It takes two to tango: A successful research support collaboration between USQ’s Library and Office of Research

Mrs Leonie Sherwin1

1Univerisity Of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia,


Since October 2016, staff from the University of Southern Queensland’s Library Research team and the Office of Research have embarked on a collaboration that has resulted in the development and provision of a holistic range of services that support research and facilitate research impact. The intent was to establish a service framework responsive to the needs of researchers and higher degree research students in line with the University’s research objectives, whilst also being responsive to the institution’s external reporting obligations around research performance and impact. This strategic approach to providing specialist research support aligns with the Service Charter of the Office of Research to support, facilitate and enhance the research process and contribute to high impact outcomes. The success of this collaboration is attributed to strong and consistent communication, a mutual awareness of staff professional obligations, a respect for the unique skills of each team, and a shared willingness to engage. The teams meet regularly to ensure clarity of objectives and roles, with meeting outcomes shared across functional areas, as well as with the Directors of the Library and Office of Research, who are both strong advocates for this collaborative approach. Operational convergence has developed a shared awareness and vision to enable a cohesive and streamlined approach to new projects. These include the development of our SciVal training strategy, ORCiD implementation project and an enhanced Excellence in Research in Australia reporting process. A further initiative is a co-facilitated education program on data management planning to uphold institutional policy and external regulatory requirements. The lessons learnt from this example of best practice collaboration are applicable to other Australian universities and research institutions looking to build on the strengths of similar research support teams with the overarching goal of enhancing strategic research outcomes.


Leonie is the Manager for Research Support in the University of Southern Queensland’s library.  She has over 25 years work experience in the library sector in public, school, university and special libraries. Prior to her current appointment, Leonie was employed by the University of New England for over seven years as the health-medical librarian. The role was specifically established to support the joint medical program with the University of Newcastle.

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