User Behavior Studies & Synthesis

What do we know about changing user behaviors? We're helping libraries calibrate their services around a completely new set of user expectations that have been shaped by consumer technologies. By providing the library community with behavioral evidence on their users' perceptions, habits and requirements, we can ensure that the design of future library services is all about the user. Our efforts here are amplified by strategic partnerships.

Current Activities

E-Research and Data: Opportunities for Library Engagement

This project examines how academic libraries and librarians are responding to campus community needs for the management, curation, and preservation of research data.

Cyber Synergy: Seeking Sustainability through Collaboration between Virtual Reference and Social Q&A Sites

This project proposes a new model that enables Virtual Reference Services (VRS) to remain viable despite today’s environment of reduced resources. It will investigate the possibility of seamless collaboration between knowledge institutions such as libraries and the Social Q&A (SQA) community.

Digital Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement with the Digital Information Environment?

A JISC-funded collaboration with the University of Oxford to investigate the theory of digital residents and visitors among learners in four educational stages, from late-stage secondary (high school) into post-degree professional practice.

Dissemination Information Packages for Information Reuse (DIPIR)

DIPIR is a joint, IMLS-funded project with the University of Michigan. Together with collaborators at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ), and Open Context, the project team is studying how Dissemination Information Packages (DIPS) can better incorporate information from designated communities to facilitate reuse of digital information.

Digital Information Seeker Report

OCLC Research analyzed twelve final reports of library user studies from JISC, OCLC, and RIN, issued 2005-2009, and summarized the findings in a report issued under the auspices of JISC.

Virtual Research Environment (VRE) Study

The goal of this study is to identify, gather and analyse evidence of researchers’ behaviors in digital environments from a selection of recent relevant JISC-funded projects in order to derive an evidence-based picture of the researcher of today. A cooperative project of OCLC Research and JISC (UK).

Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User and Librarian Perspectives

This project includes the evaluation, sustainability, and relevance of virtual reference services, which are human-mediated, Internet-based library information services. The study of VRS users, non-users, and librarians provided a fuller understanding of their behaviors, needs, and preferences in virtual environments, in order to improve libraries' ability to respond to increased demand on libraries to provide reference services online.