We don't need training in resource discovery, say academic researchers

Added by Sarah on 14 November 2006 14:40

The results of a survey published today by the RIN shows that researchers are confident in their ability to find the information resources they need for their research.

News release - 14 November 2006

Researchers are generally happy to devote a considerable amount of time and effort, often refining down from an initial large set of results, in order to discover material that they require for their scholarly work.
The report also confirms that most of them are confident about using a wide range of search and discovery tools, and feel that they require little or no training in this area.

Other key findings include:

  • researchers do not feel overwhelmed by information
  • social networking tools such as blogs are not yet a significant feature of researchers’ approach to discovery
  • research colleagues remain one of the most important sources of information for virtually every type of enquiy;
  • Google is ubiquitous, but researchers also use a bewildering variety of highly-specialised discovery services
  • The RIN is organizing a workshop on Monday 18 December, at 13:00, to present and discuss these findings - see below.

The report is based on an extensive survey involving in-depth interviews with some 400 researchers and 50 subject librarians across the UK.  Researchers contributing to the study were from all disciplines and career stages from postdoc onwards.  The report reflects and sets out the variety of these backgrounds.

There has been no recent attempt to study how members of the UK research community make use of discovery services. The Research Information Network therefore commissioned this study as part of its work to promote better arrangements for researchers to find out what information resources relevant to their work are available, where these are, and how they may have access to them.  Understanding how researchers discover and locate the information sources they need, and seeking and listening to their views, is the first essential step towards improving services, and the efficiency of the research process as a whole.

The report is available at www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/using-and-accessing-information-resources/researc…


St├ęphane Goldstein - Planning & Project Officer, Research Information Network.  Email: stephane.goldstein@rin.ac.uk - telephone: 020 7412 7303


There will be a workshop in London on Monday 18 December, from 13:00 to 16:30, to present and explain the conclusions of the study; to consider the implications of its findings, from the point of view of librarians as well as researchers; and to discuss ideas about what steps might be taken next.  All are welcome to this free event. 

Notes to editors:

The Research Information Network was set up in 2005 by the four UK higher education funding bodies, the seven research councils and the three national libraries. Our role is to enhance and broaden understanding of the information resources and services available to researchers, and how they use them; and to promote the innovation and development of effective policies and strategies for the benefit of the UK research community. www.rin.ac.uk

© Research Information Network 2005–2009