As part of the university community, we at Piirus are aware of what challenges face researchers, but wanted to explore further. We know that the research funding landscape is becoming more complex, and securing funding is a challenge for both researchers and specialist research managers and administrators. This demanding landscape features the need to demonstrate impact (and the REF for UK researchers), increased competition and workloads that require careful balancing of existing commitments with developing collaborations. Identifying emerging research trends and building relationships with other researchers are important activities, and they present their own challenges to the community.
In March 2015, Piirus conducted an online survey of ARMA members. 114 research managers and administrators responded, letting us know what challenges face them and researchers, what was important to their role and their opinions about online networks. We compared these results to a survey we conducted of 346 researchers about research collaboration in September 2014, as well as the results of a survey of researchers by Nature about academics’ use of online networks. Our key findings were:
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