The development and use of a research self-efficacy scale to assess the effectiveness of a research training program for academic librarians

Kristine R Brancolini, Marie R Kennedy


Research self-efficacy – or research confidence – has been shown to be a predictor of research productivity. There is also some evidence that it is a mediating factor between the research training environment and research productivity. To explore the connection between research training and research self-efficacy, the authors developed, validated, and later expanded a scale to measure research self-efficacy among academic librarians. They used the expanded 38-item scale to measure the research self-efficacy of participants from a three-year research training workshop for academic librarians, comparing results before and after the workshop. Participants experienced significant increases in research self-efficacy across all 38-questions, within the annual cohorts and across all three years. The question-level results were used to make changes to the summer workshops in Years 2 and 3, in order to improve the effectiveness of the summer workshop to increase research self-efficacy. This study confirms that a measurement of research self-efficacy can be a useful tool in assessing the effectiveness of research training and improving that training.


research self-efficacy; research confidence; research process; academic librarians; scale development

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)