January 23, 2022

Research Article: “Researchers’ Expectations Regarding the Online Presence of Academic Libraries” (Preprint)

The following article (preprint) was recently accepted for publication in the November 2017 issue of C&RL.


Researchers’ Expectations Regarding the Online Presence of Academic Libraries


Anna Mierzecka
University of Warsaw

Małgorzata Kisilowska
University of Warsaw

Andrius Suminas
University of Warsaw


C&RL (College and Research Libraries)


The article reports the results of a survey conducted among the Polish and Lithuanian academics and concerning their information needs and expectations regarding academic library websites.

The survey was realized using the technique of Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) on a group of scholars representing sciences and humanities or social sciences. The survey was preceded by desk research consisting of literature review and analysis.

Quantitative analysis was carried out on the data provided by 460 respondents. Its findings are discussed in the light of earlier research reports.

Regardless of the users’ research specialty, accessibility of online resources was revealed as the most important element of an academic library website, although information concerning the traditional or offline function of the library was also highly ranked. Minor differences in information needs were found depending on the age and nationality of the respondents.

Access to online sources was revealed as the prevailing information need among the scholars. Moreover, differences in the information behaviours of the scientists and the humanists, widely discussed in literature, prove insignificant with regard to the expectations concerning the online presence of academic libraries. This could result from the development of digital humanities and the new standards imposed on the researchers within the humanities and social sciences, related to the evaluation of academic output performed by the government agencies in both countries. Digital presence of academic libraries still poses challenges, requires observation of user information behaviours and a redefinition of the librarian’s duties.

Direct to Full Text Article (40 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.