Copac annual survey, November 2012

Many thanks to the 1170 people who took the time to fill in our annual user survey during November 2012, the responses are enormously valuable in letting us see how we’re doing and how we can improve the way we support your research. We really appreciate the time our respondents put into this and the information we get – and some of the feedback we receive makes all the work worthwhile:

“Accessibility, spread, helpfulness. I remember when there was no Copac- IT WAS SO DIFFICULT!”

You can get a copy of the full survey results. But in summary…

Most Copac users are from within the UK (76%) but we have users from elsewhere in Europe and across the world. Many users are from within Higher Education (58%), but Copac is also useful to a diverse community including other educational groups, publishers, booksellers, people from museums and galleries, as well as many independent researchers. Our largest user group is academic staff, researchers and students (44%), followed by library staff (38%) and the main subject focus is within the humanities and social sciences, but subjects right across the spectrum were mentioned.

Many respondents use Copac at least weekly (74%) and they are, overall very positive about the service, with 91% finding Copac easy to use, whilst 91% agreed that their work would take more time without it. We are also very pleased to see that 97% of UK respondents would recommend Copac.

An important element of the survey is finding out what people most like about the Copac service and, conversely, would most like to change. Many responses included comments on multiple issues, so the percentages represent comments rather than users. In terms of what is most valued, 51% of comments related to database coverage/holdings-data/location finding; this is clearly an important element of the service, bringing together disparate and, in some cases, less well know collections of importance to researchers. A further 24% of comments were appreciative of the ease of use of the interface or focussed on particular facilities valued by the user, whilst 18% related to the quality of the data including the table-of-contents and reviews etc. that we add to the records.

The requests for changes are really valuable for helping us assess where we need to focus development effort to provide the best support for researchers and we had much valuable input here. Of those 46% of respondents that made suggestions the largest group of comments related to requests for changes or additions to the facilities available (22%) which is very helpful – but in some cases emphasises the need to support, as far as possible, those who are positive about particular aspects of the service as well as those who dislike the same things. Requests for improvements to data quality and content are not easy for us to address, but we do a certain amount in this area and this is something we can explore further. We have done some work on the number of duplicate records in the database and we are pleased to see this reflected in the reduced number of comments (6%) on this issue and it is an area that will improve further as we continue to develop the service.

If you have any comments about Copac or requests for new facilities etc. you can get in touch at any time via the Copac Helpdesk. We are always pleased to get feedback.