Exploring New Ways of Working using Virtual Research Environments in Library and Information Science
Journal article, 2009
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new
ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information science (LIS).
Design/methodology/approach – A total of four studies were conducted focusing on: the design of
a virtual research environment (VRE) to facilitate the sharing of data collection instruments among
students, researchers and professionals; new ways professionals and researchers can collaborate;
collaborative decision making in the context of purchasing a library management system; and
collaboration among LIS professionals.
Findings – Early results show that VREs within LIS can build on previous VRE research which
focused on other domains. However, there are several unique characteristics of LIS that place
requirements on VREs and which are not yet implemented within VREs and that offer unique
opportunities for VREs to enhance LIS research, education and practice.
Originality/value – This paper reports on ongoing research and preliminary findings of unique
studies investigating how VREs could enhance LIS research and professional practice, and how LIS
research and practice can inspire the next generation of VREs.