A couple of relevant reports have just come over the horizon …..
- First, from the Research Information Network in the UK comes an overview [pdf] of researcher resource discovery behaviors and preferences:
Search and discovery are critical and integral parts of the research process. As this study shows, researchers devote considerable amounts of time and effort to using a wide range of services to find the even wider range of information resources they need to pursue their research. It is perhaps surprising, therefore, that there has been no recent attempt – among the plethora of studies of search and navigation more generally, and the growing literature on the use of academic journals – to study how members of the UK research community make use of discovery services. This report seeks to fill that gap. We believe that the findings are not only interesting in themselves, but may prove helpful in guiding the further development of discovery services, notably those that are aimed specifically at the research community. [RIN study on researchers and discovery services | RIN]
One clear finding of the investigation is that researchers – to use the terms recently discussed in these pages – want discovery services to be supported by effective delivery services. They want to be able to get what they find. I found this report a strangely flat read. There is a lot of data about bibliographic services, gathered in telephone interviews with four hundred researchers and fifty librarians. But I did not feel at the end that I knew very much more than I already did about how they could be better served, what issues they had, the role of literature in their broader working practices.
- Second, from the DLF, is Contexts and contributions: building the distributed library [html] by Martha Brogan. The focus of this report is an analysis of digital library aggregation services. As its title suggests it spends some time discussing environmental contexts, as well as particular cases (or contributions). It is a substantial read, amply documented.