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Information seeking behaviour of academics

Information seeking behaviour of academics

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Information seeking behaviour of academics

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  1. Information seeking behaviour of academics Informationsverhaltenvon Wissenschaftlern Dr. Roswitha Poll

  2. The project Evaluation of the German Special Collections Programmefrom the user perspective Special collections (Sondersammelgebiete) • 23 university libraries • 47 special libraries • 3 central libraries Partners: • Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Münster • infas – Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft GmbH

  3. The project "Invisibility" of the special collections • Most-used service: ILL • Users do not realize where documents come from Solution: To assess the role of libraries in information seeking behaviour • the present role • the possible future role

  4. Steps • Evaluation of the literature on information seeking behaviour • Focus groups in 5 subjects • Pre-test of survey • Survey in 5 subjects • Applied economics • Biology • English studies • History • Mechanical engineering

  5. Survey responses response rate Englishstudies101 21,5 % biology 382 41,6 % appliedeconomics 322 25,7 % history 142 40,7 mechanics 634 36,2 1581 33,3 % • Included: Academics in institutes of higher education or scientific institutes • Questionnaires: 5.059 (sample of 29.161) • Response rate: 1581 = 33,3 % • Professor 28 % • Assistent 14 % • other 54 % • not identified 2 % • < 30 years old 20 % • 31 to 40 34 % • 41 to 50 21 % • > 51 years 25 %

  6. ComparableStudies CLIR (2002) Friedlander, Amy: Dimensions and use of the Scholarly Information Environment • All subjects • Academics and students • Telephone interview • 3.234 interviews RSLG (2002) Researchers' Use of Libraries and other Information Sources • 5 groups of subjects • Academics • Questionnaire • 3.186 answers Zukunft der wissenschaftlichen und technischen Information in Deutschland. Arthur D. Little International ADL (2002) • All subjects • Academics and commercial firms • Questionnaire • Academics = 1.385 answers • Commercial firms = 832 answers

  7. Evaluation of literature /Focus groups Important aspects of information behaviour • Information Overload especially in interdisciplinary studies • Deliberate restriction „information fatigue syndrome“ • Direct availability asdecisive criterion „now or never“ • Information networks „invisible colleges“ • Clear differencesbetween subjects

  8. Survey structure • Ways of seeking information • Ways of procuring information • Problems, needs, requirements

  9. several times/week once per week 1-several/month 1-several/half year seldom never Informationseeking Contacts personal contacts meetings,events 36 1 16 1 30 8 11 58 5 30 - 2 Finding helps bibliographies current-contents library catalogues publishers' catalogues 11 16 16 2 11 18 12 4 23 28 25 20 16 12 18 24 24 14 19 28 12 9 6 17 Contents books journals doctoral dissert. etc. full-text databases preprint servers 48 49 10 14 3 19 24 13 12 5 22 22 32 22 10 8 4 26 15 11 2 1 16 22 30 0 1 2 12 38 Internet search subject gateway discussion groups/mailing-lists general search 24 10 55 15 6 16 23 12 16 12 10 7 13 23 4 11 35 2 Frequency of information channels use (%)

  10. several times/week once per week 1-several/month 1-several/half year seldom never Informationseeking Contacts personal contacts meetings,events 36 1 16 1 30 8 11 58 5 30 - 2 Finding helps bibliographies current-contents library catalogues publishers' catalogues 11 16 16 2 11 18 12 4 23 28 25 20 16 12 18 24 24 14 19 28 12 9 6 17 several times / week Applied economics22 Biology6 English studies39 History63 Mechanicalengineering4 Contents books journals doctoral dissert. etc. full-text databases preprint servers 48 49 10 14 3 19 24 13 12 5 22 22 32 22 10 8 4 26 15 11 2 1 16 22 30 0 1 2 12 38 Internet search subject gateway discussion groups/mailing-lists general search 24 10 55 15 6 16 23 12 16 12 10 7 13 23 4 11 35 2 Frequency of information channels use (%) library catalogues

