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Access to Research: Overcoming Barriers Report December 17, 2009

Posted by dataduchess in InformationIssues.
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We have talked about access to information in the past, and the frustration of known but inaccessible information.

A recent report from the Resource Information Network, Overcoming Barriers: Access to Research Information, reaches the same conclusions as those of us who do research (in any field) have already experienced:

The report’s key finding is that access is still a major concern for researchers. Although researchers report having no problems finding content in this age of electronic information, gaining access is another matter due to the complexity of licensing arrangements, restrictions placed on researchers accessing content outside of their own institution and the laws protecting public and private sector information. This means that research into important information resources can be missing. Researchers report that they are frustrated by this lack of immediate access and that this slows their progress, hinders collaborative work and may well affect the quality and integrity of work produced.

The full report is available here or you can download it here.

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No Library Here – Please See Google December 8, 2009

Posted by dataduchess in Uncategorized.
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Library at BusinessWeek Magazine

I came across this picture last week, and although I chuckled a little, my reaction was to roll my eyes and groan at the state of libraries and the lack of respect for their resources or the skills of the librarians in this country, as more and more companies and agencies are cutting staff and resources to save money. This picture came from a blog post highlighting that BusinessWeek Magazine has recently closed its library, on the heels of the Wall Street Journal doing the same thing earlier this year.
Even with my awareness of the usefulness of a skilled librarian and a well-inventoried library, it doesn’t hit home until you need access to a resource that is no longer provided. This morning, for my work, I needed to search for a specific set of cases to support my legal argument, and although I knew they were out there, and I knew exactly how I could find them – I could not find any library within a reasonable distance that still had the resources I sought. It took me 3 times as long to figure out a different approach to the problem, and that is only to find the resources – not to use them. Either my clients are going to get an ugly bill, or I have to discount my time – either way, a good library would have made everyone happier.