Guidelines on Research and Scholarship Activities

Guidelines on Research and Scholarship Activities for Librarians at Concordia University Libraries


The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines on research and scholarship for librarians and to offer assistance in the preparation of Research dossiers. These guidelines are intended for those preparing dossiers as well as those evaluating them.

The Collective Agreement provides both a definition of research and scholarship in 17.01 b and the dossier and performance requirements librarians must fulfill in order to be considered for re-appointment, promotion and tenure in Articles 15 and 19. Please note that although suggestions are offered in this document, the text of the Collective Agreement represents the legal agreement between the University and the Librarians and may be interpreted differently by different Library Personnel and Tenure Committees, University Librarians, as well as the Provost.

When presenting evidence in the dossier, it is the candidate’s responsibility to describe the activity in sufficient detail to assit peers in their evaluation. In the case of co-authored and collaborative works, it is essential that candidates clarify the nature of their roles and specific contributions. The type of activity, in and of itself, is not a sufficient description.

Seek advice and feedback from peers, particularly tenured ones, when preparing your dossiers. For example, it is common practice to view recent dossiers of those who underwent the process before you. You may also find it helpful to consult with peers about other research related documentation, such as sabbatical proposals and research leaves.

A) Reappointment and Tenure


Probationary Members should be aware that their dossier for reappointment must be ready during the last year of the first appointment. The evaluation of probationary members for re-appointment shall “pay particular attention to the quality of the candidate’s performance of professional librarian activities and research and scholarship under the provisions of Article 17.01 a) and b) as well as future potential” (Article 15.02 b). In addition, the evaluation shall be “based upon consideration of professional competence and potential for fulfilling the duties and responsibilities as defined in Article 17” and “be done ….on the basis of evidence brought forward by the member and all additional material brought forward….”(Article 15.01 b i& ii).

Upon appointment in a probationary position, a librarian should begin to explore a broad range of scholarly activities and research possibilities to ensure that they will be able to meet the criteria for re-appointment and tenure. As per article 17.04 d), probationary librarians are automatically entitled to a reduction of their assigned duties in order to provide them with an opportunity to engage in scholarly activities and/or research. This reduction in duties should be reflected in their annual workload assignment during the term of their first probationary appoibtment appointment. This time may be used to explore or identify areas of interest and investigate potential leads for research and scholarship.

Should additional research time over and beyond the reduction of duties stipulated in 17.04 d) be required, and should librarian members already have clear evidence of scholarship and/or research in their research portfolio, then additional time may be applied for as per 17.04 c).

Members should begin to devise and build a research portfolio from the start of their probationary period and continue to develop this portfolio in quality and breadth as they progress through reappointment, tenure and further promotion.

The topics of investigation within librarianship and information science shall be broadly defined and may include other academic disciplines in which the librarian has expertise. Interdisciplinary activities are welcome, as are activities testing the boundaries of librarianship or information science. Potential research topics may be explored and identified through a variety of means, such as: literature reviews; participation in conferences, workshops, committee meetings, etc.; engagement in library associations; cooperation or collaboration with colleagues. Members’ objectives should be to advance knowledge by making a unique and meaningful contribution to the field.

B) Funding


Concordia Libraries has a Library Research Fund whose purpose is to provide incentive and support to librarians in their pursuit of research and scholarly activities. Funding is available to support research in a variety of ways for example, equipment costs, research assistants, travel costs. Please consult Library Policy (G6) “Research Funding Policy” for more information.

There are other funding opportunities for librarians, such as the CARL Research in Librarianship Grant.

In addition, you may consider recruiting a practicum student as a research assistant for your project. It may be helpful to seek out a colleague to act as research mentor, particularly if this is a first research project. You may also consider joining an existing research project or launching a collaborative research project.

C) Research and Scholarly Activities


In the preliminary stages of devising a research protocol, many important and interesting activities can support the requirements of reappointment and tenure. The range of scholarly activities is varied and their importance or relevance shall primarily depend on the judgment of librarian peers. In all cases, evaluation shall be based on quality of these activities.

It is important to note that the Collective Agreement, in Article 15.01 d), stipulates that more weight shall be given to peer-reviewed than to non-peer-reviewed work to the extent appropriate to the field.

In order for the Library Personnel and Tenure committees to evaluate research and scholarly work, it is essential that evidence of the work be submitted with the dossier. Statements should be accompanied by evidence (drafts, letters of invite, conference programs, working papers, articles, presentations, etc.).

The following items constitute a partial list (in alphabetical order) of what is generally considered as a research and scholarly activity in the field of information science or librarianship:

  • Articles (including: surveys, theoretical papers, practical analysis, systems or process evaluation or description, formal literature review, regular column, etc.)
  • Bibliographies, annotated bibliographies or literature reviews
  • Books or book chapters (including parts of reference materials)
  • Conference presentations or papers presented at conferences
  • Conference reports (attendance reports)
  • Creative works (including films, essays, web sites, audiovisual material, etc.)
  • Criticism (book reviews, film reviews, art reviews, etc.)
  • Editorial work (Editorial board of a journal, editor of a published collection of essays, etc.)
  • Exhibitions and curating exhibits
  • Policies or other policy-like documentation
  • Position papers of an association
  • Project reports or studies (including those created through collaboration on internal committees)
  • Reviewer, including a peer-reviewer
  • Social media linked to research or scholarship: blogs, wikis, listservs, forums, etc.
  • Source code or software
  • Tutorials


This document shall be reviewed before January 1st 2015 (topiccs to consider for the next review: external finding agencies, sabbaticals)



Initial Draft: Olivier Charbonneau, Tomasz Neugebauer

Research Guidelines ad hoc Group: Olivier Charbonneau, Vince Graziano, Karen Jensen, Mia Massicotte

Approved by the CUFA Librarians Assembly on June 5th 2013


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