Montana State University’s Research Alliance – Intentional Library and University Partnerships for Research and Data Services

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Montana State University recently formed a partnership of campus entities that support faculty, student, and staff research and research data needs called the “Research Alliance.” These partners reside in a newly created space in the MSU Library. This project is unusual in that much preparation work went into forming a truly collaborative partnership in the months prior to the launch of the Research Alliance space. Throughout the project, the Library convened working and planning groups, facilitated service design, and provided leadership in the formation of the Alliance. This presentation will walk through the steps taken to form this partnership and will provide reflections about what worked well and the challenges in the early days of the Alliance’s formation. Alliance partners include the Center for Faculty Excellence, the Office of Research Development, the MSU Library Research Optimization, Analytics, and Data Services (ROADS), the Undergraduate Scholars Program, and Research Cyberinfrastructure (University IT).

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

1. Describe how to create intentional, equal partnerships in the library building that move beyond being co-tenants and the benefits of such an arrangement.
2. Explore logistical considerations in advance of entering into a partnership such as establishing assessment metrics to measure success, sharing resources such as scheduling software, developing a Memorandum of Understanding, creating a marketing campaign including website, signage, etc.
3. Understand how libraries can frame and build research and data services with distinct partners while honoring a partner’s individual service expertise and identity.


Doralyn Rossmann (she/her) is Professor and Dean of the Montana State University Library. Her background includes experience in library technologies, open access and education, scholarly communication, and social media practices.

Jason Clark (he/him) is Professor and Head of Research Optimization, Analytics, and Data Services (ROADS) at Montana State University Library where he applies data science methods to answer questions about the research enterprise, research data practices, and scholarly communication.

Academic library: 4 year and graduate; Academic library: 2 year