• LIS Faculty Research and Expectations of the Academic Culture versus the Needs of the Practitioner

      O'Connor, Daniel; Mulvaney, John Philip (1996)
      Library and information studies (LIS) education may be misreading the academic community's expectations. A program's viability may hinge on a counterintuitive premise, where the academic culture allows each discipline to create its own criteria for its own evaluation. LIS programs may have unwittingly assumed that adopting the scientific mode might gain them currency in the academic realm; yet there is little evidence that LIS programs had the prerequisite infrastructure to compete with a science discipline in terms of sustained funded research, teaching assistant and postdoctoral assistant services, laboratory equipment, and other resources. There is an irony that many LIS students and faculty do not come from the scientific disciplines, and this further inhibits their ability to compete in that arena. LIS program and faculty evaluators have used criteria from the sciences to measure LIS progress and to determine an individual's suitability for promotion. We contend that this application of inappropriate criteria has done unnecessary harm to LIS and the individuals in it. An examination of selected COA self-study responses and other sources indicates that LIS may misread the academic culture because LIS does not appear to be central to university governance. Finally, the waning of LIS's affiliation with libraries may do LIS irreparable harm. LIS's focus may need to be recentered on educating librarians.