Science and technology parks and their relationships with university libraries
Ivett M. Aportela-Rodríguez and Ana R. Pacios.
Introduction. This study aimed to identify the relationships between science and technology parks and the libraries working out of the universities with which they are associated.
Method. Case studies based on a survey were conducted of 137 members of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, eight-eight libraries in universities with which they are related and five park information units.
Analysis. The analysis focused on four topics: types of university-park relationships and their particulars; types of information services provided; ways to access information; and characteristics of library-park collaboration.
Results. The existence of library-park relationships was confirmed, and service accessibility found to be determined by the links between the park and the respective university. The working arrangements concluded by some science and technology parks and libraries attest to the value of inter-institutional collaboration.
Conclusion. Strengthening science and technology park relations with libraries in associated universities would benefit entrepreneurs. The resulting enhancement of their business projects through information would afford a wide range of opportunities. A broader study covering a larger number of parks, university libraries and incubated companies worldwide would yield the data required to draw up guidelines for providing such companies with the information they need to conduct their business.
In today’s globalised environment, inter-institutional alliances have become indispensable for the research, development and innovation that contribute to organisational success. However the many material, financial and human resources required to get a project off the ground are not always within reach.
Against that backdrop, science and technology parks are inconceivable without close cooperation between the public and private actors in their surrounds. That includes government and business sectors as well as universities and research institutes. Such parks constitute innovative territorial settings that seek to further knowledge exchange among the actors (Martínez-Cañas, Sáez-Martínez and Ruiz-Palomino, 2007).
Science and technology parks house existing and mature companies to enhance their competitiveness, as well as innovative business projects with a view to establishing companies supported by their incubator programmes and commonly called incubated companies. For that reason, many parks include flexibly-structured on- or off-site incubators for young businesses. They provide a full range of services that offer support in obtaining and exchanging information and know-how, raising the possibility of survival and accelerating successful development.
Universities’ cooperation with such initiatives is closely related to what some authors (Etzkowitz, 2004; Galindo-Melero, Sanz-Angulo and Benito-Martín, 2011; Truco-Calbet and Gilabert-González, 2013) call their third mission, consisting in a new approach to Research and Development plus Innovation R&D+I: the furtherance of knowledge and technology transfer beyond university boundaries. Knowledge spirals as a result, i.e., flows from academe to the industry and vice-versa (Dombrowski, 2006).
In the context of this mission, resources are made available to parks more or less readily depending on the depth of the university-park relationship. Aguiar (2000) deems that university resources, including scientists, researchers, technicians, libraries, laboratories, instruments and technology projects, among others, should interact constantly to meet their objectives and contribute comprehensively to society.
University libraries and their assistance in university-associated park information management are particularly significant in this general picture in light of the high costs of acquiring specialised information and the competitive edge its possession affords nascent business projects, raising their likelihood of survival. Such considerations were the driving force behind this study, which aims to show whether relationships exist between university libraries and science and technology parks worldwide, based both on a review of the literature and case studies. The article, which forms part of broader research conducted for a PhD thesis (Aportela-Rodríguez, 2015), focuses on four topics: types of university-park relationships and their particulars; types of information services provided; ways to access information; and characteristics of library-park collaboration.
Objective and method
Science and technology park information management can be studied from a number of perspectives, internal and external. The primary aim pursued in this study was to determine the existence or otherwise of collaboration between companies incubated in technology parks and university libraries and, in the affirmative, to identify the particulars of such relations.
The first stage of the research consisted of a review of the literature to find specialist background on the existence of bonds between science and technology parks and university libraries. That was followed by a field study, with the analysis of a series of parks and the libraries of the associated universities. The aim was to run a theoretical comparison of the findings.
The sample used for this study included 137 technology parks, eighty-eight university libraries and five park information units. The details of the selection are discussed below.
