Discovering research resources: researchers' use of libraries and other information sources

J. Carpenter, M. Wallis, N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2001 the newly established Research Support Libraries Group, set up jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the British Library, in partnership with the higher education funding bodies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the national libraries of Scotland and Wales, commissioned an extensive research study of the working patterns and research behaviour of academic and other researchers in the UK. Researchers’ Use of Libraries and Other Information Sources found evidence of key differences in research requirements between the main subject groups ‐ Medical and Biological Sciences; Physical Sciences and Engineering; Social Sciences; Area Studies and Languages; Arts and Humanities ‐ particularly in diversity of required research materials and their providers, continued importance of physical access to research resources, and requirements for mediated information and library services. On the other hand, in all subject groups a significant number of researchers share an increasing reliance on remote resource discovery and retrieval, low levels of use and awareness of research resources outside the higher education sector, and a marked preference for generic search engines for web resource access, rather than reliance on subject and institutional mediated gateways and portals. The chapter presents the evidence gathered to support these and other conclusions, and considers the implications for research resource providers within the education and cultural heritage sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalCultural Trends
Issue number43-44
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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