This paper discusses the relationship between academics and practitioners in their approaches to research. It considers how the mission, aims and objectives of their respective employing organisations influence the nature and methods of the research they undertake. It argues that the best model of the research relationship between academics and practitioners is one that is collaborative, interactive, and iterative. It explores some current examples of international collaborative projects and describes how the UK National Archives, as a major practitioner and one of the UK's seven Independent Research Organisations, is repositioning its strategy on research. It finishes by highlighting some of TNA's current research projects, including the Semantic Web, archiving Web sites, conservation science and climate change, understanding online users, and developing a wiki for users of the National Archives.