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Posts Tagged ‘Researchers

Researchers and Social media

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2 thoughts in the latest issue of RI, June 2011.


Rethinking publishing, Sian Harris, p.12

The use of social media was highlighted in another talk by Bill Russell of Emerald, who presented results of a recent global survey done with UCL in London into the social media preferences of 2,414 researchers. The study found, he said, quite a big gap between use and awareness. Perhaps surprisingly, the most used web-based social tools were not Facebook or any other social networking site but Skype, followed by Wikipedia and Google Docs – and 63.4 per cent of social media active researchers use just one or two types of social tools.


Current research assessement could miss the big picture, David Stuart, p. 18

Social media sites go in and out of fashion, leaving little time for any one particular metric to gain widespread acceptance. The impact of a researcher’s work on Twitter may seem relevant today, in two years time it could be deemed as relevant as a researcher’s impact on MySpace.”

Written by hbasset

June 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm

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Info Searchers? Info Consumers? Info Collaboraters?

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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.

Written by hbasset

February 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm

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Use of metrics to evaluate researchers

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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.

Written by hbasset

January 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Researchers talk to Researchers

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On the trendy movement of Q&A services (see Quora), this sort of Community of Practice offers a nice collection of professional advices.

Written by hbasset

January 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

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93% of UK researchers find “easy” the access to research articles

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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

Written by hbasset

December 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Journals

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UK researchers do not rely on libraries

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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.

Some findings:

  •  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.

  • Collaboration

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:

Written by hbasset

November 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Science 2.0

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Researchers believe in trusted peers networks

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Highlights of the ‘Future of Search and Discovery’ survey were recently shared during an Elsevier-hosted webinar.

More than 1,200 academic, government and industry researchers participated in the online survey which was fielded in late June/early July.

Respondents came from 100 countries and 20 fields within the physical sciences and engineering, life, health and social sciences disciplines.

One of the findings was that “eight in ten (81 percent) respondents agree ‘in the next several years, researchers will use knowledge networks (online groups of trusted peers) as a reliable source for filtering and viewing information.

In: Researchers find open data key to future of search and discovery: Elsevier survey 29 Sep 2010 – KnowledgeSpeak, Online:

Elsevier Pres release:

Written by hbasset

September 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

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Tomorrow’s Researchers behaviours

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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.

See also:
Hutchings, Charles & Newman, Joanna. Understanding tomorrow’s needs. Research Information, Issue 50, Oct./Nov. 2010. pp. 11

Written by hbasset

September 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Web 2.0

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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

MicroBlogging on Science Social Networks

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With more than 300,000 scientists, ResearchGate is the leading professional network for Scientists.

Users of ResearchGATE can now enable micoblogging on their profile to keep their connections up to date on their latest work and subscribe to updates from other scientists in their network.

Microblogging feeds from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be consolidated on ResearchGATE to give users a holistic view. Members can also effortlessly share documents, data or experiment information so that scientists can work smarter together and learn from previous experiments.

ResearchGATE connects researchers and information. It offers tools tailored to researchers’ need and helps them keep in touch with scientists all over the world. With ResearchGATE, researchers and scientists can find new research contacts in people performing in the same field or in different fields using the same techniques.

Written by hbasset

April 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm