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Maintaining relevance in the digital age

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The traditional image of an academic library sees it sitting proudly at the heart of the research process as the primary source of information for its users, but in the digital age is this still the case? Researchers spend an increasing amount of their time online and their workflows have altered dramatically in recent years, leaving the focus and relevance of a traditional bricks-and-mortar library open to question. In many ways, libraries are being forced to prove their value both to their users and the overarching institute but how can they do this?

For a library to remain truly relevant to its users it must be more than just a content repository, although the discovery and access of content will of course remain high concerns. Nowadays, information is accessible outside of the traditional library network, and from more outlets than ever before, but whether researchers are on-site or accessing content remotely, it’s vital that they’re able to find the content they need without disrupting the research process. Alongside this, the library could seek to establish a virtual collaboration environment for its user communities, to stimulate greater interactivity among peers and open up the potential for greater and more impactful research projects. To support this, they can also provide a host of data and reference management tools, thus supporting the research process from end-to-end and creating a platform that easily enables users to store, share and promote the entire scope of their research. By focusing more attention on the research productivity of their communities, libraries can truly remain an integral and vital component of the modern research workflow and act as an active promoter for their institute.

Complimentary whitepapers

To illustrate our points in greater detail, we have a couple of whitepapers that you may be interested in reading. The first, entitled Where is the library in the digital workflow of research? Research in the age of Social Media provides an indepth look at the modern workflow of researchers, outlining their needs and how libraries can adopt tools to help them gain access to the information they require. In brief, it covers the following topics:

  • Managing information

  • Using information

  • Adding information

  • Referencing information

  • Protecting information

  • Collaboration and discovery

  • Market overview

Discover why libraries and librarians are more important than ever in the academic research process - and how Swets’ Mendeley Institutional Edition helps support them - by downloading our whitepaper for FREE here.

Exploring the potential of research data

Our second whitepaper, entitled Research data management: Institutional and research community needs, focuses particularly on the preservation, management and dissemination of research data. Many institutions are trying to find new ways to promote their research outputs more widely and indeed many research funders are mandating that all data pertaining to their relevant projects and studies is made publicly available. Although many libraries understand the value of research data it’s clear that there are many barriers each institution must overcome before they can gain an effective hold of it, and disseminate it in a meaningful way. You see, for many institutions it’s not only a question of open and closed data, it’s about control.

To provide libraries with the right tools for the job, there are research data tools on the market to help you to unlock the potential of your data to grow the reputation and potentially increase funding for your institution. Our new whitepaper explains all, and it too is yours to download FREE today.

About Swets
Swets is a global market leader in managing research information. Swets' vision is “to improve the delivery and use of knowledge”. From more than twenty offices around the world it actively serves customers (users of information) and publishers in over 160 countries. The company’s active role in today’s complex information marketplace has been regularly awarded by E-Content Magazine in its annual “100 Companies that Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry”. It is the only information agent to be ISO 9001:2008 certified on a global basis, a standard which affirms the company’s focus on customer service and continuous improvement. For more information on Swets see our website, watch our videos or follow us on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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