EThOS user survey, July Results of our first EThOS market research survey

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1 EThOS user survey, July 2013 Results of our first EThOS market research survey

2 The survey User survey hosted on EThOS and British Library website, July responses received Aims: Learn more about our EThOS users Understand why and how people use research theses Baseline audience information to inform marketing plans The theses I have used via EThOS have helped me to fill in the gaps in my research where published secondary material was unable to. 2

3 Key findings Users of EThOS are overwhelmingly undertaking academic research 80% are from Higher Education 40% of users are postgraduate researchers 50% of users are from the UK; there s an even spread across the disciplines 87% said that EThOS had helped them in their research 13% said they could not have achieved their research aims with the use of EThOS. 3

4 Who responded? Role Role of respondent 5% 3% 2% Postgraduate, doctoral 7% 39% Academic member of staff Postgraduate, taught 10% Personal researcher 17% 17% Academic library staff None of the above Undergraduate Business researcher Postgraduate students and academic researchers together make up three quarters of all users 10% are personal researchers though many of these are also doing academic research 7% are library staff 4

5 Who responded? Location Geographic spread of respondents 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% UK Asia & Oceania Elsewhere in Europe North & Central America Middle East Sub-Saharan Africa South America North Africa Respondent's permanent residence (%) Respondent's HE institution (%) 5

6 Who responded? Discipline Research discipline of EThOS survey respondents 11% 3% 8% 29% Arts & Humanities Social Sciences Science, Technology & Medicine Business, Law & Industry 23% Combined/multidisciplinary Other 26% 6

7 Why do people use EThOS? Users can be divided into three types according to their reasons for using EThOS: Using the thesis content for their research Understanding research methodology & thesis structure Librarians supporting their users Why have you used EThOS today? 11% 3% 12% 74% Accessing thesis content for research Seeking information about PhD infrastructure Seeking information about thesis structure & methodology Other "To get used to the size of argument or issue required at doctoral level". 7

8 More specific reasons for using EThOS Why have you specifically used EThOS today? Looking for a particular thesis or author Looking for theses in a particular subject Searching for examples of well-structured theses Browsing for ideas on a thesis subject I didn t specifically choose EThOS, I followed a link To find out about research at specific institutions Looking for my own doctoral thesis I wasn t looking for theses or research information Looking for someone else, e.g. on behalf of students Other To find information on where to do a PhD To find out about funding options for doctoral research

9 Looking for theses, authors or by subject did you find what you were looking for? 74% of users sought access to the research content of the thesis. They searched for specific authors or titles, or did subject searching. Around 88% found at least a record for the theses they sought, and very often the full text thesis as well. I look at Ethos regularly to find out if a thesis has been written on a particular subject or topic. 9

10 How does EThOS support research? How has EThOS helped your research? Provided research material not otherwise easily available It has saved me time Made me aware of research material I didn t know about Provided information other than the thesis e.g. universities, authors, funding Other It didn t help my research It gave me a specific idea about my research topic and its design. 10

11 How EThOS supports academic research 621 people said it provided access to research material not otherwise easily available For one third of all respondents, EThOS saved them time For another third (324 people), EThOS made them aware of new material they hadn t known about And 13% of all respondents said they would not have achieved their research aims without the use of EThOS. It's allowed me to find and contact other researchers in allied areas. 11

12 Raising awareness Academic libraries are doing a great job of raising awareness of the value of research theses and EThOS. Adding EThOS data to Google Scholar in 2012 instantly increased usage by around 50%, and is by far the biggest external source of traffic How did you find out about EThOS? 4% 3% 1% 32% 9% 13% 13% Institution library Followed a link from another site Recommended by friend/fellow researcher Tutor/academic department Graduate school or research office Institutional repository 14% Via the British Library website Google Scholar Other Don t know/can t remember Google Books Since we are in the U.S. international dissertations have been difficult to get in a timely manner. EThOS is wonderful! 12

13 Conclusions and next steps We now have a sound understanding of who uses research theses and why 350 people volunteered to become case studies! We ll work with some of you now to find out your research stories We re planning some marketing for autumn 2013, focusing on the UK initially We want to find out more about how research theses can support commercial and non-academic researchers Thank you to everyone who completed the survey! 13

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