Instead of the rich and seamless digital library for scholarship that they need, researchers today encounter archipelagos of content bridged by infrastructure that is insufficient and often outdated. These interconnections could afford opportunities to improve discovery and access. But in point of fact, the researcher’s discovery-to-access workflow is much more difficult than it should be.
A different paper might reasonably celebrate the great strides that have been made over the past two decades by libraries and content providers to expand and facilitate access to scholarly resources online. But researchers’ expectations are being set not by improvements relative to the past but rather by reference to consumer internet services that enable our use of multiple devices anywhere and effective switching between them. Given my own work conducting research, I am called to the unhappy task in this paper of emphasizing six points of failure.