The parks studied were all members of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, or IASP (http://www.iasp.ws/web/guest/home) , founded in 1984 'to be the global network for science parks and areas of innovation, and to drive growth, internationalisation and effectiveness for its members'.
In January 2014, when the study was launched, the IASP had 388 members in 70 countries. The selection included mostly full members, i.e., parks in operation, defined as those with companies or institutions actively conducting business and a park , innovation area- or incubator-specific management team. A few affiliate members were also included when, while not fully meeting those requirements, they exhibited clear prospects for development. The term parks as used here includes science and technology parks, business incubators and areas of innovation, for the IASP draws no distinction among them.
The data published by the IASP on its members and their respective institutional websites were used to identify the parks with email addresses. All those parks were contacted and invited to participate in the survey. The post-data cleansing sample comprised a total of 137 parks (112 full and 25 affiliated IASP members). The substantial number of parks that had to be eliminated due to outdated or missing data constituted one of the limitations of the study.
Moreover, in this study, university libraries were only deemed to be associated with science and technology parks forming part of, developed by or partnering with the respective university. Inasmuch as universities that are park clients are under no obligation to maintain their relationship once their own interests have been served, only the libraries of universities with which the parks participating in the study claimed a close relationship were included in the sample.
The information centres existing in some of the parks were also studied, giving rise to two groups of information units, university libraries and park libraries (or information centres). After eliminating duplicate entries and the institutions that could not be contacted, 88 university libraries and five parks information units were identified.
Given the geographic distances and variety of languages involved, the information was gathered via an online survey in English and Spanish. LimeSurvey version 2.00+ Build 131107 was the tool used. The information collected was exported to Excel spreadsheets for cleansing and tabulation and subsequently processed with SPSS v22 software.
The survey contained open, closed and rating scale questions, designed in keeping with the target: park management, university library or park information centre. With that structure, the subject could be explored from the perspective of the actors involved and the findings subsequently compared. All the questionnaires contained a section on the park as a coordinating element and another requesting authorisation to publish the results of the survey. The park questionnaire also included a section on the information services provided for incubated companies, whilst the library and information centre questionnaires had one on the services offered to park incubated companies and another on their role in parks’ intelligence systems.
Park-university library relationships: review of the literature
Several articles have been published on the role of information in incubated companies located in science and technology parks (e.g. Gomes and Rocha, 2011; Periotto, 2010; Vick, Nagano and Santos, 2013). As Löfsten (2014) pointed out, however, even the most exhaustive analyses of the subject are limited, covering a short number of cases characterised by specific features or areas from which broad generalisations beyond the limits of the unit analysed can hardly be drawn. Moreover, such studies are largely concentrated in just one country, Brazil.
Research analysing the relationship between university libraries and library services (e.g. Luther, 1989; Montalli, 1994; Reid, 1984) and parks peaked in the nineteen-eighties and mid-nineties, to later wane and disappear, although that decline has not been documented (Warren, 1997). The relationship still exists in one way or another, however, in park dynamics. Research on science and technology parks (e.g. Barroso, 2007; Telechea, 2011; Triadó-Ivern, Aparicio-Chueca and Jaría-Chacón, 2015 mentions access to the university library as a park service for and demanded by entrepreneurs and several parks feature it on their official websites. In other words, whilst the service exists in practice, no scientific references address the relationship.
Parks as information service providers for incubated companies
As innovation intermediaries, parks (or incubators) are responsible for seeking mechanisms to access information that will enhance incubated company’s production and management efficiency. Their assistance in information and knowledge generation, dissemination and sharing helps such companies to become competitive in their respective industry, sector or business in a fairly short time, regardless of their region or country of origin (Raupp and Beuren, 2007).
Information as one of the services provided (Romera-Lubias, 2011; Manella, 2009) may play a significant role, given that all companies need information but that no business project in its infancy is able to engage in that activity individually. On occasion, however, such information services consist of no more than newsletters or information provided on a short number of subjects. Whilst such services must be in keeping with incubator particulars, incubated companies’ needs should also be borne in mind although, as Freitas (2010) notes, that such is not always the case.
