A Must Read: RIN's tech report "Researchers and Discovery Services: Behaviour, Perceptions and Needs"
Researchers and Discovery Services: Behaviour, Perceptions and Needs.
(2006, November) Research Information Network. http://www.rin.ac.uk/files/Report%20-%20final.pdf
. Accessed 12/1/2006.
-- yes, 3 people/feeds had to point it out to me before I finally looked at it!)
I've only gotten through the executive summary
(and included with the full report) so far, but there are some really interesting points here. The purpose of the study was to "assess the use and the perceptions of resource discovery services by academic researchers in the UK." The researchers are post-docs and beyond. RIN commissioned Rightscom and IRN Research to interview 400 researchers and 50 librarians from all over the UK by telephone.
Some of the points are not surprising: general satisfaction, fee barrier to certain resources, one size doesn't fit all, peers are important, specific gaps in provision (foreign language materials, book chapters, backfiles)
Some points that will encourage me to continue reading:
"Researchers see searching as an integral part of the research process, and they tend to refine down from a large set of results"
"Researchers are concerned about irrelevant search results, but they are more concerned that they might miss important information"
62% have alerts running -- mostly e-mail
Mismatch between librarian perception of researcher search skills and researcher perception of their own skills.
Anyway, I'll put this in the rapidly growing "to read" pile. It's interesting that they are using interview quotes to support their points and that they state that this is a qualitative study. I really appreciate that, but with n=400, it seems like they could have done some quantitative work? I prefer the qualitative now, but I'm interested to see why they went that way.