While libraries come to terms with new forms of scholarly communication and the technological transformation of the academy, has one academic domain already drifted beyond reach?
Have the sciences already become self-sufficient in their information needs? Are libraries lacking in the services and information resources that scientists require?
In the first of three reports on Research Support Services for Scholars: Chemistry Project, a study being undertaken by Ithaka S+R on UK institutions, it is clear that within chemistry, and arguably the sciences more generally, a growing distance is developing between the everyday work of chemists and the library. As the report makes clear:
“This gap in mutual understanding prevents partnerships from developing between chemists and the library”
While the Chemistry Project is a researcher-centric approach to understanding the scholarly and information needs and requirements of Chemists, this first report update has taken the library and liaison services as a starting point.The report is based on conversations with research support professionals (mostly liaison librarians) and has some very interesting headlines:
Bridging the Divide: The role of libraries in the sciences : Digital Infrastructure Team