In addition, parks build bridges between tenants and their surrounds. For Baêta (as cited in Raupp and Beuren, 2011), the most significant forms of incubator-mediated technology transfer involve information and knowledge flows between the business and academic worlds. Several authors (Barroso, 2007; Bennett, 1984; Oliveira, 2010) agree that one of the advantages of forming part of an incubator programme project is the networking established with park-related universities and information centres, including access to facilities such as libraries and laboratories.
Science and technology parks should then assume the role of providers of information not previously within reach of their incubated companies. They should act as information cores or centres to which these organisations can turn to gather and analyse data, identify firms or research groups engaging in related activities, and gain an understanding of the marketplace. As Magalhães (2009) contends, they should also establish a network of valuable relations that systematically and continually drives the exchange of information between incubated companies and their main partners and collaborators to guarantee the quality of the service.
Parks or incubators should deliver training to address entrepreneurs’ weak points in information-related areas and raise their information skills. They should systematically offer services that provide entrepreneurs with information relevant to their organisations. They could, for instance, furnish a series of what might be regarded as essential activities: ethical and optimised search for management, technological and financial information, information processing and dissemination (Periotto, 2010; Xavier, Martins and Lima, 2008) or alerts on items of interest to each company. Similarly, they could help companies access specialised information, monitor their environments and manage their in-house information efficiently.
Consequently, science and technology parks must be structured to manage information comprehensively in response to entrepreneurs’ demands and add to their organisations’ strategic value. The services designed should meet generic incubated companies’ needs, inasmuch as the specific needs of each cannot be addressed. In cases where the specific services required are beyond its reach, the park or incubator should be able to refer incubated companies to a specialised provider.
To respond to these needs, parks have essentially opted for one of two approaches. The first follows a decentralised pattern: services are sourced from many practically independent providers. The second favours centralised service provision via an information unit, such as the libraries established in some parks. A study conducted by Aguiar (2000) revealed entrepreneurs’ interest in the existence of an information unit in parks, which the author regarded as a mediator between universities and incubated companies, a driver of technological information transfer.
The resources for providing such specialised information are extraordinarily costly, but at the same time imperative to guaranteeing that it is reliable, up to date and relevant. That, in conjunction with the inability of many parks to employ staff with the necessary skills to optimise information management, make university libraries a strategic ally. They have both the resources needed and personnel trained to put them to intensive use.
Libraries as indispensable collaborators
As noted earlier, some parks highlight access to a university library as one of their features, given the interest shown by many entrepreneurs in profiting from such institutions’ information resources. Moreover, as Luther (1989) pointed out, some of the people involved in incubated companies are also members of the academic community, creating an implicit link between university libraries and these companies.
University libraries are in a key position to provide park-generated companies, often founded under the auspices of the university itself, with the essential information required to grow cost-effectively. At the same time, such companies may spur innovation in libraries, inducing them to make changes in their modus operandi to meet new needs.
Nonetheless, parks mirror more general university-business relations, on occasion characterised by a mutual misunderstanding of one another's needs and capacities (Montalli, 1994) that obstructs inter-institutional cooperation. Leavitt, Hamilton-Pennell and Fails (2010) found that librarians frequently lack an understanding of basic business strategy, whilst business advisers and entrepreneurs themselves fail to understand the role and limits of research and hence the value of information. The two must, then, work together to favour information flows.
Montalli’s (1994) reflection on Luther’s (1989) findings is of interest in this context. She contends that university libraries should provide these companies with services, attending to their needs and regarding them as part of their user base, noting that universities’ participation in business constitutes an opportunity for professors and students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and interact with industry. In such cases, where park technical and research staff are also university professors and researchers, libraries are bound to provide them with information.
