« Key Findings :
••The role of internet search engines in facilitating discovery of scholarly resources has continued to increase. The perceived decline in the role of the library catalog noted in previous cycles of this survey has been arrested and even modestly reversed, driven perhaps to some degree by significant strategic shifts in library discovery tools and services.
•• Respondents are generally satisfied with their ability to access the scholarly literature, not least because freely available materials have come to play a significant role in meeting their needs.
•• While respondents continued to trend overall towards greater acceptance of a print to electronic transition for scholarly journals, they grew modestly less comfortable with replacing print subscriptions with electronic access. Monographs, although widely used in electronic form, present a mixed picture for any possible format transition. While some monograph use cases are quite strong for electronic versions, others – especially long-form reading – are seen to favor print by a decisive share. Even so, a growing share of respondents expects substantial change in library collecting practices for monographs in the next five years.
•• Respondents’ personal interests are the primary factor in selecting research topics, but junior faculty members report that tenure considerations play an important role, as well. Collaboration models vary significantly across scholarly fields. While humanists are less likely than scientists or social scientists
to conduct quantitative analyses, nevertheless some 25% of humanists report gathering their own data for this purpose.
•• Small but non-trivial shares of respondents use technology in their undergraduate teaching. But while most recognize the availability of resources to help them do so, many respondents do not draw upon resources beyond their own ideas or feel strongly motivated to seek out opportunities to use more technology in their teaching.
•• Respondents tend to value established scholarly dissemination methods, prioritizing audiences in their sub-discipline and discipline, and those of lay professionals, more so than undergraduates or the general public. Similarly, they continue to select journals in which to publish based on characteristics such as topical coverage, readership, and impact factor. Finally, respondents tend to value existing publisher services, such as peer review, branding, copy-editing, while expressing less widespread agreement about the value of newer dissemination support services offered by libraries that are intended to maximize access and impact.
•• Respondents perceive less value from many functions of the academic library than they did in the last cycle of this survey. One notable exception is the gateway function, which experienced a modest resurgence in perceived value. A minority of respondents sees the library as primarily responsible for teaching research skills to undergraduates. And, though still a clear minority, the share of respondents who wish to see substantial change to library staff and buildings has increased. There are large differences in perceptions between disciplinary groups: for example, a smaller share of scientists views many
library roles as very important.
•• Conferences remain at the heart of respondents’ perceptions of the role and value of the scholarly societies in which they participate. Conferences are valued for both the formal function of discovering new scholarship and informal role of connecting scholars with peers. »
A Scienceographic Comparison of Physics Papers from the arXiv and viXra Archives :
« arXiv is an e-print repository of papers in physics, computer science, and biology, amongst others. viXra is a newer repository of e-prints on similar topics. Scienceography is the study of the writing of science. In this work we perform a scienceographic comparison of a selection of papers from the physics section of each archive. We provide the first study of the viXra archive and describe key differences on how science is written by these communities. »
Analysis and visualization of the dynamics of research groups in terms of projects and co-authored publications. A case study of library and information science in Argentina :
« Objective: The present study offers a novel methodological contribution to the study of the configuration and dynamics of research groups, through a comparative perspective of the projects funded (inputs) and publication co-authorships (output).
Method: A combination of bibliometric techniques and social network analysis was applied to a case study: the Departmento de Bibliotecología (DHUBI), Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, for the period 2000-2009. The results were interpreted statistically and staff members of the department, were interviewed.
Results: The method makes it possible to distinguish groups, identify their members and reflect group make-up through an analytical strategy that involves the categorization of actors and the interdisciplinary and national or international projection of the networks that they configure. The integration of these two aspects (input and output) at different points in time over the analyzed period leads to inferences about group profiles and the roles of actors.
