"Your Research Coach" Program

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A Project to Promote Research by College Librarians
Sponsored by the Research for College Librarianship Committee
College Libraries Section of ACRL

Purpose of the Program

"Your Research Coach" is a program for academic librarians seeking assistance with research and scholarly projects that can lead to publication or presentations. It helps by matching them with an experienced "coach," who can offer advice, support and suggestions to improve the chances for success. The program brochure is available online in pdf format.

How It Works

Prospective authors or presenters – called the "Research Partner" – will complete the Research Partner Interest Form, providing such information as their name, affiliation, and a description of the project that they are working on or planning to begin work on.

Experienced authors and presenters – called the "Research Coach" -- will complete the Research Coach Volunteer Form, providing their qualifications and areas of research and scholarly interest. Using this information, members of the Research for College Librarianship Committee will match a Research Partner with a Research Coach.

The Coach and the Research Partner will work together, most likely by email or telephone, although in-person meetings may also be possible, depending on location. It is up to the Coach and Research Partner to make arrangements on how they will work together. It is possible that a Research Partner may obtain assistance from more than one coach on a single project. For example, one coach may help with statistical methods, while another could provide editing help. A goal of the program is to create a support system that enables Research Partners to get assistance from a network of experienced authors and presenters, and possibly from each other.

The scope of work that the Coaches and the Research Partners engage in may take various forms. Some may work through an entire research project from defining a topic to producing a published article. Other Research Partners may need only narrow, more limited assistance, such as assistance in proof-reading a manuscript or selecting a journal for submission of a manuscript.

Possible Coach-Partner Activities:

  • choosing or refining a research topic
  • formulating hypotheses/defining variables
  • considering appropriate research methods
  • organizing the results/analyzing the data/presenting the findings
  • using statistical analysis
  • proofreading/editing the manuscript
  • choosing a suitable journal for submitting the manuscript
  • applying for poster sessions/organizing and presenting the poster session
  • applying for conference presentations

Qualifications and Participation: Research Partners:

  • Research Partners must be ACRL members (Association of College and Research Libraries).
  • Research Partners are expected to be college librarians who have a desire to publish or make a conference presentation, and who would welcome advice and suggestions from an experienced author.
  • Research Partners are expected to have a research project or writing topic in mind. The project may be at any stage of development – from early in the planning stage to well-developed manuscripts nearing the submission stage.
  • Individuals who wish to participate as Research Partners should complete the Research Partner Interest Form. A member of the Research for College Librarianship Committee will acknowledge the application and begin the process of finding a Research Coach.

Qualifications and Participation: Research Coaches:

  • Coaches should be experienced scholarly authors, conference presenters, or both. They are expected to have a good working knowledge of the library literature, experience with successfully publishing in the library literature, or, in the case of conference presentations, a working knowledge of library conferences.
  • Coaches may volunteer for the program by completing the Research Coach Volunteer Form.
  • Forms will be reviewed by members of the CLS Research Committee, and volunteers will be notified of their acceptance and inclusion in the list of Coaches. Coaches will be notified when matched with a Research Partner.