Understanding the Prospects and Potential for Improved Regional LIS Collaboration in the Developing World: An Empirical Study of LIS Departments in the GCC States

  • MN Al-Suqri
  • NEA Saleem
  • ME Gharieb


The purpose of the study was to generate information on the extent and types of collaboration occurring between academic LIS departments and faculty in the GCC states, and on the factors influencing this, to help inform policies and strategies designed to improve collaboration. This is a qualitative research study, based on interviews with Heads of LIS Departments in the GCC states. The researchers emailed all Heads of LIS Departments (n=8) in Universities within the GCC States to invite them to participate in an interview about their experiences of and views on collaboration with other LIS departments in the region. Of the (8) Heads of Departments, only 5 responded to the e-mail invitation and subsequently completed the interview. The qualitative research data generated from the interviews were analyzed using content analysis. The data were examined and a preliminary set of themes created, then, the data were re-examined and coded according to the preliminary themes. It was found that very little formal collaboration has taken place to date, but that Heads of Departments are well aware of the many potential benefits of collaboration, and the types of barriers that must be overcome to achieve this. The findings have theoretical significance relating to the potential role of LIS collaboration in developing regions more generally, and practical implications for the development of strategies and initiatives to improve collaboration in the Gulf region. A fourstage strategy development, planning, establishment and implementation model is proposed to underpin the program of work necessary to achieve this, which can also be applied to other developing regions.

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eISSN: 1596-5414