This pilot study explores the conditions that support or hinder information professionals' participation in interdisciplinary research teams.
We undertook a preliminary grounded theory study investigating factors that impact on information professionals' participation in interdisciplinary research. Four biomedical information professionals working in academic universities and teaching hospitals in Canada participated in semi-structured interviews. Grounded theory methods guided the data collection and analysis.
Participants identified the conditions that support or hinder research participation as belonging to four distinct overlapping domains: client-level factors including preconceptions and researcher resistance; individual-level factors such as research readiness; opportunities that are most often made not found; and organisational supports.
Creating willingness, building preparedness and capitalising on opportunity appear crucial to successful participation in interdisciplinary research. Further exploration of the importance of educational, collegial and organisational supports may reveal additional data to support the development of a grounded theory regarding the facilitation of information professionals' engagement in interdisciplinary research.