Spent today at the JISC/CNI meeting in York. A very interesting day, with some excellent speakers. Nicky Ferguson gave an overview of the Resource Discovery Review, which is reporting on the Archives Hub and three other services (Copac, Zetoc and SUNCAT). His summary included information about the survey results. This included the fact that the surveys suggested that 50% of users of these services are librarians or archivists.
The trouble with this, is that I think that the data was somewhat skewed by the way the survey was promoted. A message about the surveys was sent to the JISCmail LIS-LINK list on 16 May 2006. This list has over 750 subscribers, mainly librarians. We also circulated the URL for the Hub survey on the Hub contributors’ list (c.100 archivists and librarians). It is much easier to contact these users than to get in touch with our ‘academic’ users: there isn’t a single list you can use to send a message to the academic researchers.
So although the survey feedback might suggest that our users are mainly archivists or librarians, I am fairly sure that this is more a result of the way that the survey was promoted than a reflection of actual use. My gut feeling is also that librarians and archivists have a sense of ownership of these services which makes them more willing to support them by filling in the survey. I’ve got absolutely no evidence for this though!