Home List of Titles Information needs of research staff and postgraduate students at Swinburne University of Technology: a joint research project of the Library and the Office of Research
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/95014
- Information needs of research staff and postgraduate students at Swinburne University of Technology: a joint research project of the Library and the Office of Research
- Hazard, Helen; Hegarty, Fran; Baird, Jeanette
- This research project undertaken at Swinburne University of Technology was a collaborative study between the University Library and the Office of Research. The information needs of academic staff and postgraduate research students were investigated in two University research centres: the Centre for Applied Colloid and BioColloid Science and the Centre for Computer Integrated Manufacture, including the School of Innovation and Enterprise. The aims of the study were to identify the ways in which the researchers find, use and store information and the formats used. This study was carried out from the researchers' point of view so that the most effective ways of support could be determined. A multi-method approach to data collection was adopted, using observation, semi-structured interviews with selected staff and postgraduate research students and a questionnaire distributed to all researchers in the designated centres. Because of the collaborative nature of the research, and because a broad definition of information was used, information needs were also identified which were not related to the Library or the Office of Research. These were passed on to the relevant management body within the University. Although the study highlighted differences between the research cultures of the centres, it also demonstrated common issues and needs. It was found that there was a marked disparity in access to and use of electronic networked information, and that most researchers, although eager to do so, were unable to gain immediate advantage from new developments in this area. The management of electronic networked information was seen to be critical. Other findings included: the value placed by a high percentage of researchers on personal collections of photocopies and reprints and the need expressed to improve the organisation and storage of this material; the importance of journal literature, including articles from older journals; time constraints of academic staff involved with teaching and administration as well as research; the role of 'gatekeepers' and 'peer coaches' in the informal dissemination of information; requirements of postgraduate students situated in industrial workplaces and the general need for a more developed research culture.
- Publication type
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Library
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Office of Research
- Publication year
- Academic libraries; Academic staff; Access to information; Information needs; Information retrieval; Information services; Information utilisation; Networked information; Research offices; Researcher needs; Swinburne University of Technology; University libraries; User needs
- Swinburne University of Technology Library
- 9780646205007, 0646205005
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 1994. Printed by Swinburne University Press.