New Report Reveals Opportunities for Academic Libraries and Research Offices to Strengthen Support for Researchers

Jun 18, 2019

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, announced the publication of a study that examines the challenges that researchers confront at institutions of higher education and the level of support provided by research offices and libraries. The study was commissioned by Ex Libris and conducted by Alterline, an independent research agency. The report presents findings from a survey of 300 researchers and interviews with nine senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The key findings of the study include the following:

  • Researchers are satisfied or very satisfied with the level of support provided by their research office and library (81% and 80%, respectively). However, they feel time-deprived and stressed.
  • Many researchers conduct tasks themselves in areas where libraries and research offices can provide valuable expertise and administrative support. The findings indicate that there is room for greater involvement of libraries and research offices in areas such as managing article processing charges (47% of researchers stated that they do it themselves), finding funding opportunities (52% do it themselves), preparing data management plans (54%), ensuring open-access compliance (55%), and monitoring research impact (61%).
  • Researchers consider fund sourcing and the preparation of grant applications the most difficult part of their roles. Only 35% of researchers find it easy to find relevant funding opportunities, and only 32% find it easy to apply for funding grants.
  • Demonstrating research impact is increasingly important, but the best method of meaningfully measuring it is still unclear. Nevertheless, 35% of researchers are always required to demonstrate the impact of their work, and 51% are required to do so some of the time.
  • Researcher profiles are scattered across many channels, led by LinkedIn (65%), the researcher’s university page (54%), and Google Scholar (42%). Because of researchers’ workload, it is the institution that is charged with showcasing researcher profiles as well as keeping these profiles current, a responsibility that is perceived as challenging by administrators.
  • Almost 60% of scholars have to publish research datasets alongside their publications, yet for many, this is not easily achieved.

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