UK researchers do not rely on libraries
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: