Libraries help researchers save time, says new report
University libraries are saving academics time by helping them find quality material more quickly, says a new report.
Academics are choosing the library as their first choice for getting hold of scholarly material because access is quick, it helps them make new connections to related information and the library may be the only place they can access that material.
Academics are then using their reading to inspire new thinking and improve their research results.
This picture of the library at the heart of university life has emerged as part of a new JISC Collections report which canvassed over 1000 academic and associate staff at six UK universities in 2011.
Lorraine Estelle is chief executive of JISC Collections which is responsible for negotiating journal and database deals for the higher and further education communities as a whole. She said: "This report provides further evidence about the value and impact of the resources and discovery systems which UK academic libraries make available. This makes it even more important for JISC Collections to continue to work with publishers and libraries to secure affordable and sustainable journal deals for the future."
Although the survey focuses on academics, reading articles also helps them teach, so staff and students alike are benefiting from access to these resources.
Dr Hazel Woodward, chair of the electronic information resources working group and librarian at Cranfield University said: "At this time of economic constraint, it is important for policy makers and Library directors to provide additional evidence of the value of library-provided resources. Whilst in the past these resources have been regarded as implicitly valuable, this research goes some way to making that value more explicit by focusing on specific benefits and outcomes for academics."
The research is part of a wider international Lib-Value project being coordinated by the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee.
Read the report