HSLI Newsletter


Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Call for Presentation Proposals: 2021 Reference Research Forum at ALA Annual (Deadline Mon., Jan. 4)

(via Qiana Johnson, Northwestern University)

The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites submission of reference service research project proposals for presentation at the New Discoveries in Reference: The 27th Annual Reference Research Forum at the 2021 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

Researchers and practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit a proposal. The committee is particularly interested in research about serving diverse patrons.

The Reference Research Forum is a popular and valuable ALA Annual Conference program. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about innovative research projects conducted in reference services including user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel. For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s website.

The Committee employs a blind peer review process to select three proposals for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Identifying information will not be shared with reviewers until after final selection of proposals. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum during ALA Annual in Chicago, IL.

Criteria for Selection

  • Originality: Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies
  • Quality: Research design and methodologies
  • Impact: Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service

NOTE: Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Important Dates:

Proposals are due by Monday, January 4, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 15th, 2021. The submission must not exceed the stated word count limit.

Submission Details:

Submissions will be accepted as Word documents.

SUBMISSION PAGE 1: Contact Information
Please include the primary contact’s name, title, institutional affiliation, mailing address, and email address.  Additional research team members should also be noted in the appropriate field.

SUBMISSION PAGE 2: Research Description (250 Word maximum)
The research description must not include any personally identifiable information, including your name, or the name of your institution. Please include these elements:

  • Title of the project
  • Explicit statement of the research problem
  • Description of the research design and methodologies
  • Findings or results if available
  • Brief discussion of the originality, unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research (if you use semi colons between items in a list, you need to make sure the entire list is a complete sentence.)

Proposals that exceed the word count or that do not follow the format described above will be automatically rejected.

Questions about the Forum should be directed to the 2020-2021 committee chair: Qiana Johnson (q-johnson@northwestern.edu).

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