Gap in the Wall: A Writing Center, Offering Complex Research Support

Gap in the Wall: A Writing Center, Offering Complex Research Support

Monika Fischer (Library of Corvinus University Budapest, Hungary), Tamás Halm (Library of Corvinus University Budapest, Hungary) and Tibor Koltay (Eszterházy Károly University, Hungary)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4546-1.ch005
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Abstract

The Writing Center is the newest, innovative service, established as a project-based initiative within the organization of the Library of Corvinus University Budapest. The present and future goals of the Writing Center require a wide spectrum of services if wanting to cater for the needs of doctoral students and faculty members. This includes traditional and novel tasks, such as fostering publication activities, combating information overload, being familiar with abstract writing, and Open Access offered to experienced and to early career researchers. The goal in this chapter is to demonstrate how the learning and research support activities of a library, comprising curricular and extra-curricular courses, trainings, and consultations can be integrated into the knowledge structures of the university as a whole. The authors place special emphasis on the role of group-based and individual mentoring throughout a university career, spanning from student to researcher, and on the development of transversal skills through the training programs of the Writing Center.
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The Context

This chapter is focused on the activities of the Writing Center, which is a functional unit of the Library of Corvinus University Budapest (CUB) (henceforth Library). The Writing Center is the only institution of this type in Hungary. The chapter’s title was inspired by an Ashna Shome’s paper, where she speaks about a pedagogical ‘gap’ that can be filled by Writing Centers. The authors share with her that this is a main goal of such institutions.

The Hungarian National Strategy on the Development of Higher Education underlines that most libraries in higher education fulfill not only their traditional role but go beyond that (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma [EMMI], 2016). Based on this document and mapping international trends, the “Strategic Directions for higher Education Libraries for 2018-2023” devised by the Hungarian College of University Librarians (Nagy & Karácsony, 2019) has set several priorities. Three of them, i.e. increasing student success, serving foreign students, and providing support to the research process define the philosophy and practice of the Writing Center at Corvinus University of Budapest. It provides students with structured education, state-of-the-art methodology and personalized counseling to help them become more self-sufficient in learning tasks, information searching competences and the formal requirements for publications and references. In the center of the Writing Center’s education, we find academic literacy that involves the comprehension of the entire system of thinking, values and information flows of academia (Elmborg, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Literacy: A set of skills and abilities enables recognizing information need, finding the needed information, critically evaluating and using it for different purposes.

Personal Information Management: A set of skills, applicable for collecting and maintaining a personal collection of documents produced by the given person, or acquired from other sources.

Academic Literacy: The set of skills and abilities, needed for critically using, interpreting, and producing information valued in academia, especially for study purposes.

Data Literacy: A set of skills and abilities based on information literacy, designed to assess critically and use research data.

Information/Data Overload: A set of subjective and objective difficulties, caused mainly by the amount and complexity of information/data available and people’s inability to filter out unnecessary or irrelevant information/data.

Research Support Services: A set of services, provided by a unit of a higher education institution (e.g. the library) that allows members of academic staff to spend less time on things that are not research related, in order to enable them to concentrate on research roles. Services may cover assisting in the search for and acquisition of scholarly information, in the publication process, in storing and disseminating research results.

Transversal Skills: Skills that are typically considered as not specifically related to a particular task, academic discipline or area of knowledge, thus can be used in a wide variety of situations and settings.

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