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The University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries surveyed its users to determine whether they were aware - and making use of - the resources the library provides them with access to. This …

The University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries surveyed its users to determine whether they were aware - and making use of - the resources the library provides them with access to. This presentation details the results.

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  • (4 yes/no questions, 7 multiple-choice)
  • Some weren’t aware of what MEDLINE is.
  • People did not seem to understand the question “ Had not become aware of these [CSA databases]. Would be helpful if they could be linked more easily to your home page.” “ Would use the others if they appeared in a menu somewhere.” [re: EBSCO databases] “ Frankly, I don’t know what’s available.” [re: other DBs]
  • Instructional User instruction/education; by extension dept/population-targeted (liaison) activities; video tutorials Focus more on showing people how to stay current? Collection Development Assess how valuable/central each resource is to our user base to help identify dollar value Reference What additional resources to suggest besides PubMed?


  • 1. Mark MacEachern, Anna Schnitzer, Merle Rosenzweig, Andrew Hickner, Chrysta Meadowbrooke, Abby Bedford University of Michigan Not Just Another Survey © Regents of the University of Michigan 2009-2010
  • 2.
    • HSL provides:
      • Access to premier online databases
      • Instruction in research skills
      • SFX links to full text in 15,000+ e-journals
      • Help to keep current with the literature
    • But what resources and tools do our patrons know about and use?
  • 3.
    • To determine:
      • How much awareness patrons have of various resources HSL makes available
      • Whether patrons are using them to the fullest
    • To discover where to focus efforts for:
      • Education (e.g., classes, tutorials)
      • Marketing (e.g., website, Facebook)
  • 4.
    • Anonymous self-reports using SurveyMonkey online
    • Prize drawing as incentive
    • 11 questions
    • Link posted on HSL home page, July 3–Aug. 3, 2009
    • Promoted by liaisons to depts.
  • 5. 331 responses
  • 6.
    • MEDLINE Access
    • 51% of respondents use PubMed
    • 32% use both PubMed and OvidSP
    • 11% use just OvidSP
    • NCBI/Entrez most common alternative to PubMed/OvidSP
  • 7.
    • Other Databases
    • ISI: > 40% of users didn’t use any ISI resources. MEDLINE = most common use.
    • CSA: > 80% did not use.
    • EBSCO: 63% did not use. CINAHL (29%) and PsycINFO (17.2%) most commonly used.
    • Regularly Used Databases
    • NCBI/BLAST, Google Scholar, Cochrane most common 
  • 8.  
  • 9.
    • Google : Only 17.7% used Google Scholar with full-text linking provided by HSL’s MGet It function.
    • Impact factor: 55% don’t know how to find one.
    • H-index: 90% don’t know what it is.
  • 10.
    • Keeping Current
    • 55% use email alerts.
    • 41% use table of contents alerts.
    • 15% use RSS feeds.
    • 36% use other methods or do not keep current at all.
  • 11. Keeping Current Image courtesy of the Wordle.net web application, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
  • 12.
    • PubMed or combination of PubMed and OvidSP preferred over just OvidSP
    • MEDLINE, ISI were most widely used
      • But people did not know how to use the most signature ISI features (h-index, impact factor)
    • CINAHL strongly used, but other EBSCO resources not
    • Lack of knowledge about using full-text linking with Google Scholar
  • 13.
    • User misunderstanding of questions
    • Who is using what?
    • Why a resource is being used or not
    • Caution required in interpreting/extracting hypotheses/implications of data
  • 14.
    • Possible Applications of Findings
    • Instructional
    • Collection development
    • Reference
  • 15.
    • Directions for Further Study
    • Zero in on specific resources:
      • Commonly used vs. little used resources
    • Analyze populations: grad, faculty, undergrad
    • Staying current: WHY do they use email versus Table of Contents or RSS?
  • 16.