Changing Information needs of Online Collaborative Researchers: A Challenge for Reference Librarians

ADEAGBO, Omobolade and VAN DEVENTER, Martie and ASUBIOJO, Bukky and PIENAAR, Heila (2016) Changing Information needs of Online Collaborative Researchers: A Challenge for Reference Librarians. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 125 - Reference and Information Services.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1452
[img]
Preview
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Changing Information needs of Online Collaborative Researchers: A Challenge for Reference Librarians

Rapid changes, over the past decade, in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), data generation and the infrastructure supporting data generation have greatly impacted the various phases of the research life-cycle. There are indications that given the opportunity, most researchers are enthusiastic about using these new technologies, tools and services to improve the outcome of their research efforts. The emergence of ICT has also repositioned academic library resources and services as well as having shifted the expectations of library user groups. The challenge now is for libraries, especially reference librarians, to provide the embedded information services that are needed in these changing environments. This paper will report on a study which sought to connect with researchers engaged in online collaborative research activities in Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. The research was conducted in order to identify the information needs and services they are expecting from the library. Purposive and snowballing sample techniques were used to identify eight collaborative research projects, from the thirteen Faculties in the University. Sixteen researchers, engaged in the research projects, were interviewed for the study. The interview responses were transcribed and analysed, based on the objectives of the study, using Microsoft Excel. The study revealed that the researchers are involved in a wide variety of online collaborative research activities based in the university but with collaborators all over the world. The study identified that the information needs of the researchers included dissemination of information regarding available e-resources, the management of documentation of ongoing projects, among others. From this study, it became clear that the information needs of our researchers have changed and that we could expect more researchers to be increasingly involved in online collaborative research. Thus it is understood that the services from the library must be improved to meet these changed information needs.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item
.