CIBER Research Projects
The British Library 2017
The extension of Legal Deposit in 2013, to include works in digital format, has changed the Library’s collecting and collection management. This research will provide the Library with an overview of UK publishing of works in three complex, emerging formats: books published as apps, works presented as structured data, and interactive narratives.
Health Education England 2016
An audit and review to improve the effect and value of library and knowledge
services to the NHS. To include:
Analysis to determine equitable funding and quality of service;
Review the optimum funding model of Library and Knowledge Services for NHS England;
Present alternatives and identify co-funding to support Knowledge for Healthcare.
- Does the current model result in best use of resources?
- What alternative models are there?
- Which NHS bodies does HEE need to work with?
- Which other non-NHS bodies does HEE need to work with?
- What can be learned from existing data?
- What is the relationship between funding and the
NHS Library Quality Assurance Framework?
Publishing Research Consortium 2015–2018
Are early career researchers the harbingers of change? Will digital natives who embarque on a career in research, carry the new information-seeking behaviour into the workplace with profound change to scholarly communication? Or will they, recognising their position as apprentices and reliant on guidance from mentors, be cautious and less adventurous than established colleagues? There is a complex of factors to consider here, a whole range of demographics and characteristics.
The Publishing Research Consortium has commissioned CIBER to carry out a world-wide, longitudinal study over three years of these 'digital natives' — researchers under 35 who have yet to achieve established or tenured positions.
The key question for all publishers is “on what basis do these researchers go about selecting the journal to which they submit?”. To answer that we will investigate the impact of open access publishing, social media and online networks on the process of reputation building. Does a change in the mechanisms of information seeking and use, citing, sharing, and collaborating presage a revaluation of the social capital of publishing and peer review?
Funded by The Publishing Research Consortium and led by David Nicholas the international research team includes: Anthony Watkinson, Eti Herman, Jie Xu, Abrizah Abdullah, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri, and Marzena Świgoń.
A Serials Business
ISSN International Centre 2015
ISSN IC is an intergovernmental organisation supported by UNESCO, France and 87 other countries to create and manage the International Standard Serials Number (ISO 3297). ISSN IC creates and collects bibliographic data about print, online serials, and continuing resources worldwide.
Appointed by the ISSN International Centre in Paris, CIBER Research will examine the use of the ISSN and formulate a future strategy for the ISSN and the International Centre.
This will put forward a new business plan tested by market research that ensures the viability of the core registry as it becomes available as Linked Open Data. The plan will present a three-year sales and marketing innovation strategy: pricing for new services, evaluating risks, and setting key performance indicators. It will identify critical success factors with regard to organisation, management, key staff, and distribution. It will also set out a detailed technical ICT development plan incorporating technology changes to support the new strategy.
European Commission 2014
Analysis of emerging reputation mechanisms for scholars is a six-month study for The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville, one of the European Commission's seven research institutes.
Traditionally, the scientific reputation of researchers is closely linked to successful publication in high-impact journals and the citations of those publications. Online, bibliometric indicators have developed as a mechanism for reputation. With new forms of working amid disruptive technologies do such conventional indicators reflect reputation and impact in the field of science?
The aim of this exploratory study is to outline future directions for research and practices in order to refine Digital Science 2.0 related policies and actions in Europe.
David Nicholas, Eti Herman, Hamid R. Jamali Emerging reputation mechanisms for scholars European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Report EUR 27174 EN) 2015 [doi:10.2791/891948]
"articulate a vision"
Religious Society of Friends 2014
The Library of the Society of Friends was founded by the Yearly Meeting in 1673 with the expressed purpose of collecting materials published by and in opposition to Quakers.
Woodbrooke was founded in 1903 as a residential college to provide opportunities for Quakers to study and to develop their faith and ministry.
Now both institutions are asking how library and archive services can best be provided to support primary purposes with maximum effectiveness and accessibility to potential users?
What relevant developments are taking place in the wider world of library and information services?
In July 2014 the Quakers awarded CIBER a consultancy to prepare a report that will help plan for the future of the libraries and archives at Friends House in London and Woodbrooke Study Centre in Birmingham.
