Seven types of researchers are identified in the study Understanding Information Behaviour: How Do Students and Faculty Find Books? Which one are you?
Cluster I: “Untouched by the Library” (12 Percent)
The membership of this cluster is overwhelmingly male (99.4 percent) and its composition is dominated by graduate students (42.8 percent) and staff (39.6 percent). Cluster 1 draws almost exclusively from scientific and technical subjects. This group is very strongly polarised in terms of its book discovery preferences: it exhibits the highest levels of dependence on Google and Amazon and other informal modes of book discovery. Members of this group report the lowest dependence on library systems, and are the least likely to depend on visiting a library or search the UCL catalogue, despite being drawn mainly from the more highly research-intensive graduate and academic staff categories.
Typical member: male researcher in science or engineering.
Cluster II: “Young, Female, and Keen on Libraries” (12 Percent)
This cluster is almost entirely female (94.2 percent) and composed mainly of undergraduate or graduate students (94.9 percent), probably in the social or life sciences. The members of this cluster exhibit very high dependency on institutional library services: they report the highest levels of dependency on visiting the UCL library in person and using its catalogue. They report average dependency on external libraries and, with the exception of visiting bookshops, they are the least ‘self-sufficient’ of the seven clusters.
Typical member: female student in the social or life sciences.
Cluster III: “Conventional Male Researcher” (18 Percent)
This group is exclusively male (100 percent) and dominated by graduate students (53.5 percent) and faculty (44.0 percent) with a broadly balanced disciplinary profile. The members of this cluster report a high level of dependence on institutional library services and the lowest level of trust in general search engines.
Typical member: male researcher in most disciplines.
Cluster IV: “Conventional Male Undergraduate” (13 Percent)
Another male-dominated group (99.4 percent), almost exclusively undergraduate (99.4 percent) again drawn broadly across all disciplines. The profile of this group overlaps almost entirely with the previous cluster: they are highly dependent upon institutional provision and only moderately ‘self-sufficient’. As might be expected, they are less dependent upon publishers' catalogues and book reviews, more dependent upon following up reading lists.
Typical member: male undergraduate in most disciplines.
Cluster V: “Young Female Life Scientists” (9 Percent)
This cluster is exclusively female (100 percent) and almost entirely undergraduate (98.3 percent) with a marked tendency to be drawn from the medical (40.7 percent) or life (28.8 percent) sciences. This is the most rounded group in the sense that it displays both high levels of dependence on institutional library systems, while also being the second most ‘self-sufficient’ group that also values informal and personal search modes. This group shows a marked preference for friends as a source of book recommendations.
Typical member: female undergraduate in medicine or the life sciences.
Cluster VI: “Independent Female Researchers” (20 Percent)
This is a female (97.3 percent) cluster, dominated by graduate students (47.8 percent) and faculty (40.4 percent). The disciplinary profile of this group is fairly broad, although medical (26.8 percent) and life (24.3 percent) sciences are more heavily represented than one would expect. This group is the second lowest ranking in terms of their stated level of dependence on personal visits to UCL or other library services and are reasonably self-sufficient, with high ratings for informal and personal search modes.
Typical member: female researcher in medicine or the life sciences.
Cluster VII: “Traditional Scholars” (16 Percent)
Another female cluster (99.5 percent), dominated by graduate (48.6 percent) students and undergraduates (38.5 percent) with a very high showing from the arts and humanities (73.6 percent). Not surprisingly, given the disciplinary profile, this group has the highest propensity to visit other libraries and to use their catalogues. This cluster exhibits a very low preference for informal modes of book discovery and, especially, a lack of interest in Google, Amazon, and other nonlibrary Web services.
Typical member: female student in the arts and humanities.
Rowlands, Ian, and David Nicholas. 2008. Understanding Information Behaviour: How Do Students and Faculty Find Books? The Journal of Academic Librarianship 34 (1):3-15.