Some examples of the projects that the Science, Technology and Medicine team has been involved with. They range from externally funded long-term studies of researchers’ information use to building new information services.
Between 2007 and 2012 the British Library and Microsoft Research collaborated on a project entitled the Research Information Centre (RIC). The aim was to develop a Virtual Research Environment – an online environment designed to make organising and conducting research projects easier – based on Microsoft’s SharePoint platform.
This study, commissioned by the Research Information Network and the British Library, looked at how researchers access, use and disseminate information in collaborations between higher education and business, public and third sector partners.
Five detailed case studies provide empirical evidence on the information and data behaviours within different types of collaboration, with a focus on science, healthcare and engineering sectors. The study also identifies common barriers to information use and provides recommendations on how such barriers might be overcome.
Download the report [PDF]
Patients Participate! was a JISC-funded project, awarded to UKOLN, The British Library and the Association of Medical Research Charities. Our aims were to:
- improve engagement and dialogue between researchers and the public by making research findings both more accessible and more patient-friendly (e.g. through providing interpretations of research as lay-summaries)
- contribute to society by enabling the information produced by researchers to be accessible to those who have the most interest in the application of these results (i.e. patients)
Two outputs of this project are below. The first details case studies undertaken to look at who is producing easy-to-understand information on biomedical research for the public, and how they do it. The second is a leaflet on involving patients in talking about medical research.
Effective information support for multidisciplinary research goes beyond technology; it is fundamentally about supporting people and the networks they rely upon in an increasingly complex and hard-to-navigate research information landscape. This 6-month JISC-funded project defined the need, explored the benefits and risks, and evaluated the approaches for establishing an embedded research information specialist –the Research Information Manager (RIM) within a highly multidisciplinary research environment as represented by the Accessibility Research Group; established by Prof. Nick Tyler at University College London.
The report is available via the JISC website.
This project examined researchers’ needs and use of information resources from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives in the life sciences. The resulting report provides an evidence base to help contribute to a better understanding of the information practices of researchers and shows that a ‘one-size-ﬁts-all’ information policy cannot be effective.
The project investigated and analysed researchers' information use, gathering, management, creation and communication, providing comparisons between the needs of researchers from different disciplinary and institutional contexts. Barriers to effective information use and management were identified and the paths to overcoming these were highlighted.
The project was undertaken on behalf of the Research Information Network in partnership with the British Library, by the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (University of Edinburgh), in association with the Digital Curation Centre and the University of Edinburgh’s Information Services.