Simon Fraser University Library

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Card Sorting and User Scenarios: Usability Testing of SFU's Scholarly Publishing and Open Access Webpages

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-10-26
Abstract: 

Academic libraries are leading changes in the scholarly publishing ecosystem, and librarians are responsible for clearly communicating with researchers about this developing area. The purpose of this research project was to update SFU’s Scholarly Publishing and Open Access webpages to make the structure, language and content accessible and discoverable for a wide-range of users. We were investigating the question: Can users find what they need on the Scholarly Publishing and Open Access webpages? Our research was based on commonly adopted usability and information architecture principles, such as those described by usability.gov, Rosenfeld, Morville, & Arango (2015), and Nielsen (2012). We conducted two phases of qualitative data collection: An open, moderated, paper card sorting activity to collect initial data about the structure of the pages; and a usability-lab study with scenarios to test the resulting content. Data was manually coded into thematic groups, and webpage edits were prioritized based on respondent feedback. We anticipate conducting similar usability testing on an iterative basis to keep the webpages current, and our experience will inform our approach for future studies.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

"The Library Helps With That?" A Reality Check on the Integration of Scholarly Communications Support

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-07-30
Abstract: 

What if scholarly communications was truly collaborative, with researchers seeking out the best and most relevant resources available through their institution at all stages of scholarly communications? How close are we to meeting this goal?

SFU Library recently conducted usability testing with graduate student library staff on the newly revised Scholarly Publishing and Open Access webpages. We were surprised to learn that these students, who are open access and open source advocates, were completely unaware of many of the scholarly communications resources and tools offered by the library. When faced with a number of hypothetical scenarios related to graduate student research, they told us in no uncertain terms that they simply wouldn't come to the library website to look for information to answer questions about such things as applying for funding for open access, assessing the quality of journals, or measuring the impact of their scholarly work. Our initial goal -- to test the usability of the new webpages -- was suddenly unimportant when compared to the larger issue of the need to raise awareness of the services we offer to those who can benefit from them.

Our university libraries work hard to provide scholarly communications services to scholars, through web content, workshops, consultations, handouts, classroom instruction, digital publishing opportunities, and more. Many of these are developed in response to researchers' needs, while others serve to promote and advocate for sustainable alternatives to traditional forms of scholarly publishing. But all of these resources lack meaning if researchers don’t know they exist, or fail to seek them out because they underestimate their value.

It's apparent that university libraries have a long road ahead to become fully collaborative with researchers at our institutions. Developing new and more effective partnerships throughout the university is key to creating a collaborative process where researchers can tap into the most relevant tools and resources to support their scholarly work. At SFU Library, we plan to continue to build meaningful partnerships with relevant groups to better integrate library services into research and scholarly communications activities throughout the university. We aim to leverage our champions, researchers who use a wide range of scholarly communications services, to promote these services to their colleagues within and beyond their departments.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

20th Anniversary 1998-2018

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-11-03
Abstract: 

1. Simon Fraser University Retirees Association--History.  2. Simon Fraser University--Employees--History.  3. Retirees--Social networks--British Columbia.  I. Groves, Percilla E., 1942-, editor  II. Title: Twentieth anniversary 1998-2018.

Document type: 
Other

Catalog Cards from the Edge: Precarity in Libraries

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-05-10
Abstract: 

The purpose of our research study, Precarity in Libraries, is to provide new information on the extent and effects of precarious work in library settings in Canada. Precarious labour structures such as contracts, part-time, and on-call work are increasingly common in academia and libraries, and can affect staff at all levels. Our research project aims to gather evidence for the effects of precarity on library service and work culture, to explore how precarity connects to libraries’ professed values of equality, diversity, and inclusion, and to measure trends in precarious positions in the Canadian library employment landscape.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s):