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Social networks: Researchers prefer Personal Relationships

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It is one of the main findings of this interesting study, conducted for the OCLC Research in a few prestigious american universities.

It does not appear that professional networking Websites will attain a high level of regard or participation. (….)

Technology cannot replace that human factor

Junior faculty rightly recognize the imperative to attend professional conferences as they establish themselves and develop their personal network for the remainder of their career.

Personal introductions, conversations at meeting or hearing someone present a paper were cited as key in choosing collaborators.

Researchers rely on that one-on-one opportunity to assess the other person and the degree of compatibility, something that cannot ocur when looking at Internet sources or formal publications.

Other findings:

  • Electronic journals continue to reshape the information landscape and the research process
    • all faculty mentioned the importance of online journals and how they are changing information access and retrieval
  • Researchers ignore alternative forms of dissemination
    • Despite they know global impact of open access model, authors prefer journals that have high impact rankings and the prestige of being in the top tier in a subject domain
  • Store the knowledge is an unsolved issue
    • Researchers report that they struggle unsuccessfully with storage and management of a burgeoning volume of documents
    • No one has control over no plans for managing the storage, maintenance, and retrieval of documents and data sets over time
  • The Google effect:
    • The majority of researchers interviewed for this study use online tools – and commercial services – related to their discipline rather than tools or library services provided by their university.
    • Researchers adopt information tools and services that are easy to use and that simplify their work, even when those tools and services are not optimal, comprehensive, or on the “approved” list preferred by their university

Kroll, Susan and Forsman, Rick . A slice of Research Life: information support for research in the United States. Report commissionned by OCLC Research in support of the RLG Partnership.

Available online:


Written by hbasset

July 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

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