RIN-OCLC study to identify researchers’ needs

The Research Information Network (RIN) and OCLC Research are undertaking a comparative study to investigate information-related support services for researchers in the UK and the US. This collaborative research project will be composed of two separate, but linked, analyses. It will examine information-related support services throughout the lifecycle of the research process.

The project aims to discover researchers’ needs and desires in a small sample of UK and US universities and to identify the significant patterns, intersections, gaps and issues from researchers’ points of view, whatever the source of such services. The study will document the nature and scope of research support services, providing examples of good practice, recommending areas where new practice might emerge, and identifying possible areas and scope for collaboration within and between institutions. Comparing national academic practices will provide evidence and encourage coordination to meet the needs of academic research internationally.

The report seeks to provide librarians and information professionals, research support staff, university administrators, and research funders with a clear and detailed set of conclusions and recommendations about how they might develop their services to meet the needs and aspirations of researchers. The project, which started in September 2009, will run until March 2010. The RIN and OCLC Research have contracted Centre for Information Behaviour and Evaluation in Research (CIBER) to undertake the UK sample and Kroll Research Associates for the US sample.