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ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012 


The Changes in Japanese Researchers' Usage and Perception of Electronic Resources: Result of SCREAL Survey 2011
Yoshinori Sato, Kenji Koyama, Shinji Mine, Keiko Kurata, Hiroshi Itsumura, Hiroya Takeuchi and Syun Tutiya

Monday, 6:30pm


Summary

The Standing Committee for Research on Academic Libraries (SCREAL) conducted a questionnaire survey from October to December 2011. Following up this survey, we attempt here to clarify how usage and perception of e-journals and scholarly articles among researchers and graduate students in Japan changed.

The first SCREAL Survey was held in 2007, with the questionnaire items partly inherited from three major preceding surveys on e-journals conducted by the Japan Association of National University Libraries and the Private and Public University Libraries. It also adopted the items of the last-reading surveys by Prof. Carol Tenopir. In the 2011 study, most items remained the same with the first, with only a few new elements on e-books added. The participating institutions announced the survey by email to their researchers and graduate students, the interested parties of whom responded on the webpage. In three months, 3,922 completed responses were collected from across various subject fields, with 6.04% response rate.

The basic findings were as follows. 1) More than 90% of respondents in natural sciences, including pharmaceutical science, chemistry, biology, physics and medicine, reported that they used e-journals at least once or twice a month.  2) E-journals were not as heavily used in humanities and social sciences as in natural sciences, but the proportion of regular users turned out to be more than 4 times that of the 2001 survey. 3) Use of digital devices for e-books was not popular as yet, but the respondents expressed their high interest in the future use. 4) Attitude to the necessity of printed version drastically transmuted. 62.3% of respondents in natural sciences and 53.6% in humanities and social sciences thought "printed journals are unnecessary when e-journals are accessible." Some preliminary discussion is made to identify the factors affecting the usage and/or perception of electronic resources by Japanese researchers.