As the many implications of assuming responsibility for attending to incubated companies’ needs were not entirely clear at the outset (McDonald, 1985), different libraries have adopted different criteria. In some cases, park tenants are offered the same services as the rest of the surrounding community, while in others a distinction is drawn between parks and other external users. In a third approach incubated companies are likened to professors and students and regarded as potential users for whom products and services are especially designed.
The services that libraries can provide to meet incubated companies’ information needs are the key to the appropriate use of information (Montalli, 1994), fostering more efficient use of the information resources available. Even though the services offered by libraries will never be able to meet all such needs, given their own organisational characteristics, they would constitute a significant change in university libraries’ practice vis-à-vis industry and startups.
Library and business staff must become better acquainted if companies are to acquire a fuller understanding of the services on offer. Entrepreneurs must also be persuaded of the net value of using library resources (Pankl, 2010). Training geared to entrepreneurs, designed and organised to contribute to such ends, would certainly raise the number of companies physically or virtually accessing library resources.
The librarian(s) offering such services should have a high level of expertise and credibility, a talent for dealing with people and a knowledge of service promotion strategies. They should no longer be mere custodians of information but act as knowledge managers who cooperate with users to collect and analyse the information that generates intelligence. They must assume their role as knowledge transfer trainers and consultants through the organisation (Rah, Gul and Wani, 2010).
If libraries can effectively play this new role, they will have a substantial impact on the development of incubated companies, benefitting them in any manner of ways.
Analysis and discussion of the results
Questionnaires were returned by 100 respondents: sixty-three parks (46% of the 137 in the sample) and thirty-four university libraries (38.6% of the initial population of eighty-eight). The remaining three (of a total of five) were received from park information units.
The main connection among the parks studied was their commitment to the creation and development of innovative companies through incubator programmes and spin-offs, as well as their willingness to collaborate with similar institutions. Their characteristics and degree of development varied widely, however, depending on the country or even the region where they were located.
IASP membership around the world, is generally representative depending on the country and region, in keeping with the aforementioned characteristics and degree of development. Figure 1 shows the geographic distribution of the parks analysed, with 58.7% in Europe and the remaining 41.3% in America, Africa and Asia.
University-park relationships: types and particulars
The relationship between parks and universities may differ widely from one to another. As Figure 2 shows, 49.2% of the parks analysed maintained working relations with only one university, while a similar percentage was associated with two or more.
The degree of university involvement in parks, which was also found to be uneven, impacts collaboration between parks and university libraries. Consequently, the survey attempted to determine the depth of the existing relationship based on the university’s role in park development. The categories proposed were as follows.
- Affiliation: the park belonged to the university in question.
- Partner/developer: the university, in conjunction with other institutions, drove the creation of the park, contributing to its development and providing material and intellectual resources.
- Collaborator: the university participated in projects and furnished material and intellectual resources.
- Client: the university partnered with the park in specific projects, like any other client, but did not contribute directly to its development.
Overlaps were visible in the depth of university involvement in parks, as shown in Figure 3. Of the respondent universities, 50.8% collaborated with parks in certain projects, furnishing resources to that end. An analysis of the categories partner/developer and affiliation, however, revealed that the relationship with universities was closer and more binding in 65.1% of the cases. As a result, parts of these institutions’ resources were also earmarked for parks.
Excluding the park that was not associated with any university and the four that maintained mere client-supplier relations, in total fifty-nine parks (93.7% of those analysed) had at least one ‘collaborator’ university. That relationship was corroborated by only 64.7% of the university libraries interviewed, however, as can be deduced by summing the values shown in Figure 3. Moreover, libraries only confirmed the existence of the relationship, without specifying its depth. That was an indication that park-university relations, which were not as close as might appear from extant ‘formal’ arrangements, failed to permeate all university environments, libraries included.