Medicine is currently undergoing a huge change by focusing on the integrated diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in individual patients. Personalised medicine is, in theory, evidence-based delivery at the right time to the right patient resulting in measurable improvement and a reduction in health care costs [1, 2]. The challenge is to deliver the benefits of personalised medicine to each individual.
is a project co-funded by the European Community to integrate data into Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) models and pave the way to treatments that match each patient and their cognitive personalities.
ecancer.org is a free online platform for oncology professionals incorporating an open-access journal, news, video and education. It includes ecancermedicalscience, a journal with a “pay what you can afford” publishing model, ecancer.tv, the world's largest collection of oncology videos, and ecancerpatient.org a patient focused website launced in 2013.
In 2014 CIBER will be working with ecancer and ecancerpatient, one of the 19 partners in the p-medicine project, to evaluate their contribution.
University of Northumbria, University of Oxford. 2014–
Victorian Professions is a prosopographical database sampled from the 1851 census. This dynamic collective biography of around 20,000 professional people in eight towns, their antecedents and descendants, is curated from a variety of sources, including public interaction with the project's own website.
In addition to data collection, the project will also review its methodology and usage: “who is fishing in our pond seriously and who is just inspecting the water”. CIBER Research will contribute web analytics advice, research, and also evaluate the suitability of Universal Analytics and Tag Manager for non-profit and scholarly usage studies. In particular how best to assess the contribution of the ever more important mobile and tablet user.
For over a decade CIBER have used a 'deep log' technique based on HTTP access logs. However we have, not without regret, come to the conclusion that in today's more complex online environment that is neither economical nor effective. There are limitations in all methods of analytics but we now incline to the view that much of what is required, at least in the first instance, may be obtained from Google Analytics. An important qualification is that this does need to be deployed with some sensitivity and skill. This is particularly the case in academic and cultural heritage contexts where the audience and purpose do not always sit well with goals and metrics intended for a web of advertising and e-commerce.
funded by Elsevier, 2014–
Beyond downloads: sharing in the digital environment —by email, internal networks, cloud services, social networks— is now widespread. Working with COUNTER and a team from the University of Tennessee, CIBER will be developing altmetrics to measure this secondary sharing of digital content.
funded by The Sloan Foundation, 2012–2013
Trust and authority in scholarly communications in the light of the digital transition: a 15 month study of research academics in the USA and UK, employing log analysis, focus groups, critical incident interviews, and questionnaires.
CIBER Research Ltd. 2011–2013
“Turnaways”— a study of scholars denied access from publisher platforms.
Are these really 'lost sales'? Are putative consumers also potential customers or 'just looking'?
Beware too broad a definition of the turnaway: not every bouncer is a turnaway even with an adjusted bounce rate; nor is every failed 'conversion' a turnaway. Just because content is found does not mean the finder would be willing to pay for it.
The visitors journey began with a search or list of references. For the user a journal article is at the tip of a fan-out not a funnel to conversion. And yet, many paths resolve to the same content; evidence of perseverance in pursuit of a key article or a broad search frustrated?
The subscription model assumes pre-payment, that traffic will be waved through at the toll-gate unhindered. It follows that pay-per-view tends to be an afterthought: the non-subscriber follows a pathway designed for in-library access until a pay-wall is encountered.
In some cases half of all attempts to access full-text content are turned away. But full-text accounts only 4% of all page-views, compare that to 60% abstracts, 25% journal home pages, TOC and RSS making up the rest. To judge the significance of 'turnaways' we have to consider the functionality, not just the revenue base of an online journal.
Usage Factor stage 3
For stage 3 we are collecting data, testing stability, and the impact of gaming scenarios on a set of publisher data.
see Journal Usage Factor below for the earlier stage of this project
Usage, loyalty, and sharing
Europeana, co-funded by the European Union, 2012–2013
Analysing the impact of a new web platform with a focus on patterns of information seeking, interactivity, loyalty, and the significance of sharing objects in social media. Download our public Europeana reports
KPI for CVCE
Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe 2012–2013
Developing new, robust key performance indicators and associated logging and reporting procedures for the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe, an online Documentation Centre for European integration studies.
We present here two contrasting proposals for a KPI.
