Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2021: Library Services response

Taking the pandemic into account, the quantitative scores for the resources question (77%) compared only a little less favourably to the 2019 question (79%) as did the question about research skills training which remained at 85% (although the library is only part of the university providing this).

As is often the case, the free text comments suggest that a key issue is communicating the Library Services offer and other relevant services to postgraduate researchers (PGRs):

  • Many of the complaints about lack of access to resources which gave specific examples referred to items/subscriptions which we do, in fact, have in stock. Our FindIt@Bham videos give guidance. 
  • There were requests for training opportunities in many areas for which there is already provision, by Library Services and other providers across the institution.

Many Library Services induction materials are now recorded and available from our webpages at any time. You can also arrange bespoke sessions on literature related topics with us. Our PGR focussed training offer is also listed on the intranet.

Library Services are continually improving the way we communicate with the PGR community but we would also welcome the support of College PGR committees in boosting our messages.

  1. All PGRs are auto-enrolled on the Library Services for PGRs Canvas module. We send weekly announcements via this module highlighting our offer, any changes to Library Services, and relevant related messages (e.g. publisher-provided webinars). We aren’t sure, however, how many PGRs have set their Canvas notifications to receive these messages to their e-mail inboxes, so please encourage PGRs to review their Canvas notification settings so we can reach as many PGRs as possible.
  2. In September 2021, we began sending a monthly communication to College and School PGR Leads with news about Library Services relevant to research and PGRs. 
  3. A webpage signposting PGRs (and supervisors) to training opportunities across the institution is already available on the University Graduate School webpages, and this is linked directly from the front page of the Development Needs Analysis (DNA) form.


Professional Services