11 December 2006


Researchers and discovery services: Behaviour, perceptions and needs: A study commissioned by the Research Information Network (November 2006)

Key Findings
1.3.1 General satisfaction with discovery services
1.3.2 Users cannot always access the resources they have discovered
1.3.3 Means and ends are not clearly delineated
1.3.4 One size doesn’t fit all
1.3.5 There is a very long tail of discovery services used by researchers
1.3.6 Researchers use discovery services to find a wide range of resources
1.3.7 Peers and networks of colleagues are extremely important. Research colleagues are one of the most important sources for virtually every type of enquiry.
1.3.8 Researchers see searching as an integral part of the research process, and they tend to refine down from a large set of results possibly over-constrained, initial search.
1.3.9 Researchers are concerned about irrelevant search results, but they are more concerned that they might miss important information
1.3.10 Push is popular but blogs hardly feature
1.3.11 Library support is largely via portals, rather than personal contact
1.3.12 Librarians and researchers are generally in agreement, but there are some important differences
1.3.13 Lack of formal training is not seen as a problem
1.3.14 Specific gaps in provision: A number of specific gaps were identified. Researchers working on the intersection of fields and those in very new fields also felt the difficulty of searching multiple overlapping sources.

Thanks to Stephen Abram for calling this to attention on his blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse.

Download this report at http://www.rin.ac.uk/files/Report%20-%20final.pdf
Read about this report on Stephen’s Lighthouse:

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