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Transitioning from RefWorks at Kent State: Student & Faculty Survey

2015 Survey of all KSU Graduate Students and Faculty

When the University Libraries (UL) first subscribed to RefWorks over 10 years ago, it was viewed as a top choice for those needing a citation management tool. All students, faculty and staff were provided free access to this tool. The UL also provided workshops, personal consultation, and library web pages as support.

As a result of the UL monitoring of research tools, in February of 2015 we surveyed 7235 KSU faculty and graduate students to learn how they use software such as RefWorks. A goal was to determine and develop UL support and services for these kinds of research management tools.

Bullet point results are listed here.  

  • 362 completed the survey (28% faculty, 30% graduate students, 42% both)
  • 253 indicated use of "reference management software" (59% RefWorks, 47% EndNote, 21% Zotero, and 21% Mendeley)
  • Top factors for choosing this kind of software were cost and availability. Ease of use and "user friendliness" were also considerations. Concerns that references not be lost was also stated.
  • Those stating appreciation for RefWorks said they would not be willing to pay 100.00 for a subscription*.
  • Written responses on possible discontinuation of RefWorks included both significant concerns as well as willingness to change if alternatives were supported.
  • Respondent choices for transition support included personal consultation, workshops, and instructional materials.

* Note: We learned from RefWorks in February 2017 that individual subscriptions will not be available going forward.