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Newbury, United Kingdom

Nicholas D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Rowlands I.,CIBER Research Ltd.
Information Services and Use | Year: 2011

The paper reports on a major international questionnaire survey that investigated the use of social media in the research workflow. The topic is the second to emerge from the Charleston Observatory. The study of more than 2000 researchers shows that social media impact on all points of the research lifecycle, from identifying research opportunities to disseminating findings at the end. The three most popular social media tools in a research setting were those for collaborative authoring, conferencing, and scheduling meetings. The most popular brands used tend to be mainstream anchor technologies or 'household brands', like Twitter and Skype. Age is a poor predictor of social media use in a research context and scientists avail themselves most of social media. Journals, conference proceedings and edited books remain the core traditional means of disseminating research, with institutional repositories highly valued as well, but social media has become an important complementary channel for disseminating and discovering research. © 2011 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source


Nicholas D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Clark D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Rowlands I.,University of Leicester | Jamali H.R.,Kharazmi University
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology | Year: 2013

According to estimates the mobile device will soon be the main platform for searching the web, and yet our knowledge of how mobile consumers use information, and how that differs from desktops/laptops users, is imperfect. The paper sets out to correct this through an analysis of the logs of a major cultural website, Europeana. The behavior of nearly 70,000 mobile users was examined over a period of more than a year and compared with that for PC users of the same site and for the same period. The analyses conducted include: size and growth of use, time patterns of use; geographical location of users, digital collections used; comparative information-seeking behavior using dashboard metrics, clustering of users according to their information seeking, and user satisfaction. The main findings were that mobile users were the fastest-growing group and will rise rapidly to a million by December 2012 and that their visits were very different in the aggregate from those arising from fixed platforms. Mobile visits could be described as being information "lite": typically shorter, less interactive, and less content viewed per visit. Use took a social rather than office pattern, with mobile use peaking at nights and weekends. The variation between different mobile devices was large, with information seeking on the iPad similar to that for PCs and laptops and that for smartphones very different indeed. The research further confirms that information-seeking behavior is platform-specific and the latest platforms are changing it all again. Websites will have to adapt. © 2013 ASIS&T. Source


Jamali H.R.,Kharazmi University | Russell B.,University of Exeter | Nicholas D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Watkinson A.,CIBER Research Ltd.
Aslib Journal of Information Management | Year: 2014

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. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Source


Watkinson A.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Nicholas D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Thornley C.,National University of Ireland, Maynooth | Herman E.,CIBER Research Ltd. | And 5 more authors.
Information Processing and Management | Year: 2016

The paper reports on some of the results of a research project into how changes in digital behaviour and services impacts on concepts of trust and authority held by researchers in the sciences and social sciences in the UK and the USA. Interviews were used in conjunction with a group of focus groups to establish the form and topic of questions put to a larger international sample in an online questionnaire. The results of these 87 interviews were analysed to determine whether or not attitudes have indeed changed in terms of sources of information used, citation behaviour in choosing references, and in dissemination practices. It was found that there was marked continuity in attitudes though an increased emphasis on personal judgement over established and new metrics. Journals (or books in some disciplines) were more highly respected than other sources and still the vehicle for formal scholarly communication. The interviews confirmed that though an open access model did not in most cases lead to mistrust of a journal, a substantial number of researchers were worried about the approaches from what are called predatory OA journals. Established researchers did not on the whole use social media in their professional lives but a question about outreach revealed that it was recognised as effective in reaching a wider audience. There was a remarkable similarity in practice across research attitudes in all the disciplines covered and in both the countries where interviews were held. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Jamali H.R.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Nicholas D.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Watkinson A.,CIBER Research Ltd. | Herman E.,CIBER Research Ltd. | And 7 more authors.
Library and Information Science Research | Year: 2014

In an increasingly digital environment, many factors influence how academic researchers decide what to read, what to cite, where to publish their work, and how they assign trust when making these decisions. This study focuses on how this differs according to the geographical location of the researcher, specifically in terms of the country's level of development. Data were collected by a questionnaire survey of 3650 authors who had published articles in international journals. The human development index (HDI) was used to compare authors' scholarly behavior. The findings show that researchers from less developed countries such as India and China (medium HDI) compared to those in developed countries, such as the USA and UK (very high HDI) are more reliant on external factors and those criteria that are related to authority, brand and reputation, such as authors' names, affiliation, country and journal name. Even when deciding where to publish, the publisher of the journal is more important for developing countries than it is for researchers from the US and UK. Scholars from high HDI countries also differ in these aspects: a) they are less discriminatory than authors from developing countries in their citation practices; b) for them the fact that a source is peer reviewed is the most important factor when deciding where to publish; c) they are more negative towards the use of repositories and social media for publishing and more skeptical about their potential for increasing usage or reaching a wider audience. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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