Today’s guest blogger is Prof. Deborah Persell, author of the research cited in my last posting.
Thank you for highlighting my recent presentation. In a time when quality research literature is literally at our fingertips, I struggle to make sense of these particular findings. Assuming, as is in the case for the sample population, rigorous requirements are in place for student use of research literature it leaves me challenged to evaluate how we as faculty promote and inspire the use of research literature in new ways.
That only 32% of the participants in this study read past the abstract is concerning. This is despite the acknowledgement that participants believe their education has taught them to read and understand research literature and despite the fact that reading research is an expectation of student course work or job performance. And, 63% of these participants are given the time to read the research. There was a modest number, 25% that felt they were sufficiently familiar with search terms to find research of interest to them. The good news is the vast majority of participants are interested in better learning how to search for, read and understand research literature. Even though a Resident Librarian is assigned to courses and regularly offers assistance to students, that assistance is not utilized and per the survey, students don’t want to use the Librarian as a resource.
I would be truly interested in how others are addressing this issue. I do believe more research is needed on this topic. Clearly we are in need of better tracking mechanisms for database use by student demographic and major. While this particular sample population had well funded library resources, it is not certain the increased library resources are being utilized. Therefore, I am also interested in how others make decisions regarding recommending the purchase of library resources.
Deborah J. Persell, PhD, RN, APN
Director Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education
College of Nursing and Health Professions
Arkansas State University
Jonesboro, AR 72467. (O): 870-680-8286; (F): 870-972-3554.