Conclusions: The methodology presented is conducive to micro-level interpretations in a given area of study, regarding individual researchers or research groups. Because the comparative input-output analysis broadens the base of information and makes it possible to follow up, over time, individual and group trends, it may prove very useful for the management, promotion and evaluation of science. »
Use of Web Resources for Scholarly Research in Language and Literature: A Study among Research Scholars in Aligarh Muslim University, India :
« This paper assesses the level of awareness and use of web resources by the research scholars of languages and literature in Aligarh Muslim University, India. Further the paper aims to highlight the problems faced by research scholars while accessing web resources, their opinion about the features and usefulness of the e-resources. The study was conducted through a well structured questionnaire administered among the research scholars in the department of English, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Modern Indian Languages and Comparative literature and Culture. A random sample of 250 respondents collected during the months of June to August 2011 has been taken for analysis. This paper restricts the study exclusively to use of web resources by research scholars of Language and Literature in Aligarh Muslim University. The scope of the study can be extended to other Indian Universities also. The study reveals that web resources have became an essential part of the research works in AMU. Almost all the services and resources available on Web are utilized by the researchers and Google is the widely used search engine in the University. Many attempts have been made to study the use of e-resources by research scholars in various universities in India, but this is the first of its kind among the researchers of Language and Literature with some suggestions for improvement of web resources and services. »
Researchers of Tomorrow: the research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students :
« In 2009, the British Library and JISC commissioned the three-year Researchers of Tomorrow study, focusing on the information-seeking and research behaviour of doctoral students in ‘Generation Y’, born between 1982 and 1994 and not ‘digital natives’. Over 17,000 doctoral students from more than 70 higher education institutions participated in the three annual surveys, which were complemented by a longitudinal student cohort study. »
Digital repositories ten years on: what do scientific researchers think of them and how do they use them? :
« Digital repositories have been with us for more than a decade, and despite the considerable media and conference attention they engender, we know very little about their use by academics. This paper sets out to address this by reporting on how well they are used, what they are used for, what researchers’ think of them, and where they thought they were going. Nearly 1,700 scientific researchers, mostly physical scientists, responded to an international survey of digital repositories, making it the largest survey of its kind. High deposit rates were found and mandates appear to be working, especially with younger researchers. Repositories have made significant inroads in terms of impact and use despite, in the case of institutional repositories, the very limited resources deployed. Subject repositories, like arXiv and PubMed Central, have certainly come of age but institutional repositories probably have not come of age yet although there are drivers in place which, in theory anyway, are moving them towards early adulthood. »
Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information :
« The research blog has become a popular mechanism for the quick discussion of scholarly information. However, unlike peer-reviewed journals, the characteristics of this form of scientific discourse are not well understood, for example in terms of the spread of blogger levels of education, gender and institutional affiliations. In this paper we fill this gap by analyzing a sample of blog posts discussing science via an aggregator called ResearchBlogging.org (RB). ResearchBlogging.org aggregates posts based on peer-reviewed research and allows bloggers to cite their sources in a scholarly manner. We studied the bloggers, blog posts and referenced journals of bloggers who posted at least 20 items. We found that RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account. The average RB blogger in our sample is male, either a graduate student or has been awarded a PhD and blogs under his own name. »
Examining Motivations behind Paper Usage in Academia :
« We carried out a qualitative study to identify the “missing pieces” in current computing devices and technologies that are preventing people from eliminating paper from their lives. Most of the existing literature has looked into the work practices of businesses, while a few have researched how high school and college students and teaching assistants at universities work with paper. We were specifically interested in analyzing paper use for people in the research side of academia, and seeing how our results compare to existing work. We recruited and interviewed participants from academia to understand what kind of tasks they use paper for, what kind of tasks they use computing devices for and what motivates them to use these two media. We found that, despite having access to at least one personal computing device, the participants preferred to work with paper in many situations. This appears to be attributed to certain intrinsic qualities that paper has, such as open format, easy navigation, readability, and the affordances these qualities provide. In order to eventually replace paper with devices, designers of new technology will have to successfully emulate these qualities. »
Does Tenure Matter? Factors Influencing Faculty Contributions to Institutional Repositories :
« INTRODUCTION : Institutional repositories (IRs) provide colleges and universities a way to ensure stability of access to and dissemination of digital scholarly communications. Yet, many institutions report that faculty willingness to contribute to IRs is often limited. This study investigates faculty attitudes about IR contributions by tenure status and category of material.
IMETHODS: Two focus group interviews were conducted in the spring of 2009 among English department faculty at a large Midwestern university. One group consisted of tenured faculty and the other of tenure-track and adjunct faculty.
IRESULTS: Both groups recognize the benefit of open access to research materials but expressed concern about their intellectual property rights. Untenured faculty spoke more about nonprint research. Both groups also shared concerns about contributing instructional materials, primarily in regard to plagiarism and outdated materials. In regard to faculty service, the tenured group discussed many items they would contribute, while the untenured faculty mentioned very little.
IDISCUSSION: Some minor differences emerged related to experience and tenure status in regard to contributing research and instructional artifacts, but the major variation was the strong support tenured participants gave for contributing service items, compared to the untenured faculty, who did not view this category positively. Tenured faculty viewed the IR as a way to document their own service activities, investigate those of colleagues, and had fewer concerns about plagiarism or other negative effects in the service category.
CONCLUSION: Promoting faculty contribution of service-related items to an IR may be a way to encourage larger numbers to participate. »