Information Needs and Behaviour of PhD students at Chalmers University of Technology: A Survey
This PechaKucha presents the initial findings of a research project which attempts to map PhD students’ information needs and behaviour at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The outcome of the project will help us redesign and update our Information Literacy course in collaboration with the Innovation Office on campus. The library has a long tradition in offering Information Literacy courses for its PhD students and has done so since the early 1990s. However, as the course is now part of a Generic Transferable Skills course package which is offered to all PhD students, an update of the course to fit the new context is necessary.
The basis for our presentation is an online survey (Dilek-Kayaoglu, 2014; Rafique and Mahmood, 2015) targeting all currently enrolled PhD students. The method used for the data analysis is the compiling and comparison of descriptive statistics involving variables relevant for this target group. More specifically, the survey questions concerned information behaviour (Wilson, 2000) in connection to: (a) literature reviews/thesis writing; (b) resources and information-seeking methods such as databases, books and e-books, web search engines, patents, data visualisations, informal channels, text mining; (c) bibliometrics, strategic publishing and open access; (d) reference managing; (e) library use; (f) information ethics and copyright; (g) scholarly information needs for the profession.
In our PechaKucha we will present the most significant outcomes from the questionnaire with the aid of animations, table and graphs. The statistical significance of variables such as research areas, years of study, previous attendance at our information literacy course and at the research utilisation course has also been taken into account in the data analysis (Heinström, 2002).
Based on the initial survey, we will proceed later on in 2016 with the second part of this research project, a qualitative study with focus groups involving 10-12 PhD students. From the semi-structured interviews with the focus groups we will create personas, which will guide the design and development for our course as well as keep the needs of the doctoral students at the forefront.
scholarly information literacy