Researchers in higher education are under constant pressure. They face a competitive funding environment, increasingly robust compliance regulations, new institutional demands, and technological advances. They must adapt to these challenges, make their research work more accessible to colleagues, and demonstrate its impact to institutional decision-makers.
According to the feedback received in a recent international survey sponsored by Ex Libris, academic researchers face a significant challenge in finding enough time for all the activities necessary to conduct and manage their research. Researchers describe feeling tension not only professionally – between research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities – but even in terms of an inability to maintain a work-life balance. Supporting this claim, members of the Ex Libris Research Information Management Advisory Council report that researchers at their institutions are investing around 45% of their time in administrative tasks.
Not only do over half of the researchers polled find funding opportunities without assistance from their research office, 68% said it was not easy to apply for these grants.
Demonstrating the value of research projects is increasingly important for the reputation of the institution and the researcher, as well as for justifying future external and internal resource allocations. Yet, the best methods of meaningfully measuring it are still unclear. This is because the true impact is sometimes only evident over time and because isolating its effects can be a serious challenge.
Advances in technology have changed the demands for transparency in sharing research. Our report revealed that most scholars (almost 60%) are now obligated to make their raw research datasets openly available with their published work. However, over a quarter of them (26%) find it difficult to do so in the context of current research data management solutions.
A key part of showcasing research is keeping researcher profiles current, complete, and accessible. But there are significant challenges in doing so. Not least of these is that researcher profiles are scattered across many different channels. The lack of use of institutional profile systems may be due to the various third-party platforms researchers use to publicize on their work, as well as their reported lack of time for what they see as an essentially administrative task.
Libraries and research offices have a key role to play in the activity of researchers, with expectations varying from institution to institution. At each step of the process of managing research projects about half of the researchers surveyed said they did the work themselves, rather than relying on support from others. Based on this feedback, there is a clear opportunity for the library and the research office to leverage their expertise and increase their support for all researchers.
Ex Libris helps libraries and research offices improve the impact of research activities and reduce administrative burden on researchers. Our Research Information Management suite provides you with tools to get a complete picture of research outcomes and visibility into research activities across all disciplines, so that you can easily demonstrate the impact of your institution’s research. We do that by aggregating, managing, and exposing all of your research data, and enabling access to a wealth of funding opportunities.
The full Research Report on “Supporting Academic Research” can be accessed here. The paper includes the findings from a survey of 300 researchers and interviews with nine senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Research Information Management
Matching scholars with funding opportunities
- Comprehensive coverage of funding sources and types
- Authoritative insights and research policy news
- Database of past grants, to help focus on the right opportunities
- Tools to curate potential grants and communicate to researchers
Connecting & automating workflows
- Large span of scholarly sources for literature review
- Easy management of citations, bibliographies, and references
- Seamless data deposits
- Improved dissemination of research output
Increasing visibility and recognition
- Automatic creation and enrichment of researcher profiles
- Exposure via discovery & institutional portals
- Information feed to research administration systems
- Support for open access publication models
Facilitating collaboration of research stakeholders
- Automated workflows to connect Library, Research Office, and Researchers
- Identification of potential research collaborators
- Systematic review processes
- Improved interdisciplinary cooperation
One place to manage all your research data and output
- Intelligent data capture
- Metadata enrichment
- Flexible data models
- Supports all disciplines