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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Transforming Research Libraries Contact:
Judy Ruttenberg
Engaging Changing Users

Resources for Engaging Changing Users

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Patterns of Information Use and Exchange: Case Studies of Researchers in the Life Sciences
Seven case studies looked at different research teams and gathered information on members’ recent information use for their research programs. The report describes the patterns within and across cases and suggests implications for service development for institution.

BR 256: Enhancing Graduate Education: A Fresh Look at Library Engagement [PDF]
A report of the 2007 ARL/CNI forum that includes highlights from the panel, "Graduate Student Academic & Research Behaviors: Findings from Field Studies" that summarizes work done at New York University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington.

“Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment,” OCLC, 2009 [PDF]
The report reviews studies that have characterized the scholarly information practices of faculty in various disciplines, and to stimulate discussion of the implications of these findings for the research library community. It lays out differences among and between disciplines, and “provides an empirical basis for identifying promising directions…and priorities for development of digital information services to support and advance scholarship.” The literature on scholarly information work is framed around five topics: searching, collecting, reading, writing, and collaborating.

“Next Generation of Academics: A Report on a Study at the University of Rochester” (2009) [PDF]
The University of Rochester conducted a study of PhD students completing their dissertations to support development of a suite of authoring tools for integration into their institutional repository. The report summarizes the overarching study, describes research methodology, reviews findings, and presents a number of applications, some already completed or in progress.

"Enhancing E-Resources by Studying Users: The University of Rochester's Analysis of Faculty Perspectives on an Institutional Repository." (2008) [PDF]
Additional work by the University of Rochester applying ethnographic research methods to deepen library planning and service development.

"Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University (A Research Report)." Association of College and Research Libraries (2009) [PDF]
Reports an extensive study of student engagement with "next generation" library technologies.

"NYU 21st Century Library Project: Designing a Research Library of the Future for New York University - Report of a Study of Faculty and Graduate Student Needs for Research and Teaching." New York University Libraries (January 2007) [PDF]
NYU worked with consultants to develop new approaches to conducting needs assessment.

"Understanding Research Behaviors, Information Resources, and Service Needs of Scientists and Graduate Students: A Study by the University of Minnesota Libraries." University of Minnesota Libraries (June 2007) [PDF] and "A Multi-Dimensional Framework for Academic Support: Final Report." University of Minnesota Libraries (June 2006)
Two seminal studies conducted at the University of Minnesota looking at user behavior and offering new frameworks for thinking about different user groups' information practices.

“Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education” [PDF]


Presentations from the panel, "Graduate Student Academic & Research Behaviors: Findings from Field Studies," Enhancing Graduate Education: A Fresh Look at Library Engagement (October 2007)