Being an embedded research librarian: supporting research by being a researcher
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This article outlines an action research investigation into the role of an academic librarian in the UK Higher Education (HE) sector. It is the view of the author that a key way of supporting research as a librarian is to engage in the practice oneself, to partake in knowledge creation rather than simply providing information. It investigates the notion of the embedded librarian in relation to research support via a literature review. It then uses data recordings from meetings of the Higher Education Action Research in Teaching (HEART) group at York St John University, of which the librarian is a member, to provide evidence to support the idea that sharing expertise in such an arena also provides information literacy (IL) support to researchers. The theoretical basis employed is that of communities of practice (Wenger 1998), as it is the assertion of the author that all members of the said group are part of a community of practice, based upon shared aims of improving pedagogic practice.