The British Library and Jisc today launch a ground-breaking three-year study into the study and research behaviour of ‘Generation Y’ scholars, namely those born between 1982 and 1994.
The study will analyse the young researchers’ activities and habits in online and physical research environments, as well as assessing their usage of library and information resources, both on and offline. The research subjects will be doctoral students beginning their PhD programme in the academic year 2008/09.
Announced by the British Library’s Chief Executive, Dame Lynne Brindley, at last night’s ‘Digital Britain’ panel discussion, held at Portcullis House, Westminster, the study will establish a benchmark for research behaviour against which subsequent generations of scholars can be measured. It builds on last year’s ground-breaking research project The Google Generation: Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, which focused on the generation born after 1993 and revealed that information literacy among young people had not improved in line with wider access to technology.
The tender for undertaking the study has been awarded to research consultancy Education for Change partnered with The Research Partnership and the report itself will be published in early 2012.
“Our previous joint study into researcher behaviour overturned the assumption that the ‘Google Generation’ is the most web-literate,” said Dame Lynne. “By studying the behaviour of 'Generation Y’ postgraduate research students we will gain further insights into how we might remodel our unrivalled services to remain relevant to successive generations of scholars.”
Charles Hutchings, Jisc’s market research manager said, "This is an exciting opportunity for Jisc to work with the British Library on a unique study examining potentially the last of a generation studying for PhDs, who experienced formal learning and teaching before the Internet. This project will have a direct influence in helping UK higher education remain at the cutting edge of research and development.”