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  1. 1. Researching researchers: developing a one-stop-shop for research support Michelle Schneider, Academic Skills Development Officer Lilac Conference, March 2010
  2. 2. Researching Researchers <ul><li>Background to Researcher@Library </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher needs in relation to online resources </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher feedback on our online resource </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions / further issues </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Increasing IL support for researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Popular half-day courses for PhDs </li></ul><ul><li>Various workshops on offer for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Time constraints on staff </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of information / resources online </li></ul><ul><li>Roberts funding </li></ul>
  4. 4. Developing an online resource: our vision and aims <ul><li>an interactive e-learning package, focusing on library resources and IL skills, taking a step-by-step approach to supporting the research process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an alternative to face to face teaching sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suitable for research staff (and students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>catering for part-time staff / those with other commitments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aimed at Faculty of Medicine and Health initially </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. User Needs Analysis <ul><li>Focus groups, email questionnaires, face to face interviews with members of Faculty of Medicine and Health, including research staff, lecturers, PhD students </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings with subject librarians within Library & information officers within Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings with other research support services within the University such as Research Support, Staff Development, IT training </li></ul>
  6. 6. What researchers wanted: <ul><li>a bank of information for whole research process </li></ul><ul><li>researcher- (not library-) focused </li></ul><ul><li>easy to dip into to fulfil specific information / skills gap </li></ul><ul><li>quick, clear and simple navigation </li></ul><ul><li>some knowledge to be assumed (not too basic) </li></ul><ul><li>Up-to-date content, no broken links </li></ul>
  7. 7. What researchers did NOT want: <ul><li>an interactive tutorial </li></ul><ul><li>a package they would have to follow step-by-step </li></ul><ul><li>tests / exercises / self-assessments </li></ul><ul><li>whizzy graphics / images </li></ul><ul><li>to have to login </li></ul>
  8. 8. Our vision? <ul><li>an interactive e-learning package, focusing on library resources and IL skills, taking a step-by-step approach to supporting the research process </li></ul><ul><li>Our revised vision </li></ul><ul><li>an easily accessible online resource for researchers to develop and refresh their IL skills, and raise awareness of the variety of resources available to them in the Library and beyond </li></ul>
  9. 9. What should the resource cover? <ul><li>Researchers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Others working in their research area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding tricky sources of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding / research proposals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Librarians: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide range of sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support offered by librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>REF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digitisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open access publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Literature searching, managing and disseminating information, keeping up-to-date </li></ul>
  10. 11. Feedback from researchers <ul><li>Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>“ a bit overwhelming and difficult to pick out useful information” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large sections or lots of sub-sections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Presenting complex information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ it is difficult to balance the sophistication of the information and the efficiency in finding the right information” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manageable chunks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too text-heavy and too guided for some </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No negative comments about generic information </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Conclusions <ul><li>Researchers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>want to pick and choose information at the specific point they need it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are very time restricted – want answers not questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>don’t want to be restricted by library boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are happy with generic information in some contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aren’t so bothered that online info looks flashy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have different needs / approaches to research students </li></ul></ul>