Despite efforts to eliminate them, barriers continue to exist between academe and the marketplace, with dynamics typical of ‘two parallel worlds’ (Xavier, Martins and Lima, 2008). Despite physical proximity or even organisational ties, these institutions are unable to cross their own borders. The outcome is a loss of opportunities for technology transfer from research centres to nascent business projects and general unawareness among the latter of the human, material or information resources available. Whilst collaboration with universities and other research bodies would be particularly useful for incubated companies (Nieto and Santamaría, 2010), it does not always exist.
Types of information services provided
Parks offer a range of services grouped by Vanderstraetena and Matthyssens (2012) under four major headings: logistics, administration, networking and business support. The fourth element is what differentiates these institutions (O'Neal, 2005). It is meant both to help incubated companies improve in areas where their shortcomings are most acute and furnish them with access to information of interest. This heading includes the information services, primarily information management, provided incubated companies by parks or incubators.
Over 90% of the respondents reported that their service offering included information on funding opportunities and events. Newsletters were issued by 77.8%. As Figure 4 shows, only 52.4% of the parks featured information analysis or studies on patents and technologies. In other words, the most general services tended to be the most common, to the detriment of more specialised services more closely geared to entrepreneurs’ needs. Fiates (as cited in Freitas, 2010) contends that incubators often offer a suite of services and infrastructures scantly related to entrepreneurs’ demands and therefore fail to generate any significant results.
The main responsibility for offering these services differs from one park to another, given the variety of organisational structures involved. In some cases it lies with the incubator and others with one of the park’s divisions. Consultants and other external organisations are seldom acknowledged as information service providers, however.
Not only are parks obviously unable to meet all incubated companies’ information needs, it is not incumbent upon them to do so. According to the literature (García-Alcina and Ortoll-Espinet, 2012; Yuan, Wang and Wang, 1999), one formula that would solve such problems would be to resort to outside professionals who could help obtain relevant information quickly. That is to say, information services could be outsourced to information professionals who could perform that task.
Freitas (2010) adds that, while this is not always the case, parks should collaborate with other organisations such as consultants, universities and research institutes. Nearly 50% of the parks surveyed claimed to have, and to refer their incubated companies to, a network of outside collaborators offering special rates. Nonetheless, the fairly restricted use of such services may prevent startup projects from realising their full market potential (Moreno-Cuello and Ramos-Camargo 2013).
Ways to access information
The parks studied applied different criteria in connection with incubated companies’ access to specialised information of possible interest. As Figure 5 shows, 39.7% of the parks analysed had collaboration arrangements with the libraries pertaining to the universities with which they were associated. In the remaining 60.3% with no such arrangements, access to resources was either provided through other park areas (the most common procedure) or not at all, on the understanding that access was not the responsibility of the park but of individual companies.
In short, in one way or another, most of the parks fostered the use of information sources. That is consistent with Maculan, Jiménez-Hernández and Castellanos-Domínguez’s (2015) contention that incubators and parks act as intermediaries to reduce the costs of accessing legal or technical information and material, human and financial resources that startups cannot afford. Campos and Barbosa (2008) added that the role of these institutions is to make information sources more accessible, while establishing relations or contacts to enhance inter-business proximity.
Significantly, only 15.8% fostered access to sources through their own information units. The existence of a structure formally designed to provide companies with information support services is rare. Of the three units analysed, two were libraries that formed part of the park’s management structure and the third was an information centre which, while physically located in the park, formed part of a research institution’s library network.
These information units were not characterised by specialised services tailored to entrepreneurs’ needs. That is consistent with research conducted by Triadó-Ivern, Aparicio-Chueca and Jaría-Chacón (2015), who concluded that companies draw no value from park library services, which they use very sparingly.
One of the most prominent alternatives for enhancing the information service offering in parks is through information units. Where such units already exist, they could be reorganised to better meet entrepreneurs’ needs and expectations. In this same vein, Gomes and Rocha (2011) noted that parks should have a broader structure with a well-designed information management system and qualified human resources able to consistently respond to companies’ demands, thereby contributing to such firms’ strategic profiles. This would enable incubated companies to obtain higher yields from information and their innovation programmes.
