidates and 7% are affiliated with other universities. The main finding was that several of the
participants found the course surprisingly useful to their research and to their career plans.
Discussion: Having a generic course for early-stage researchers from such a diversity of fields was challenging, and the article discusses several issues to consider for future courses.
Most importantly, the prior knowledge was vastly different among the participants. This emphasizes the need for increased library-faculty collaboration to reach out to all PhD candidates in an early stage.
Copyright (c) 2021 Shea Allison Sundstøl, Anita Nordsteien
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).