Sarah Barbara Watstein (Lemieux Library, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Tammy Ivins (Randall Library, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 20 November 2019

Issue publication date: 20 November 2019



Watstein, S.B. and Ivins, T. (2019), "Editorial", Reference Services Review, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 205-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-08-2019-095



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

More on student success, more from library instruction west and more …

Student success

Across higher education, engaged communities of university leaders, advocates, practitioners, scholars and students are working tirelessly to craft practical strategies and systemic approaches that promise to move the needle on student success. Closer to home, in our institutions, we are increasingly seeing that advancing changes and instigating systemic change, often requires changing institutional and individual mindsets and approaches. Developing and scaling effective, data-informed solutions to improve the experiences and outcomes of our students is a tall order! And yet […] even the most cursory landscape analysis shows that our institutions and our libraries are becoming more student-centric and data-informed at a critical time.

We continue to be energized and engaged by the many dimensions, nuances and complexities of the student success conversation. Recent editorials in this journal have focused on different aspects of student success. These include, “Reflections on Student Learning, Student Success and the Student Experience” (Volume 47 Issue 1) and “Higher Education Accreditation, Student Success and Academic Libraries” (Volume 47 Issue 2). This issue includes the “first installment” of a curated series on student success. The next installment will follow in Volume 47 Issue 4. Looking ahead, at Volume 48 and the four issues therein, we intend to take deeper dives in several directions. These include considering access and affordability as they impact student success; considering actionable data, student success dashboards and analytics; exploring how community colleges are tackling student success; looking at how colleges and universities align and work with K-12 to improve college and career outcomes; and examining high-impact practices as they relate to student success.

Library instruction west

Turning our attention from student success to successful librarians, we draw readers’ attention to the “Library Instruction West” (LIW) conference. For many years, Reference Services Review (RSR) has worked closely with the biennial “Library Instruction West” to publish some of the excellent work presented at that conference in a special issue. This is the last special section in that tradition, but not the end of the collaboration. To allow more rapid dissemination of LIW work and offer greater flexibility to the authors, in the future, LIW manuscripts will be published in issues on a rolling basis, as they are individually accepted to RSR. In this issue, we feature a guest editorial by Laureen Cantwell (planning committee chair for the 2018 conference) and seven articles solicited from the conference.

The process of transforming a conference presentation into a published scholarly article is a rigorous one. There are a variety of ways to contribute to the scholarly conversation in librarianship, and those vary in complexity and effort. While a conference poster and something akin to a newsletter article may be fairly close to each other on that continuum, there is a wider gap between conference presentation and scholarly articles. The LIW authors are applauded for tackling the challenging task of converting their presentations into these articles. Many of these LIW manuscripts published by RSR take the form of viewpoints, conceptual pieces or case studies, perhaps laying the groundwork for future development of these topics into larger projects or even formal research. To expand our community of practice, we suggest that there is a need for greater “upcycling[1]” in publication planning. While simply presenting the exact same content in multiple venues could be considered unprofessional, there are ways to continually develop a project by adding new information, context and value as it is shared in new venues. Doing so not only supports a robust professional portfolio of presentations and publications, but also encourages the thoughtful long-term continuation of projects and research. Such ongoing work allows deeper exploration and refinement of outcomes, which means more valuable information shared in our scholarly conversations.

And more …

In this issue, we include one article not pertaining to student success and not solicited from the LIW conference: Diekema, Gerrity, and Mitchell take an in-depth look at information literacy instruction and skills along the entire K-20 pipeline in the state of Utah.


In closing, we draw readers’ attention to the newly launched blog WOC+Lib (wocandlib.org). Founded by Lorin Jackson (Swarthmore College) and LaQuanda T. Onyemeh (Texas A&M University Libraries), WOC+Lib is a welcoming digital space for women of color and others to engage with issues and initiatives in galleries, libraries, archives and museums. With features ranging from articles to an advice column, this blog is showcasing new and emerging voices in our field. If you haven’t explored this new site, we recommend it.



Ivins, T., Upcycling MSLS Coursework into Publishable Content. Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table, 5. ala.org/rt/nmrt/oversightgroups/comm/schres/endnotesvol5no1/endnotesvol5

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