Library-park collaboration in information services
The data from university libraries and park information units were analysed jointly, given the small size of the latter group and the absence of significant differences in their respective behaviours. Moreover, the study of university libraries’ relations with incubated companies excluded the 20.6% of the sample that reported no relationship with any park (as Figure 3 shows), lowering the total number of libraries analysed to twenty-seven.
Above and beyond the existence of formal relations between university libraries and parks, the intensity of such relations was conditioned, among others, by the university's involvement in the park, as noted earlier. In this regard, slightly over 40% of the libraries formally associated with a park pertained to a partner/developer university and a similar percentage to a university with which a park was affiliated.
Over 85% of the university libraries that were related to parks and 100% of information units deemed entrepreneurs to be potential users, and over 34% distinguished among them on the grounds of their business profiles (see Figure 6). The rights acknowledged to such users varied from one library to another and depended on the institution as well as the depth of the relationship with the park. The access terms ranged from the ability to use library services and facilities to having a cost-free user card authorising the use of all services. Other options included the possibility of accessing library services as park members or of acquiring a user card at a pre-established cost.
Whether formally or informally, libraries under the aegis of universities related to parks were used by incubated companies staff (Kelman, 1985; Luther, 1989; Montalli, 1994) to the benefit of their companies. Where the entrepreneurs in question were professors and researchers, such use was beyond the control of the library.
Entrepreneurs are not normally vested with the privileges enjoyed by the academic community, but are placed in a category specifically designed for them as a sort of external user with certain benefits and a series of limitations. Herrera-Morillas and Pérez-Pulido (2009) explained that users not directly linked to the academic community can access library services through that category, providing they comply with certain formalities or requirements, straightforward in most cases and somewhat generic or imprecise in others.
The services offered by the university libraries and information units studied included access to books, journals and other sources of information, reference services and the reading room (Figure 7). In 40.7% of the cases analysed, park companies could access specialised databases and other resources via subscription, a possibility acknowledged as well by 66.7% of the information units. This was particularly significant, given the restricted use to which such sources of information are subject. The limitation of library licences to academic use rules out the widening of remote access for the non-academic (in this case business) community. Several libraries did offer on-site access, however.
Figure 8 shows that only 18.5% of the libraries and just one of the information units surveyed deemed that they contributed to incubated companies’ development, compared to 44.4% that believed the opposite. For the former, access to information resources was identified as the key element to their contribution. The two information units that found their impact to be scant or practically nil cited as the reason the restrictions on access to resources, which obviated any direct effect on companies’ work and hence on user satisfaction. One finding consistent with the results reported by Triadó-Ivern, Aparicio-Chueca and Jaría-Chacón (2015, p. 149) was that university library services were used more and proved more valuable to incubated companies than park library services. That confirms the quality of library resources and these institutions’ ability to afford access to specialised databases and documents otherwise restricted or that would entail additional cost.
The libraries and information units analysed proposed the following strategies to reverse the situation and grow their contribution to park information management:
- to establish new licensing terms with publishers to allow the commercial use of electronic resources and acknowledged incubators and their incubated companies as valid users.
- to broaden the portfolio of products and services offered incubated companies to include specialised services such as sector-specific newsletters and alerts, patent studies and so on.
- to provide support in searches for scientific information in areas related to company business, as well as for legislative and other legal information.
- to implement fee-based specialised services, including bibliographic reviews or patent information searches.
In another vein, as Figure 9 shows, 59.3% of university libraries and one of the information units were unaware of the existence or otherwise of a park area offering information services. Moreover, 22.2% of the libraries and one of the information units denied the existence of such an area. Nearly all claimed to have never cooperated with such park services. All the foregoing attests to the scant formal relationship between parks and libraries, to the detriment, primarily, of entrepreneurs, particularly those who are not academics and are therefore unaware of the resources and services that might be available to them.
