Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where do researchers look for information?

Pretty much where they've always done:

Abstract: This paper presents the results of the second phase of a Research Information Network study, which sought to establish the impact of e-journals on the scholarly behaviour of researchers in the UK. The first phase of the project was a deep log analysis of the usage and information seeking behaviour of researchers in connection with the ScienceDirect and Oxford Journals databases. This paper reports on the second phase, which sought to explain and provide context for the deep log data by taking the questions raised by the quantitative study to the research community via interview, questionnaire and observation. Nine major research institutions took part, six subjects were covered and the behaviour of about 1400 people was analyzed. Findings show that academic journals have become central to all disciplines and that the e-form is the prime means of access. Most importantly the study demonstrates that computer usage logs provide an accurate picture of online behaviour. High levels of gateway service use point to the re-intermediating of the broken chain between publisher and reader.


From a personal perspective, I'm slightly surprised at the prominence of Google Scholar usage, although I have been using it heavily recently. I think it's time to redo the BS1010 bibliographic databases exercise to include Scholar.