What Students and Faculty Need in a Research Database

Taylor & Francis recently attended an ACRL-Choice webinar on what students and faculty need in a research database. We are pleased to provide you a summary of the session, highlighting the most important key takeaways. 

In a survey sponsored by ProQuest, 1,353 faculty and students as well as 611 librarians were sampled and asked what they want in a research database. Below, we have summarized the key aspects that faculty and librarians are looking for when it comes to their databases, and why they are important. 

An Abundance of Formats 

Information is available in more formats and via more channels than ever before. It comes as no surprise that in 2019, information is available everywhere from books to our phones. So, finding the right format and channel to deliver information can be challenging. 

Going Beyond the Journal 

Research must go beyond the traditional journal. While using journals is a great way to obtain research, it is important to look at other sources such as eBooks and monographs. Students who limit themselves solely to information from journals are missing out on a wealth of other information. 

Pairing Tasks with Formats 

Different tasks require different formats. Some may want eBooks to replace carrying around heavy textbooks. Students are often required to use peer reviewed content when conducting research, therefore making sure your library has a variety of options and formats is essential. 

Viewpoint Variety 

In an effort to build and encourage critical thinking, students should seek a wide variety of opinions. In today’s times it is very easy to isolate oneself to only one viewpoint by only obtaining information from one source. Use of multiple sources are essential. 

Trustworthy Sources 

Students struggle to know which source to trust. In a world of fake news and misinformation, it can often be difficult to know where to get quality information. Peer reviews and content written by renowned authors are usually great places to start. Libraries are essential for teaching students the important skill in assessing a source’s reliability. 

Unifying Content Access 

Unifying content access simplifies the administering of resources. While the survey results for this were mixed, more databases are adopting this approach, including Taylor & Francis’ UBX platform. 

Relevant and Reliable 

Multi-disciplinary and multi-format databases help users discover and use the most relevant and reliable content.  13th June 2019