  11. several times/week once per week 1-several/month 1-several/half year seldom never Informationseeking Contacts personal contacts meetings,events 36 1 16 1 30 8 11 58 5 30 - 2 Finding helps bibliographies current-contents library catalogues publishers' catalogues 11 16 16 2 11 18 12 4 23 28 25 20 16 12 18 24 24 14 19 28 12 9 6 17 Contents books journals doctoral dissert. etc. full-text databases preprint servers 48 49 10 14 3 19 24 13 12 5 22 22 32 22 10 8 4 26 15 11 2 1 16 22 30 0 1 2 12 38 Internet search subject gateway discussion groups/mailing-lists general search 24 10 55 15 6 16 23 12 16 12 10 7 13 23 4 11 35 2 Frequency of information channels use (%)

  12. several times/week once per week 1-several/month 1-several/half year seldom never Informationseeking Contacts personal contacts meetings,events 36 1 16 1 30 8 11 58 5 30 - 2 Finding helps bibliographies current-contents library catalogues publishers' catalogues 11 16 16 2 11 18 12 4 23 28 25 20 16 12 18 24 24 14 19 28 12 9 6 17 never Applied economics10 Biology7 English studies16 History18 Mechanicalengineering13 full-text databases Contents books journals doctoral dissert. etc. full-text databases preprint servers 48 49 10 14 3 19 24 13 12 5 22 22 32 22 10 8 4 26 15 11 2 1 16 22 30 0 1 2 12 38 Internet search subject gateway discussion groups/mailing-lists general search 24 10 55 15 6 16 23 12 16 12 10 7 13 23 4 11 35 2 Frequency of information channels use (%) 12

  13. % Findinginformation Percentage of information found in groupsof information channels Contents books, journals, doctoral dissertations, full-text databases, preprint server 33 Internet Internet search, subject portals, discussion groups, mailing lists 29 Contacts personal contacts, meetings / events 19 Findinginstruments library catalogues, bibliographies, databases, current-contents 19

  14. bibliographies current-contents libr. cataloguesbooks journals doct. diss. etc. full-text datab. preprint servers subject gateway Internet search 27 3 14 29 2 4 2 0 3 2 not up-to-date 9 16 14 6 9 6 7 3 12 10 not complete 12 9 11 3 3 2 6 2 11 28 too general 13 13 6 17 24 26 12 12 3 1 locally not acquired/accessible 8 7 9 1 1 5 12 4 7 6 too compli-cated never used 10 8 6 0 0 3 11 35 9 2 Information seeking Percentage of problems (rest: no problems)

  15. bibliographies current-contents libr. cataloguesbooks journals doct. diss. etc. full-text datab. preprint servers subject gateway Internet search 27 3 14 29 2 4 2 0 3 2 not up-to-date 9 16 14 6 9 6 7 3 12 10 not complete 12 9 11 3 3 2 6 2 11 28 too general 13 13 6 17 24 26 12 12 3 1 locally not acquired/accessible 8 7 9 1 1 5 12 4 7 6 too compli-cated never used 10 8 6 0 0 3 11 35 9 2 Informationseeking journals locally not acquired/accessible Applied economics22 Biology30 English studies30 History25 Mech.engineering20 Percentage of problems (rest: no problems) 24

  16. bibliographies current-contents libr. cataloguesbooks journals doct. diss. etc. full-text datab. preprint servers subject gateway Internet search 27 3 14 29 2 4 2 0 3 2 not up-to-date 9 16 14 6 9 6 7 3 12 10 not complete 12 9 11 3 3 2 6 2 11 28 too general 13 13 6 17 24 26 12 12 3 1 locally not acquired/accessible 8 7 9 1 1 5 12 4 7 6 too compli-cated never used 10 8 6 0 0 3 11 35 9 2 Problems inseeking Percentage of problems (rest: no problems)

  17. bibliographies current-contents libr. cataloguesbooks journals doct. diss. etc. full-text datab. preprint servers subject gateway Internet search 27 3 14 29 2 4 2 0 3 2 not up-to-date 9 16 14 6 9 6 7 3 12 10 not complete 12 9 11 3 3 2 6 2 11 28 too general too complicated 13 13 6 17 24 26 12 12 3 1 locally not acquired/accessible 8 7 9 1 1 5 12 4 7 6 too compli-cated never used 10 8 6 0 0 3 11 35 9 2 Problems inseeking Internet search up to 30 years old4 31-404 41-507 51 and more11 Percentage of problems (rest: no problems) 6

