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Where, how and why academics read

17 May 2012

Academics from The University of Manchester have taken part in a study looking at their scholarly reading habits.

With colleagues from five other UK universities, they answered questions on what type of material they read, where they sourced the material and the value they attributed to this activity.

The report was co-ordinated by The University of Manchester Library and in addition to the very useful findings on establishing what and how was read the report also provided useful empirical evidence on the breadth and quality of the electronic resources offered by the Library to staff at the University.

Key findings to illustrate this are that journal articles are the primary source of substantive information for research activities and the library subscription is the most likely source for these.

Quotes from individual academics support the evidence

“Manchester is very fortunate to have such a great library resource”

“A well stocked library (including e-materials) is absolutely essential to all aspects of scholarly activity”

“Fast access to virtually all relevant journals is essential for scientific research; this has been enabled to a large extent via our University Library over the last 5 years or so”

“They are vital....access to The University of Manchester Library when compared to where I previously worked has both improved the quality of my work and reduced the amount of time and money I spend on obtaining relevant information”

“E-journals have transformed my ability to access and refer to a huge range of articles linked to my role.   The Library is great for its archive of older materials, but as someone who’s the wide range of e-journals that are amazing”

The full report is now available to consult at: