Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Coping with impostor feelings: evidence-based recommendations from a mixed methods study

Citation

Barr-Walker, Jill; Werner, Debra A.; Kellermeyer, Liz; Bass, Michelle B. (2019), Coping with impostor feelings: evidence-based recommendations from a mixed methods study, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.7272/Q65T3HP6

Abstract

The negative effects of impostor phenomenon, also called impostor syndrome, include burnout and decreased job satisfaction and have led to an increased interest in addressing this issue in libraries in recent years. While previous research has shown that many librarians experience impostor phenomenon, the experience of coping with these feelings has not been widely studied. Our study’s aim was to understand how health sciences librarians cope with impostor phenomenon in the workplace, using a quantitative analysis of survey results. We found that coping strategies that drew on the help of another person or resource, such as education, support from colleagues, and mentorship were associated with lower impostor scores and more often rated as effective, while internal strategies like reflection, mindfulness, and recording praise were associated with less effectiveness and a greater likelihood of impostor feelings. Most respondents reported their strategies to be effective, and the use of any strategy appears to be more effective than not using one at all. While considering the potential impacts of white supremacy culture, the resilience narrative, and open communication in library organizations, this study provides evidence-based recommendations for librarians, library leaders, and our professional organizations to raise awareness about impostor phenomenon and support our colleagues experiencing these feelings.

Usage Notes

Readme file contains detailed descriptions of each document.

Appendix 1 contains the survey instrument.

Appendix 2 contains two tabs. Tab 1 “All data” contains all raw quantitative and qualitative data from the study, plus several new variable categories created by the authors for analysis (these are detailed in Appendix 3). Tab 2 “Qualitative codebook” contains the codebook for the qualitative data analysis.

Appendix 3 contains a quantitative codebook that corresponds to the variable names listed in Appendix 2 Tab 1 “All data” and a qualitative codebook that corresponds to the variable names listed in Tab 2 “Qualitative codebook”.