Understanding user behaviour and motivations #anzreg2019

Understanding user behaviour and motivations when requesting resources
Jessie Donaghey, Bond University

Small research project focused on resource sharing requests.

Libraries often look at usability of getting to full-text – but we also need to make sure the process is seamless when we don’t have the full-text. At Bond have made improvements but haven’t stopped to investigate user behaviour during this.

Goal to “simplify and promote mechanisms for staff and students to request resources that they can’t find in Library Search”. Wanted to assess the service using analytics data; and understand users with a survey.

Assessing the service

Until 2015 – fairly manual system with users filling out online form manually and by the end of the process data had to be entered into four systems. No integrations, prone to typos, hard for users to even know it existed.

Up to 2018 – form automatically populated by Alma. Users could track progress through their library account. Enabled silent login. But still two extra steps to find service – including ticking on “Expand my results” which users never thought of.

End of 2018 considered “expand my results” as default. Until then it was used in 1% of sessions. Nervous about flooding results with “no full-text”. Took a sample of searches, replicated them, and found only some would have a small number of “no full-text” results, so turned it on. Between 2018 – 2019:

  • 60% increase in requests supplied
  • 94% increase in unique requesters
  • 85% increase in first time requesters – especially increase in undergrads

Small increases after going live with Alma Resource Sharing and after enabled silent login for Primo, but now a very large increase after enabling “expand my results” by default.

Understanding users

Surveyed users who’d recently received something from survey. Higher response rate from postgrads than undergrads.

Users mostly either had it recommended by library staff (especially regular users), or found link in Primo (especially those using it for the first time).

Users mostly expected article requests would take around three days (including new requesters who actually leaned towards expecting a longer delivery time). This matched with supply time reality. (May need to advertise this more so as not to put off people expecting it to take longer.)

Were users placing it for items they didn’t really need? Mostly (51%)  users needed the specific resource; 33% it complemented the resource they’d already found. (New users and undergrads had a more even split between these two.)

Did they track progress? 24% yes, 40% didn’t know they could. Regular users more likely to know, but still often chose not to – perhaps more familiar with wait time so less perceived need.

Most important perceived features were ease of placing request, then ability to place multiple requests at once. Least important was auto SMS updates.

94% extremely likely to use it again – mostly because they have to eg specialised resources; and/or impressed by efficient service.

Primo and Alma analytics reports used for this presentation are documented at http://tiny.cc/JD-ANZREG-19

Q: Any complaints about having ticked the “expand my results” box?
A: When replicating searches, especially replicated those faceted to articles/peer-reviewed to be sure. But no complaints. Maybe they just clicked the button.

Q: Any concerns about increase of usage, and being able to maintain fast turnaround?
A: Resource sharing is available to all students. Significant increase in usage and document delivery team had highest usage ever in September, still managed to maintain high turnaround. May not be sustainable (especially budget-wise) – decision for managers.

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