Each November, acquisitions librarians, vendors, and publishers gather in Charleston, SC to discuss emerging trends in collections and technology. This year at the Charleston Conference a couple of trends emerged in the assorted presentations which have implications for research in the health sciences.
eBooks are not exactly new; in fact, they are so not new that there were no “should we or shouldn’t we” discussions about their staying power. The feeling is that eBooks are here to stay. The new trend is whether or not we choose to buy them or let you, the patron, buy them with our money. This is what is called “patron driven acquisitons” and it works where you, the patron, pull up a record in the catalog and decide whether or not you want to see the entire book. If you do, you basically click a button and buy the title with library funds. There’s also options to rent in this same fashion.
Librarians are not unaware of the power of Google. We embrace it and use tools like Google Scholar to help us open up access to our electronic collections. There is a new category of resources called discovery tools which work very much in the same way as Google – a one search approach to searching all of a library’s collection at one time, along with other great online content. ECU Libraries are riding the wave of this trend right now because we’ve implemented a discovery tool on our website, called One Search. Check it out and see if it helps you find the information you need in a hurry.
Social Networking and Research
An interesting fact – most researchers do use social networking applications, but only at the start and end of the research process, and mostly as a way to disseminate what they’ve produced. However, comment fields and peer-review type feedback options are starting to infiltrate journal sites like NEJM. What implications that this trend will have on scholarly research remains to be seen.
We will continue to monitor these kinds of trends at Laupus Library so that we can provide you with the highest quality and most efficient access to information for your research needs.