  18. Applied economics Biology English studies History Mech. engineering 22 38 Direct(contacts/purchase) 11 Delivery services 29 Internet Procuringinformation 17 33 11 39 Local library 23 43 15 19 19 58 12 11 20 36 11 33 Percentage (groups)

  19. 7 9 14 12 2 50 6 1 1 73 0 0 1 4 4 10 13 1 too slow 8 23 14 23 6 11 4 2 18 too expensive 0 1 2 4 8 2 3 1 12 4 4 21 1 9 9 32 54 2 too time-consuming technical defects never used Procuringinformation Direct purchase personal contacts institutional contacts Local library print collection databases/E-journals Delivery services ILL document delivery of libraries commercial services Internet Problems in percentage(rest: no problems)

  20. Applied economics Biology English studies History Mech. engineering 7 41 1-2 27 2-3 21 4-5 6-10 4 10ff. Expenditureof time 5 39 31 19 4 22 35 25 21 9 4 29 27 33 6 9 43 26 18 3 8 40 28 21 4 hours per week

  21. 3 Special subject Info. for Teaching Info. for Research ILL Doc. delivery sevices Copying / Printing Literature lists Abstracts of articles 5 34 15 in most cases 79 59 sometimes never Expenditureof time 6 25 67 6 37 55 29 22 46 15 19 62 33 32 33 8 29 61 Frequency of delegation

  22. Applied economics Biology English studies History Mech. engineering 34 21 electronic 51 print depends on form and size of information Delivery ofinformation 55 19 33 18 30 56 13 45 48 36 26 46 Desired format of delivery

  23. Role ofLibraries Collections Münster Journals and books are the most frequented sources of information • Journals 73 % frequent use • Books 67 %" • Internet 71 %" RSLG Print journals and books are most frequently named important for information • Print material 93 % • Electronic material 59 %

  24. Role ofLibraries The local library Münster The local library offers the highest success in procuring information • Local library 38 % • Internet 31 % • Direct contacts/Purchase 20 % • ILL / Document delivery 11 % CLIR What percent of the information that you use for research comes from the ...? • Local library 60 % RSLG Information providers rated as essential • Local library 83 % • Private collection 81 %

  25. Applied economics Biology English studies History Mech. engineering 87 17 Keywords 7 Thesaurus 57 Classi-fication 51 Author 27 Institution Journal 7 2 other Needs,wishes 94 7 4 60 48 10 2 3 86 9 5 62 35 20 3 9 Nodefinition possible 80 10 5 57 43 21 14 3 87 19 4 48 48 33 2 5 88 14 4 55 47 24 2 6 Personalized services How would you define your research profile?

  26. Selection Rating Structuring Ease of use Access to full texts Search for full texts Personal profiles Alerting-Service Help/Reference service Needs,wishes Subject gateways: Important criteria (scale 1 - 7) 5,2 3,7 5,8 6,2 6,1 6,0 4,6 4,3 4,6 Structuring Ease of use Access to full texts Search for full texts

  27. Mainresults Information overload – information dropping • "information waste" • quantities exceeding capacities • reaction: managing without High expenditure of time • too many sources • too differently organized sources • varying technics • clumsy ways of delivery • no "one-stop-shopping" Highest effort for interdisciplinary studies

  28. Mainresults "Invisible colleges" • Small circles with the same special subjects • Informal, changing quickly • Exchange of actual information • Exchange of documents • Younger academics often "outside" Information literacy missing • databases "too complicated" • Internet search more difficult in older groups

  29. Mainresults Clear differences as to subjects • Human Sciences / Social sciences • Strong bias on "completeness" • Higher priority for local library and print collection • Tendency to "aimless" seeking, inspiration by the unexpected • Natural Sciences / Engineering • Immediate accessibility of information is important • Tendency to drop what is not immediately available • Tendency to selective seeking

  30. To do The wishes More information in electronic format • E-journals • Digitization of relevant print sources Integrated search ("google for research"), especially for interdisciplinary studies. Quick and easy ways of document delivery More advice, schooling

  31. More of the library www.dfg.de / lis („Aktuelle Mitteilungen“)