Scholarly output: print and digital - in teaching and research

2014-05-21T10:39:44Z (GMT) by Sally Maynard Ann O'Brien
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the outcomes of a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)-sponsored study to determine the current state and trends in different forms of scholarly output used in teaching and research; and the nature and extent of problems associated with their use. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 60 UK HE institutions were chosen at random and a selection of departments within these was contacted. An online questionnaire was distributed to the selected departments; resulting in responses from 304 academics across a broad range of subjects and institution types. Findings – The study showed that printed output was still the preferred option in both teaching and research, although electronic journals now have a well-established presence. Web-based material is increasingly provided in teaching and used in research but this includes primarily traditional tools such as reading lists and links to scholarly resources. Some content creation was evident. Use of web 2.0 was not extensive, although respondents were making use of Institutional Learning Environments. Academics were aware of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues but not always clear about their responsibilities in this area. Research limitations/implications – The study revealed an essentially conservative approach to the developments in digital information. This may have been due to the sample size which was relatively small, and the age profile which clustered around the 45-65 years range. In the case of research the influence of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was clear. Originality/value – No equivalent study has been reported on the transition between traditional and new forms of scholarly output used in teaching and research. In this fast developing area this research provides a benchmark for future studies.