June 20, 2019

New Survey Findings From Ex Libris: “Supporting Academic Research: Understanding the Challenges”; 300 Researchers and Members of Research Offices Interviewed

From Ex Libris:

What are some of the main challenges researchers face across the research life cycle? Our study [Supporting Academic Research: Understanding the Challenges”] sheds light on key pain points and reveals opportunities for research offices and academic libraries to strengthen support for researchers.

This paper includes the findings from a survey of 300 researchers and interviews with senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Key Findings

  • Researchers are satisfied or very satisfied with the level of support provided by their research office and library (81% and 80%, respectively). However, they feel time-deprived and stressed.
  • Many researchers conduct tasks themselves in areas where libraries and research offices can provide valuable expertise and administrative support. The findings indicate that there is room for greater involvement oflibraries and research offices in areas such as managing article processing charges (47% of researchers stated that they do it themselves), finding funding opportunities (52% do it themselves), preparing data management plans (54%), ensuring open-access compliance (55%), and monitoring research impact (61%).
  • Researchers consider fund sourcing and the preparation of grant applications the most difficult part of their roles. Only 35% of researchers find it easy to find relevant funding opportunities, and only 32% find it easy to apply for funding grants.
  • Demonstrating research impact is increasingly important, but the best method of meaningfully measuring it is still unclear. Nevertheless, 35% of researchers are always required to demonstrate the impact of their work, and 51% are required to do so some of the time.
  • Researcher profiles are scattered across many channels, led by LinkedIn (65%), the researcher’s university page (54%), and Google Scholar (42%). Because of researchers’ workload, it is the institution that is charged with showcasing researcher profiles as well as keeping these profiles current, a responsibility that is perceived as challenging by administrators.
  • Almost 60% of scholars have to publish research datasets alongside their publications, yet for many this is not easily achieved.

Direct to Full Text: “Supporting Academic Research: Understanding the Challenges”
14 pages; PDF.

Gary Price 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.

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