The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section (RSS) of the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites submission of reference service research project proposals for presentation at the New Discoveries in Reference: The 28th Annual Reference Research Forum at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC. 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, virtual 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 as many as three proposals for 20-45 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 Washington, DC.

Criteria for selection

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

The committee welcomes proposals that employ decolonizing methodologies and other forms of research design that have been underrepresented in published scholarship in this field, including, but not limited to, emancipatory research, action research, critical discourse analysis, and autoethnography. The committee also welcomes research that addresses gaps in the scholarship on reference and user services that relate to issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion (briefly summarized in this bibliography). 

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 10, 2022. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 28th, 2022. 

Submission Details

Submissions will be accepted as Word documents or PDFs.

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:

  1. Title of the project
  2. Explicit statement of the research problem
  3. Description of the research design and methodologies
  4. Findings or results if available

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

Submissions and questions should be directed to the 2021-2022 committee chair: Meg Galasso, [log in to unmask]



You received this email because you are subscribed to the iSchool Discussion List (ISCHOOLDISCUSSION) mailing list. If you would like to unsubscribe from this list, simply send an email to [log in to unmask] with the message signoff ISCHOOLDISCUSSION in the body.