A blog post by David Prosser on Jisc’s Spotlight on the Digital Co-design project.
More and more frequently the web is the starting point for researchers when they begin a project.
Research carried out among the UK’s academic community during 2012 found that 40% of researchers kicked off their project with a trawl through the internet for material, while only 2% preferred to make a visit to a physical library space. That’s a huge change in a relatively short period, fuelled by the sheer richness of the digital content that is now potentially available online.
It is no surprise that this and other findings from the research have been helping academic librarians to redefine the way they curate the content in their own collections and also to find new, better ways to facilitate access to content from other sources. For me, one of the most arresting facts that has come out of the recent Spotlight on the digital co-design project is this: nearly half of all items within digitised collections are not discoverable via major search engines by their name or title. That’s significant, because researchers, teachers and students usually look for specific items, not whole collections.
Top image courtesy of Tim Pestridge, University of Exeter Library