In this report, we present the results of Ithaka S+R’s study of the scholarly practices of academic chemists. This study, funded by Jisc, presents information meant to empower research support providers in their work with chemists. The report covers themes such as data management, research collaboration, library use, discovery, publication practices, and research funding.
The report describes the findings of our investigation into academic chemists’ research habits and research support needs. The digital availability of scholarly literature has transformed chemists’ research by creating an environment where they can easily search for journal articles and chemical information. However, they often feel overwhelmed by the amount of new research available, and they need better tools to remain aware of current research. Furthermore, despite their heavy use of technology for research, many academic chemists have been slow to adopt new models of sharing data and research results such as online repositories and open access publishing. Our interviews highlighted the importance of the research group as a unit of academic life, and revealed some of the challenges inherent in working in groups that span institutions and national boundaries.
The report describes key research support needs that face academic chemists, and proposes new service models that addresses these needs. We hope that these service models will provide useful intelligence for libraries, publishers, scholarly societies, and other organizations that work to support chemists.
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