A new survey has been undertaken which looks at the changing practices of academics in the UK. Ben Showers of Jisc and Mike Mertens of RLUK discuss three key findings of the survey which demonstrate the influence of new technologies on research, the altering perceptions of support services and the changing role of the academic library.
This article was originally published on LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog.
Imagine having years of rich data on how new technologies, changes in funding and other environmental factors, have an impact on research and are reflected in the attitudes and behaviours of academics. Such a body of data might be used to help critically inform new services, resources and systems to support staff and students in universities and colleges across the UK. Since 2000, universities in the US have had precisely that thanks to Ithaka S+R, who have been undertaking a survey of US academics every three years to identify changes in research processes, teaching practices, publishing and research dissemination, alongside the evolving role of the library and scholarly societies.
Two UK organisations who are helping universities respond to the changing needs of academics, Jisc and Research Libraries UK (RLUK), recognised the invaluable resource that Ithaka S+R had developed with their US faculty survey programme. Collaborating with Ithaka on a UK version of the survey was therefore a very exciting opportunity and the results represent a chance to build on a valuable source of research looking at the changing practices of academics.