Trust in Research

Check out Elsevier’s new report with Sense About Science, and join the conversation about how to make research more reliable and less burdensome

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The world of research is changing rapidly. The  increasing proliferation of information and the arrival of AI bring great opportunities; and this also leads to  changes in the way research reaches new audiences.

Periods of change naturally lead to new questions, and in research many of those questions are about trust, particularly because data proliferation has the potential to enrich science but can also overwhelm researchers juggling multiple data sets while mining for trusted information.

We wanted to explore this phenomenon, understand the impact it’s having on trust, and talk about how best to harness the opportunities while avoiding the knock-on effects that come from navigating such complexity. So we worked with Sense about Science to focus our latest Trust in Research study on better understanding the impact of increased information volumes on workload and resultant coping mechanisms.

What did we find?

  • Researchers now spend almost as much time searching for articles as reading them. On average, researchers spend just over 4 hours a week searching for research articles and more than 5 hours reading them.

On average, researchers spend just over four hours searching for research articles a week and more than 5 hours reading them. They read 5 to 6 articles per week and consider half of them useful. (Source: Elsevier and Sense About Science: <em>Trust in Research</em> report, 2019)

  • Reliability of research output is a contributory factor. While 62% of researchers regard all or a majority of the research outputs they see as reliable, over a third (37%) said they only viewed half or some of them as reliable.
  • In response, researchers are developing new coping mechanisms to ensure the reliability of the research they use, which is adding to their workloads.

We don’t think it’s fair that researchers should have to work harder than ever to verify and validate the information they build their research on. That’s why we are committed to providing and upgrading the tools available to them to ensure information is an advantage, not a burden.

Elsevier’s platforms, such as Mendeley and ScienceDirect, can help, but we need to do more. We plan to  continue developing new capabilities to help researchers manage complexity while staying in control of their work and freeing up time to  focus on their goals. Here you will be able to read our latest research in depth, explore the tools we offer, and find out more about the new technologies we’re developing to help researchers continue to be successful in their endeavors.

We invite you to join the conversation on social media and check back as our Trust in Research discussion continues.

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