Josiah Drewry (Business & Economics Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill), Mahmoud Khalifa (Library of Congress Field Office, Cairo, Egypt) and I have been working on a systematic review of the LIS literature between 2004 and 2013 in order to address the following questions:
- What kinds of scholarly conversations have Middle Eastern and North African practitioners of LIS been having with each other, especially in peer-reviewed journals in Arabic and English?
- What kinds of empirical research have they been conducting?
- Are they addressing the recent political and economic upheaval in the region, and what of value can we relay of these discussions to interested academics outside of the field?
- Are the trends in research and publishing in LIS across MENA reflective of trends across the global library and information landscape? Will our research reveal issues or trends that are specific to the region or particular countries or areas within the region?
Josiah and I presented the preliminary findings of this study at the QQML International Conference in Istanbul, Turkey on May 27, 2014. The final results will appear in a book chapter on library and information science in the Middle East and North Africa, in a volume that I am editing with my ELIME-21 colleagues.