The first, ‘the Pool’, based on an exploratory data analysis of log data, is quantitative. A pool has depth and breadth: a deep pool has a core of content that is in sustained use, in a broad pool a significant portion of the collection is active. A 'good' pool is not stagnant and does not dry out.
The second ‘Institutional Reach’ is qualitative. It envisages the identification of a core audience and a campaign to boost use by this target market.
Online research communities
The opportunities and threats to publishers as a result of the rise of online research communities being built with the help of social media tools and platforms. A survey conducted by focus group, interview and online questionnaire.
Charleston Observatory III
Elsevier, Emerald, IOP Publishing, and RIN. 2011–2012
The third in a series of studies for the Charleston Observatory conference, Coming of Age? looked at strategic directions for digital repositories. The study notes the small scale of most institutional repositories, the variety of material held, the strong feeling among researchers that ‘gold’ open access will replace ‘green’ and, that within the repository movement itself, subject based repositories are better placed than institutional repositories to meet researchers' needs.
Journal Usage Factor
UKSG, COUNTER, 2011.
The idea of measuring research impact by means of citation rates was first mooted in 1955 in an article in Science. Not long after, ISI developed the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and no one looked back. But JIF only models one specific behaviour by a relatively small group, offering a limited measure of ‘impact’ as generally understood. It says nothing about how journals reach out to a wider audience who make up the bulk of their readership.
CIBER was commissioned by UKSG and COUNTER to look at the feasibility of an alternative measure, the Journal Usage Factor, based on download statistics rather than citations. Our report explores the following questions:
- How should the usage factor be calculated and presented?
- What are the usage characteristics of different document types (original research articles, short communications, editorial material, etc.)
- What are the usage decay rates of different document types and versions?
- How stable is the usage factor over time: can it be used to generate meaningful league tables of journal use?
- What is the relationship, if any, between the usage factor and measures of citation impact?
- Could the usage factor be gamed by people or machines; are there digital signatures associated with such attempts to cheat the system?
Download CIBER's 45 page The journal usage factor: exploratory data analysis and COUNTER's 22 page results, recommendations and next steps.
EuropeanaConnect, funded European Commission, 2009–2011
EuropeanaConnect (May 2009–October 2011) developed components for Europeana —the European Digital Library— to provide integrated access to digital resources from museums, archives, and libraries of Europe.
CIBER provided analysis and evalution of users, usage, and information-seeking behaviour throughout the project. A copy of our final report together with additional material from our continuing partnership with Europeana see CIBER Research for Europeana.
The PEER Project, funded by European Commission, 2009–2012
Publishing and the Ecology of European Research (PEER) was a pioneering collaboration between publishers, repositories and the research community, in which at least 16,000 peer-reviewed manuscripts or 'e-prints' destined to become accepted journal articles were made available for archiving every year for three years. The aim was to understand the impacts that large-scale deposit of Stage II manuscripts have on usage patterns. What is the source and nature of usage of deposited manuscripts? What do the usage patterns reveal that is of strategic relevance to the research community, publishers and repositories?
Download the final public_report,
and a presentation given to the Project Results Conference in May 2012
Gaps and barriers
RIN, JISC and PRC. 2010–2011
Access to scholarly content: gaps and barriers was based on an online survey of researchers and knowledge workers: which members of different communities in the UK can gain ready access to journal articles and conference proceedings?
Charleston Observatory II
funded by Emerald, 2010.
Are social media impacting on research? an international study of the impact of social media on the research process, based on questionnaire and focus group discussion.
The evolving Generation Y Workforce: implications for information technology and service provision - case study, 26 March 2010
Information, the elderly and health outcomes
Dunhill Trust, Royal College of Physicians, 2010–2011
‘Information, the elderly and health outcomes: case study preventing falls’ was part of a programme of home-based exercises delivered as part of routine care for frail elderly people by NHS therapists.
JISC and British Library, 2010–2011
An evaluation of the ‘Growing Knowledge’ exhibition at the British Library which explored how digital technologies are changing research and how the BL and other national libraries could help? What are the new challenges they pose? What role should a research library play in the 21st century?
Report on Growing Knowledge 2011-07-31
Research support services
RIN, with OCLC, 2009–2010
The provision and the use of information-related support services for researchers in four research-intensive universities in the UK: Leicester, University College London, Warwick and York.
