Project status: In progress

The aim of this project is to establish an empirical basis for evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP). It will help library and information professionals make tough decisions in an environment where there is competition for limited resources. The project will achieve this by undertaking research into the experiences of those working and volunteering in a library context.

The project will use qualitative methods such as ethnography and grounded theory to gather rich data by way of interviews, observations and anecdotal conversations, and contextual information gathered during on site visits. Physical locations will include Brisbane and regional centres, specifically academic and council or shire libraries.

The outcomes from this project will include building an empirical basis for evidence-based library and information practice. Grounded in this new empirical basis, the project will establish a practice framework to inform the implementation of evidence-based library and information practice as an approach to professional practice in the nation's library and information profession.

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Australian Research Council
Research leader
Research team
QUT External collaborators
  • Associate Professor Ross Todd
Organisational unit
Lead unit Science and Engineering Faculty
Start date
1 April 2013
End date
1 December 2015
Research areas
evidence-based practice, libraries, ethnography, grounded theory, qualitative research


For more information about this project, contact Professor Helen Partridge



For the library and information profession, including educators, practitioners, employer and professional associations, this is a significant project.

In the past 15 years, there has been a growing worldwide interest in evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP). Early applications and discussions of EBLIP have added to the growing body of literature which discusses and critiques the concept as it has been applied to the profession. There has been a changing focus of evidence-based practice from hierarchical, step-by-step techniques where formal evidence is privileged, to a holistic approach that includes action research, practitioner based evidence, performance measures for accountability and professional expertise.

However, no studies have empirically explored the concept of EBLIP. The conceptual outcomes of this project will inform the work of library and information professionals around the world with the potential to inform the work of other researchers and practitioners that are striving to become more evidence-based. This project will ensure that EBLIP can be empirically and practically developed as an approach to professional practice that allows for more robust and empirically driven decision making, thereby ensuring that government and public funding is utilised soundly and with community accountability.