VITaL Focus Group Report & Dashboards

November 30, 2011

In 2011 CRKN undertook an exploration to determine what impact access to digital research content has had on the research community in Canada. The findings of this research are available in a report called CRKN Outputs and Impacts: Findings of Four Focus Groups with the Research Community. This report was shared with Library Directors in August and is being more widely circulated in December 2011 and January 2012. Since good performance measures include a variety of indicators, this report is the qualitative complement to the quantitative dashboards that are prepared annually.

The report documents a number of issues that have been observed during day-to-day activity and described in the literature. There is also a series of six case studies captured in the course of conducting the focus groups, and they describe some innovative ways in which research practises have changed since the introduction of digital research content.

Here are highlighted findings along the four research themes investigated:

  • Research practices have become more productive as digital research content provides convenience of access, better selection, lower cost and higher researcher satisfaction.
  • The interdiscipinarity of research has been augmented as more publications are monitored, gray literature is included, cross-disciplinary connections are made through keyword searches and links, related fields of research are accessible, and systematic reviews are more timely and of higher quality.
  • Research collaboration has expanded networks of researchers in Canada and abroad, cross-disciplinary networks and co-authorships expand, and Canada gains an international reputation for leadership through superior knowledge resources.
  • Teaching and learning practices are more effective and more efficient as they take advantage of expanded and timely learning resources.

Canada’s research community reports that it has adapted to and embraced digital research content so seamlessly that it is completely integrated in the national research infrastructure. This underscores the value that members have placed in the mandate of CRKN over the years and how disruptive it would be to withdraw or curtail those services. Read the report and case studies.

Please contact Dyna Vink if you would like to know more about this research.

Note: Since CRKN is not the only source of digital research content in Canada, the findings are correlated to CRKN’s work, not causal.

2010-2011 CRKN Narrative and Dashboard
The CRKN Value, Influence, Trends and Leadership (VITaL) Task Group has compiled this framework of indicators to share with members and stakeholders as a demonstration of the type and level of activity undertaken at CRKN. It provides benchmarks for discussion, for refinement, and for celebration of collaborative achievement. The Board of Directors, Management and stakeholders use this information to evaluate the impact CRKN is having as it works to achieve its objectives. Read the report.