04 September 2020 Blogs

Funding, Rankings and Relationships: Research Challenges During COVID-19

A new industry report commissioned by Ex Libris uncovers the challenges – both new and recurring – faced by today’s researchers and research-office leaders.

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, published its annual study on the challenges that academic researchers face, the priorities of research office leaders, and key opportunities for research offices and libraries to support scholarship at institutions of higher education.

The study was commissioned by Ex Libris and conducted by Alterline, an independent research agency. The report presents findings from a survey of 314 researchers across a range of disciplines and 101 senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The key findings of the study include:

  • Funding remains a top priority, but a lack of time and resources is a major challenge for researchers and research office members in trying to secure funding.

  • The assessment of research impact via citation-based metrics is popular – used by 90% of researchers and 63% of research office staff.

  • Improving the university’s ranking and prestige is the second highest priority for the research office, after obtaining funding; however, 40% of research offices report that their institution does not have a portal to showcase their scholars’ work.

  • Researchers are mostly positive about the support provided by their research office and library, but satisfaction rates are significantly lower than in 2019.

  • Senior members of research offices want to strengthen relationships with the library. The top areas of collaboration between the research office and the library consist of open-access compliance, the tracking of publications by the institution’s researchers and the updating of researcher profiles.

  • Researchers’ support for open access is growing. More researchers view open access more positively since the onset of COVID-19.

  • The administrative burden on researchers is still a major challenge, and COVID-19 might be aggravating the situation.

Read the full report (freely accessible) here.