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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Peter Williams, Iain Stevenson, David Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson and Ian Rowlands

The purpose of this paper is to report on a project undertaken at University College London (UCL) examining the role and value of the academic monograph – considering…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a project undertaken at University College London (UCL) examining the role and value of the academic monograph – considering continuing decline in sales and usage – and its possible survival in the digital age.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted, in which 17 arts and humanities academics were interviewed in‐depth on their experiences and views.

Findings

The monograph continues to be of great value in the arts and humanities field, and is seen as essential for career progression. Much concern was expressed about the decline in quality of this and other forms of writing, with pressures of the university Research Assessment Exercise foremost in contributing to this decline. Reservations were expressed about moving towards digital versions of the monograph, although print‐on‐demand was considered to be a viable option to enable the continuing publication of specialist works.

Originality/value

This is the first in‐depth study of the role, value and future of the monograph from the viewpoint of the scholar, and so gives a unique insight into the scholarly communication behaviour of arts and humanities researchers.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

David Nicholas, Paul Huntington and Anthony Watkinson

Evaluates, through deep log analysis, the impact of “Big Deal” agreements on the online searching behaviour of users of the Emerald digital library Web site, which…

Abstract

Evaluates, through deep log analysis, the impact of “Big Deal” agreements on the online searching behaviour of users of the Emerald digital library Web site, which provides access to more than 150 journals in the fields of business and information science. The purpose of the evaluation was to map the online information seeking behaviour of the digital library user and to see whether those signed‐up to a Big Deal arrangement behaved any differently from the others. In general they did. The real surprise proved to be the strong consumer traits of the library’s users. Research reported here refers to the first stage of a three‐stage research project.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 55 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Hamid R. Jamali, Bill Russell, David Nicholas and Anthony Watkinson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which academics are engaged with online communities for research purposes, and the research activities, platforms and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which academics are engaged with online communities for research purposes, and the research activities, platforms and tools associated with these communities. In addition, the paper aims to discover the benefits, disadvantages and barriers involved in the use of online communities, and especially in regard to the trust and authority issues, so important in scholarly communications.

Design/methodology/approach

A layered, mixed-methods approach was used for this complex research topic. Interviews were undertaken with social science and humanities researchers, followed up with focus groups in both the USA and UK. This qualitative work was then followed up with an online questionnaire that generated over 1,000 responses.

Findings

Over half the sample had experience of an online research community and a majority of researchers are making at least occasional use of one or more Web 2.0 services for communicating their research activity; for developing and sustaining networks and collaboration; or for finding out what others are doing. Big differences exist in membership rates according to subject, but not really by age or other demographic factors. The biggest benefit to joining an online community is the ability to seek information in one’s own specialism. Younger researchers are more engaged with online communities.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative research was limited to the UK and USA. While use of online communities is now accepted by both established and younger researchers, the main ways of communicating research remain scholarly journals and books.

Practical implications

The implications for learned societies and publishers are not clear. Journals are confirmed as the primary way of disseminating research. However, it would be easy for these stakeholders to miss how younger researchers expect to connect in digital communities.

Social implications

With researchers of all ages accepting the existing and importance of online communities and connections, there are few technical or social barriers to using mainstream digital tools to connect professionally.

Originality/value

There is little published research considering the role of online research communities, so the study is highly original. It is valuable to discover that researchers still prefer to share research findings primarily through journals, rather than through social technologies.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

David Nicholas, Paul Huntington and Anthony Watkinson

To present the latest results of research conducted at University College London as part of the Virtual Scholar Research Programme, investigating the impact of the digital…

Abstract

Purpose

To present the latest results of research conducted at University College London as part of the Virtual Scholar Research Programme, investigating the impact of the digital roll‐out of information services to academics and researchers. This is the second study to look at the information seeking behaviour of academics and researchers in regard to digital journal libraries, and concentrates on the users and usage of Blackwell Synergy.

Design/methodology/approach

Nearly a million users making ten million item requests were investigated employing deep log methods, developed by the authors to provide robust and big picture analyses of digital information consumers and their behaviour.

Findings

Usage data has been embellished with user data (for 500,000 people), so enabling comparisons to be made between the information seeking behaviour, for instance, of students and staff, academics and practitioners, scientists and social scientists. We believe this is the first time this type of analysis has been attempted with logs. Of particular note is the “repeat visitor” evaluation and the analysis of one and a quarter million search sessions which categorised sessions in terms of how “busy” they were for a whole range of user groups.

Research limitations/implications

Demonstrates a powerful and new method, deep log analysis, for mapping and evaluating information seeking behaviour.

Practical implications

Important data for publishers to enable them to target their services more effectively

Originality/value

Probably the first analysis of its type, hence showing an aspect of information seeking not previously seen.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Anne Dixon

An overview of electronic journal history from the perspective of an early and active player.

Abstract

An overview of electronic journal history from the perspective of an early and active player.

Details

VINE, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Abstract

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Fannie M. Cox

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Abstract

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Arlene Moore Sievers‐Hill

The purpose of this paper is to report on a conference and the individual presentations, as well as to make general observations, and relate them to important issues in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a conference and the individual presentations, as well as to make general observations, and relate them to important issues in acquisitions and collection development.

Design/methodology/approach

The design is to describe the conference by individual presentations and general observations at this conference and preceding Charleston conferences from the viewpoint of an attendee.

Findings

The findings are that acquisitions and collection development are undergoing fundamental changes that are changing operations and services rendered to faculty and students.

Practical implications

The reporting of conference presentations on the important changes, both formal presentations and informal discussions, furthers the knowledge of the important current challenges in the field. Through these means information will be relayed to readers to help them enact their own changes.

Originality/value

Reporting on this conference cites the new trends and important issues in the fields of acquisitions and collection development from the perspectives of the conference presenters and attendees.

Details

New Library World, vol. 112 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Andrew Cox

LTWorld is LITC’s free online news service for information professionals. It covers a range of information management topics, concentrating on developments in library…

Abstract

LTWorld is LITC’s free online news service for information professionals. It covers a range of information management topics, concentrating on developments in library system design, trends in electronic publishing (electronic journals and electronic books), news from policy makers and the results of research in our sector. It is not meant to be comprehensive in its coverage. It is (part of) our view point on what is going on in the information world. We pick out the important stories that reflect the main trends in the information sector.

Details

VINE, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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