A Slice of Research Life: Information Support for Research in the United States

http://www.oclc.org/research/news/2010-06-16.htm

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 16 June 2010—Relationships between researchers and traditional library and university support for research have shifted radically; many of the services most valued by researchers are found not in the library but on the network.

The majority of researchers interviewed for this study use online tools – and commercial services – related to their discipline rather than tools provided by their university. This report summarizes interviews held with researchers, research assistants, graduate students, grant and other research administration specialists, and university administrators at four elite U.S. research universities. It complements a similar study undertaken in four English universities, to be published shortly. This joint research results from a partnership between OCLC Research and the UK’s Research Information Network. Participants reported on how they use information in the course of their research, what tools and services are most critical and beneficial to them, where they continue to experience unmet needs, and how they prioritize use of their limited time.

While some universities have devised services to better manage data and other information derived from research, many researchers flounder in a disorganized and rising accumulation of useful findings that may be lost or unavailable when conducting future research.

This report is related to the OCLC Research Support for Research Workflows activity. It was discussed in an update session at the RLG Partnership Annual Meeting, 10 June 2010 in Chicago

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