The Research Information Network recently issued a report that summarized the findings of a study about the information searching practices and expectations of humanities scholars. Their findings will likely surprise no one, but it’s worth repeating, as we must remind ourselves about user needs or live at peril of descending into irrelevance.
So, the findings as summarized by the Europeana Libraries blog:
- Make it easy to use.
- Make it easy to cite.
- Put it in their workflow.
- Provide clarity on objects and processes.
- Build a community.
- Provide ressearch support.
- Make the information easily reusable.
- Offer ways to visualize collections.
- Think about linked data.
- Provide a critical mass of content.
Most of these points are like “duh,” but one I found surprising: “Think about linked data.” I didn’t realize humanities scholars knew linked data from a hole in the ground. Clearly I’m wrong, but happily so.