ERIC Number: ED522674
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Supporting Research: Environments, Administration and Libraries
MacColl, John; Jubb, Michael
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Last year, OCLC Research and the UK's Research Information Network (RIN) undertook a pair of parallel studies in the US and the UK on the theme of research support services in universities (Kroll and Forsman 2010; CIBER 2010). In the US, the library and scholarly information consultancy Kroll Research Associates was commissioned, and in the UK the study was awarded to the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) at University College London. Working jointly with two organisations, each team chose four research-intensive universities in which to trawl for data on research support services, by means of interviews and focus group sessions with researchers, research administrators, and librarians. The findings of both studies showed a relatively high degree of convergence on one fairly simple fact: institutionally-provided research support services are not appreciated by researchers in universities, who consider them marginal at best and burdensome at worst. Researchers are often resistant to services which they feel belong more naturally to their disciplines rather than their institutions--especially where these duplicate existing disciplinary services. They begrudge any time spent on activity which seems to them to serve an administrative need, seeing their job as to perform research, not administration. Reading the two reports, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that libraries in recent years have been struggling to make a positive impact on the scholarly work of researchers, but having relatively little effect. There is a growing understanding in the library community that it possesses a new set of stewardship responsibilities towards the materials that are generated on campus--particularly those of researchers and academic staff. (Contains 2 figures.)
Descriptors: Research Administration, Information Networks, Researchers, Research Universities, Libraries, Focus Groups, Foreign Countries, Research, Interviews, Librarians
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States