Posts Tagged ‘Researchers’
Info challenges for researchers today and predict for the future, by the senior vice president, market development at ProQuest, interviewed by Sian Harris in Research Information.
“The core content needs of researchers today have not significantly changed over time. Researchers still need access to high-quality scholarly journal articles, A&I databases and books, as well as primary sources like data sets, historic newspapers and documents. (…)
However, what has really changed is the way that researchers need to find, access and use content.
Researchers expect that content will be delivered to them electronically, when they want it, where they want it and in a format they can use. As new electronic platforms like mobile devices and e-readers emerge, publishers need to adapt our content for these devices. Also, as the amount of available electronic content increases, researchers need to be assured that they have located everything that is relevant to their research.
Users are much more confident in their abilities to find and use information. (…)
We have seen that researchers are beginning to adopt the same search habits that they are using on consumer sites like Amazon, Google and Facebook. They tend to enter fewer search terms and expect to be able to narrow their results after the search.
Researchers also expect to be able to do more with content once they find it. Sharing content is becoming more prominent.
One big challenge is navigating the sheer volume of material that is available to researchers. They can never be assured that they have found all of relevant material for their research needs.
I think information resources will become more personalised for researchers’ needs. I can envision tools that will push content of interest to researchers based upon the content that they have searched in the past or articles that they have looked at and rated highly.
There will be more opportunities for researchers to network and share content with their self-defined group of peers. I can see information resources that provide spaces for collaboration and interaction with fellow researchers.
Sauer-Games, Mary. Working with changing patterns. Research Information, February/March 2011.
A long history…
Peter Jacso, one of the best experts in STM abstract databases, gives his opinion… In his latest publication, he compared 3 tools: Web of Science (WoS), Scopus and Google Scholar (GS).
A few findings and opinions:
- it is quite likely that more and more administrators will request librarians and other information professionals to churn out metrics-based research evaluation ranking lists about individuals, departments, and colleges
- I am in favor of using metrics-based evaluation. (…) However, because of the shortcomings of these special databases for evaluating individual researchers (as opposed to citation-based subject searching), I am also very much against replacing peer-based evaluation by bibliometric, scientometric and/or informetric indicators in ranking individual researchers, groups of researchers, institutions and countries by the traditional bibliometric indicators (total number of citations, average number of citations per publications), and the new ones alone that combine the quantitative and qualitative measures in a single number, such as the original h-index and its many, increasingly more refined variants
- I have also concerns about the level of search skill and the time needed from librarians and other information professionals to engage –…- in the very time consuming and sophisticated procedures. (…) Still, even such a highly qualified group can leave some methodological issues unexplained, make mistakes in the search process and/or in the compilation of data and/or in the data entry process
- Google-Scholar based metrics: The reason for this indifference is that the hit counts and the citation counts delivered by Google Scholar are not worth the paper they are printed on. Its metadata remain to be a metadata mega mess (Jacso, 2010), and its citation matching algorithm is worse than those of the cheapest dating services
Jacso, Peter. Savvy Searching. Online Information Review, 34 (6) pp. 972-982.
On the trendy movement of Q&A services (see Quora), this sort of Community of Practice offers a nice collection of professional advices.
Over 3800 UK researchers responded to the survey. 93% found access to journal articles ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’
When it comes to information, how important is it that you have access to the types of information?
- Research articles in journals : 98% important or very important
- Books/monographs: 78%
- Reference works: 77%
- Conference proceedings: 67%
- Patents: 34%
This global study extends a UK study by Mark Ware Consulting Ltd for the PRC. Fieldwork, technical support and analysis was provided by Elsevier’s research team for the PRC.
PRC. Access vs. Importance: a global study assessing the importance of and ease of access to professional and academic information – Phase1 results. Dec. 2010
Researchers are confident on their awareness system and do not rely on librarians.
2 studies set out to investigate what kinds of information-related services are available to support researchers through the research lifecycle, and how those services are used and valued by researchers.
- The concept of a Virtual Research Environments is still evolving, and this study revealed no evidence that VREs are being created or adopted as yet in any of the four universities.
- Information skills:
The researchers interviewed, moreover, showed little interest in making use of information skills training from the library. They are confident in their awareness and understanding of both the generic and the specialist tools that are relevant to their research area, and especially in their ability to identify the references and leads that are relevant to their specific research proposals and projects. They do not wish to delegate such work to library staff, since it often involves a detailed understanding of specialist and technical language.
A number of products are being developed to support research workflows, particularly for researchers working in collaborative teams that cross institutional boundaries. These include Microsoft’s Sharepoint, GoogleWave, etc. There is little evidence of the use of these broader collaborative workflow products. Similarly, there was little interest in central provision of or support for data analysis tools (which are seen as the province of researchers themselves), or of tools for the analysis of large aggregations of text (probably because text and data mining are still at an early stage of development in most subject areas).
- Libraries image
From the perspective of researchers, library staff are less proactive in reaching out to researchers with customised information support. Thus while libraries provide information skills training to researchers, especially doctoral students, many researchers see them as focused more on collection management, and on services to students, than on serving the needs of the research community in their institution.
Many researchers thus suggest that libraries could do more to promote their services,…
RIN & OCLC. Research support services: What services do researchers need and use?, Report, available online on 12th of Nov. 2010:
This unique UK study is focused on the famous Y generation, and on how young researchers behave to find out their information.
Funded by the JISC and the British Library, this 3-year study investigates researchers habits in their digital and physical (library) environment.
One of the confirmation is that “take up of Web 2.0 tools has been slower than expected“, which tends to contradict many clichés.
Hutchings, Charles & Newman, Joanna. Understanding tomorrow’s needs. Research Information, Issue 50, Oct./Nov. 2010. pp. 11