Ithaka S+R recently published its Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies. It considers the way faculty views of the library are changing, and analyses library roles into three key functions:
“TheÂ libraryÂ isÂ aÂ startingÂ pointÂ orÂ ’gateway’ for locating information for my researchâ (which we refer to as the gateway function). âThe library pays for resources I need, from academic journals to books to electronic databases” (which we refer to as the buyer function). âThe library is a repository of resources â in other words, it archives, preserves, and keeps track of resourcesâ (which we refer to as the archive function).
Ithaka’s analysis shows that the gateway function has declined (its importance rating has dropped from 70%-58%) over the six years in which the biennnial studies have been made, while the buyer function has steadily increased (81%-90%). The archive function has remained relatively static at just over 70%.
Many of the findings in this report are interesting, and relevant to us as we focus – via our Working Group on Research Services – on the specific topic of Support for Research Dissemination. We have chosen the word dissemination with some care. What we will be looking at is researcher behaviours and practices concerning institutional repositories, individual websites, subject archives, virtual research environments, blogs, blog aggregations and other social venues. In other words, every research dissemination venue except the conventional (and still overpoweringly influential) modes of scholarly publishing – the journal, the monograph and the conference paper. We will look at the way researchers use these alternative venues to disseminate their work, and the factors that account for the types and rates of dissemination. Read the rest of this entry »