Research support services in UK universities 16 November 2010
Library value and impact
funded by Research Libraries UK, 2010
Research to review and analyse the statistics etc, on the contribution libraries make to the satisfaction of the student experience.
Report, and at RLUK Demonstrating value: student satisfaction and library-provision
Economic challenges facing UK University Libraries
A guide for senior institutional managers and policymakers on the challenges facing academic libraries in difficult financial times. The work is based on a series of focus group discussions with senior library managers.
Challenges for academic libraries in difficult economic times 18 March 2010
Charleston Observatory I
funded by Ebury and sponsored by The Charleston Conference, 2009
The Charleston Observatory study of impact of the credit crunch on libraries examines the changes that libraries are making in the context of the economic downturn: where budgets and resources are being focused and why and to determine what practical and positive things are being done.
The economic downturn and libraries December 2009
BBC Television, 2009–2010
The digital revolution televised experiments with young and older people to determine their different online behaviours.
Google Generation II 1 March 2010
library policy advocacy
Research Libraries UK, 2010
Development of a set of evidence-based advocacy materials for library policy makers in higher education
User behaviour observational study
An evidence-based synthesis of what we know about the digital information-seeking behaviour of students and academics in Business & Economics.
Scholarly digital use and information seeking behaviour in business and economics
Houses of Parliament Intranet
UK Parliament, 2009
A study to determine how users are navigating to information on the Parliamentary Intranet
Changing attitudes and behaviours in the digital world and their implications for intellectual property
UK Research Outputs and Percentage Presence: A Pilot Study
Research Information Network, October 2008
Monographs in the humanities
UCL, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, 2008
Behaviour of the scholarly researcher
Taylor & Francis, 2008
Evaluating the usage and impact of e-journals in the UK
Research Information Network, 2008–2010
E-journals: their use, value and impact takes an in-depth look at how researchers in the UK use electronic journals, the value they bring to universities and research institutions and the contribution they make to research productivity, quality and outcomes.
Dispelling myths about e-books with empirical evidence... Scholarly e-book usage and information seeking behaviour: a deep log analysis of MyiLibrary, Headline findings from the user surveys, Textual Analysis of open ended questions, Assessing the impact of electronic course texts on print sales and library hard copy circulation.
The Impact of Open Access Journal Publishing (Phase III)
Oxford University Press, 2007–2008
British Library funded by AHRC, 2007–2009
How can we curate our digital memories in a fast changing world? What are the issues for curators and other professionals? Digital Lives
Personal Digital Archives for the 21st Century
Biomedical Information Marketplace
British Library, 2007
The Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future (Google Generation)
British Library and JISC, 2007
Emerald and Wiley Publishers; 2006–2007
Determining the impact of open access publishing on use and users
Oxford University Press; 2005–2007
Authors as users
Linking demographic and attitudinal data obtained from Elsevier authors with their usage of ScienceDirect
New journal publishing models: the 2005 CIBER survey of journal author behaviour and attitudes
Publishers Association and STM, 2005
Deep Log Analysis of Institute of Physics journals
Maximizing Library Investments in Digital Collections Through Better Data Gathering and Analysis (MaxData)
US Institute of Museum and Library Services; 2005–2007
The Virtual Scholar
The Virtual Scholar programme uses analysis of digital libraries, scholarly communication and bibliometricsto explore the changing world of academic information supply and use of journals and monographs. Providing evidence from both user and supply perspectives to support a balanced discussion of some strategic issues. It provides the publishing industry with much of its strategic research in areas such as the digital transition, new business models, social and policy angles (e.g. academic freedom), open access, repositories, the development of robust methodologies and metrics, creative writing, book history, impact of literary prizes, and changes in book retailing.
Department of Health 2002–2005
A project which examined health information using researchers and practitioners in information science, computer science, health, journalism and electronic publishing. The study looked at the take-up of health information delivery through new communication technologies and identified barriers that might constrain their development. A significant inovation was the use of transaction logging to obtain a documented record of user behaviour.
Nicholas D, Huntington P, Jamali HR. Digital Health Information for the Consumer — evidence and policy implications. Ashgate, 2007