Research Commons: Site of Innovation, Experimentation, and Collaboration in Academic Libraries


  • Rebecca Dowson Simon Fraser University



Libraries, Research commons, Digital scholarship, Communities of practice


Background: This article examines the role the Research Commons plays in supporting digital scholarship in the academic library.

Analysis: Relevant literature from library and information science and digital humanities research was reviewed. An environmental scan of select Research Commons and digital scholarship organizations was completed.

Conclusion and implications: The Research Commons model encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and takes a holistic approach to providing support services to scholars throughout the research life cycle. The team-based and interdisciplinary nature of digital scholarship production lends itself well to this model. In addition, the training and technology needs associated with digital scholarship align with expertise housed within the library, making the Research Commons a natural point of connection for scholars and librarians engaged in the creation of new modes of scholarly production.


Author Biography

Rebecca Dowson, Simon Fraser University

Rebecca Dowson is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at SFU Library. Email:




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