If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0

Added by Catherine Gray on 06 July 2010

This project looks at the extent of adoption of different web 2.0 tools in different subject fields and disciplines, and the different types of researchers who are using them.

The RIN commissioned a team from Manchester eResearch Centre (MeRC), University of Manchester, and the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI), University of Edinburgh, to conduct this project and the team’s own project homepage is here.

The project enquires into the factors that influence researchers to adopt and use Web 2.0 tools, and conversely the factors that prevent, constrain or discourage usage.


The study also explores whether and how web 2.0 tools are changing researchers’ behaviour in significant ways, and what implications this might have for researchers, institutions, librarians, information professionals and funders. We sought evidence on whether web 2.0 tools are:

  • making data easier to share, verify and re-use, or otherwise facilitating more open scientific practices
  • changing discovery techniques or enhancing the accessibility of research information
  • changing researchers publication and dissemination behaviour, (for example, due to the ease of publishing work-in-progress and grey literature), and
  • changing practices around communicating research findings (for example through opportunities for iterative processes of feedback, pre-publishing, or post-publication peer review).

The report and briefing sheet are available to download below. If you would like hard copies of either documents please email contact@rin.ac.uk

The recent paper from the Philosophical Translations of the Royal Society is also available here.


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