The Research Support Needs of Emerging Researchers Employed at the Education Faculty of a University of Technology




Globally academic institutions are under pressure to improve their research outputs, both in terms of quality and quantity. The library plays an important role in providing research support services to its community of researchers so that they can contribute to research. As a young research institution, CPUT has a large cohort of emerging researchers, among those, teacher educators in its Education Faculty.  This study, based on research for a master’s degree (Oosthuizen, 2019), set out to determine their research support needs by using a mixed methods approach which included collecting mostly quantitative data from researchers and qualitative data from support staff. It found that this group of researchers needs the library’s support at all stages of the research life cycle, but to varying degrees. The information gathering stage is where the library’s support is considered necessary by almost all, while the majority of respondents did not consider support in the planning stage as necessary. It was found that many respondents were neutral about some services, indicating their unfamiliarity with what the library does or might offer. The study recommends that the library improve the awareness for the research support services it offers and that it works more collaboratively with other research support entities at the university for a more streamlined approach to research support. While this study investigated a small sample of researchers, its findings can be used by the library to tailor services to a particular group of users.  

Author Biography

Michelle Kahn, University of Cape Town

Michelle Kahn graduated with an M Phil degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2013. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science and a BA (Honours) in English Language and Literature, also from UCT. She is currently a lecturer in LISC, teaching and supervising students in the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters programmes. Her interests lie in collection management, e-resources and research data management