The secret lives of researchers

As part of our ArchiveGrid experiments, we’re conducting a survey to find out how researchers find resources that will help them locate materials in archives and special collections and how they share information about those resources with others. Not only are we interested in the answer to this question, but we bet you are interested as well.

Here’s how you can help. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are probably in a position where you work directly with researchers (we do not). You could ask your researchers to take the survey (which is very painless — there are only 14 questions, mostly multiple choice). As an incentive we are offering a chance (for those who are over 18 and live in the US) to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

We will also share our findings with you. We’ll be presenting results at the upcoming RBMS Preconference, and will also summarize our findings elsewhere (say, in this blog).

To make this really easy for you, here’s some text you could include in an email to researchers:

OCLC Research wants to know how researchers (you) use special collections. Complete this survey and be entered in a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card!

Please visit to answer some questions about how you find – and find out about – websites and other research resources. The information you provide will help OCLC Research make it easier to discover materials in special collections.

Getting the word out to researchers is one of our challenges, so thanks for your help.