Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment Themes from the Literature and Implications for Library Service Development
peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-06-11
"Research libraries exist to support scholarly work. In recent years, the literature on scholarly practices and information use has been growing, and research libraries should be prospering from this increased base of knowledge. Unfortunately, the profession has no effective means for systematically monitoring or synthesizing the published results. This review begins to address the problem by reporting on the state of knowledge on scholarly information behavior, focusing on the information activities involved in the research process and how they differ among disciplines. It provides an empirical basis for identifying promising directions and setting priorities for development of digital information services to support and advance scholarship. Preparing this report required the project team to make decisions about what publications to cover, what results to extract, and how to integrate and present the many valuable but often incongruous findings on scholarly information behavior. Across studies there is considerable variation in how the object of study is defined and in how data is collected and analyzed. The variety of approaches is a natural outcome of the increase in number and sophistication of studies in recent decades and the complexity of the processes under investigation. The challenges of designing and conducting a solid study of scholarly information behavior are many, but they are rarely apparent when reading the published reports...."