Friday, 13 November 2009

Researchers of Tomorrow (who use Google)


Here is the summary report about the interim findings of the first year of the Researchers of Tomorrow (British Library/JISC) study. A survey went out earlier this year and over 6500 doctoral students replied. Here is are some findings:
  • Time pressures are a significant constraint for most respondents, both full-time and part‐time.
  • More Generation Y than older scholars are likely to be working from officespace, laboratory or studio in their own institution, rather than working from their own home.
  • • About half of the respondents have been usefully trained in, for instance, finding and using subject‐based bibliographical and journal resources, andfinding research resources beyond their own institution.
  • Far fewer respondents, however, have received any training in using more advanced technology‐based research resources and tools such as research methods, finding and using online datasets or working in virtualresearch environments.
  • Only a small proportion of respondents in any age group say they use ‘emergent technology’ (e.g. Web 2.0 applications) in their research, although those that do generally find it valuable.
  • In a snapshot of information‐seeking and research activity, the majority of doctoral students were looking for text‐based and secondary, published research resources, rather than primary research resources (e.g. data to analyse or original manuscript sources).
  • Google and Google Scholar are dominant as the main source used by doctoral students of all ages to find the information they require.
It's an important report and well worth following up. I was disappointed to see the low use of Web 2.0. Here is an opening for librarians to assist - showing that Web 2.0 can assist with result retrieval and saving time.

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