OCLC Research is one of the world's leading centers devoted to exploration, innovation and community building on behalf of libraries and archives. The work of OCLC Research occurs in four thematic areas.
Libraries are increasingly leveraging the raw materials of scholarship and knowledge formation by emphasizing the creation and curation of institutional research assets and outputs, including digitized special collections, research data, and researcher profiles. Our work informs current thinking about research collections and the emerging services that libraries are offering to support contemporary modes of scholarship. We are encouraging the development of new ways for libraries to build and provide these types of collections and deliver distinctive services.
Libraries are embedded in an increasingly complex network of information supply and demand. Our goal is to provide evidence and insight to libraries as they organize collections and services within this changing network environment.
Our research agenda aims to improve our understanding of the factors that guide institutions in their sourcing and scaling choices as they seek maximum impact and efficient provision of library collections and services.
The Web is the native environment of information seekers. OCLC Research recognizes that to be integrated into the Web, traditional library data must be transformed in various ways. We are analyzing the data in WorldCat and other sources to derive new meaning, insights, and services for use by libraries and others on the Web.
Libraries are impacted by the ways in which individuals engage with technology; how they seek, access, contribute, and use information; and how and why they demonstrate these behaviors and do what they do. We're collaborating with librarians to shape their services around a set of expectations that have been influenced by consumer technologies and modern research and learning environments. By providing the library community with behavioral evidence about individuals’ perceptions, habits, and requirements, we can ensure that the design of future library services is all about the user.
Skilled, confident library practitioners are the foundation of innovative library service. Our WebJunction program designs and delivers learning at scale, through online training programs, self-directed study, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and facilitated communities of practice. We focus on topics that build the capacity of libraries to continually evolve in response to user needs. This active and growing network, founded in 2002 through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, delivers learning experiences to over 45,000 participants each year.