Although a substantial number of case studies is addressed hereunder, the small size of the sample and the low response rates from parks (46%) and libraries (38.6%) limit any attempt to confidently draw general conclusions from the findings. They may nonetheless be regarded as a valuable initial approach to the relationship between science and technology parks and university libraries worldwide.
The sample size might also introduce a bias in the relationships identified between libraries and science and technology parks. The initial conclusions drawn from the present study, set out below, are nonetheless deemed to be of interest in light of the paucity of research on the subject:
- When parks engage in knowledge creation and distribution, they help incubated companies become competitive more rapidly. These institutions could offer startups information that can be converted into knowledge and innovation. A significant role could be played by information and documentation professionals, who have the necessary skills to meet such companies’ information requirements.
- Inasmuch as association with universities and access to their resources, especially libraries and laboratories, is one of the reasons that induce entrepreneurs to locate in a science and technology park or business incubator, that is why some parks feature these services. The barriers between the academic and business worlds continue to stand today, however, hindering the exchange of available resources, particularly information.
- If parks collaborated more closely with university libraries, these institutions would change their attitude toward incubated companies, accepting them as part of their user base. The primary beneficiaries would be entrepreneurs, the intended targets of assistance from many angles, but under no coordinated or collaborative approach. Whilst these people and their companies engage in commercial activities, as participants in university-sponsored incubation projects, they form part of an educational context in which the library would be just one of many agents.
- Entrepreneurs are often unaware that library resources could be of substantial use to them. They sometimes tend to erroneously believe that the information to be found in libraries is irrelevant to their business. Libraries and parks must make greater efforts to convince entrepreneurs of the value of such resources. The information services offered should show incubated companies how to manage information on their own after leaving the park. That would be contingent upon solving the problem of obtaining authorisation from information providers to allow entrepreneurs to make use of such resources while engaging in an incubator project. Until the present limitations are lifted, users’ view of libraries is highly unlikely to change.
- The generally minimal extent of park information services is indicative of a need for a consistent development strategy to respond to startups’ rapidly changing requirements.
- The strength of the relationship between parks and universities and the involvement of the latter are instrumental to the acknowledgement of that relationship in specific areas such as libraries. It is likewise a determinant for establishing the fluency of the relationship with libraries and the convenience of resource access.
- The existing partnering agreements between parks and university libraries reveal the value of library-park collaboration networks and define the services available to incubated companies.
The expectation is that this study can be expanded in future to include more parks and university libraries around the world. Such studies might also cover a representative sample of incubated companies in different parks. That would afford the fullest possible view of the issue in an attempt to draw a few general conclusions and draw up guidelines for providing startups in parks with the information they need to conduct their business.
This work was supported by Carlos III University of Madrid, Library and Information Department.
About the authors
Ivett M. Aportela-Rodríguez was Assistant Professor in the Library and Information Science Department of Carlos III University of Madrid from 2011 to 2016 and she is PhD in Library Science since 2016 by the same university. Actually, she works at Fidelis Consultores as web developer although she keeps teaching and researching about library and information science. Her lines of research are the information management, information services, information architecture and usability. She has been author and co-author of some works published in both national and international journals indexed in WOS and Scopus.She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana R. Pacios is Professor in the Library and Information Science and Documentation Department of Carlos III University, Madrid, since 1992. She teaches Libraries and Information Units Management, Resource Management (Human, Collection, Financial and Economics), Direction and Management Techniques and other related subjects in courses leading to a Degree, Master and PhD in Information Science and Documentation. Her main line of research are the management functions and techniques as applied to information centers and libraries (evaluation, quality, planning and marketing). Author and co-author of various works published in both national and international journals indexed in WOS and Scopus. She can be contacted at email@example.com
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