Saturday, 24 May 2008

Your Subject Librarian can save you time ...

Some (very) spurious statistics. If a full time PhD takes 3 years, working 48 weeks a year, 5 days a week and 8 hours a day it takes roughly 3*48*5*8 = 5760 hours. Lets say that over the period of your PhD you spend 6 hours in one-to-one contact with your Subject Librarian. That is 0.1% of the time you have for your PhD. Less if you take longer.

You want to spend those hours as productively as possible. So how can meeting your Librarian help?

  • Say you have 500 references and it takes 10 minutes to check each one - using EndNote and checking that you have the correct style information could save you 500*10/60 = 83 hours.

  • If you expect to spend a fifth of your time on your literature review or 1152 hours, and 5% of that time locating and retrieving literature or 58 hours you need to searching 'efficiently' and 'effectively' to make the best use of that time. Lets say that your Librarian effects an improvement in your search skills that makes you twice as good at searching, you could achieve results in half the time or 29 hours.

  • If you add another 5% of time for your litertaure review for keeping up to date - this could possibly be elimiated by using using updating services and saved searches saving another 58 hours.

  • Using good resources and good record keeping using EndNote 5% saved from constant revisiting sources and references saving another 58 hours.

Total saving 228 hours or for every hour you spend with your Subject Librarian you save 38 hours - time you can better spend on your research.

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