I have had a quick read of this interesting final report on researchers use of ejournals, by the Research Information Network – ‘Ejournals: their use, value & impact’. I recomend reading the summary of the key findings for a good overview.
An interesting aspect was a comment on the increased use by reseachers of gateway sites as an easy way to search across a large volume of material which a single publisher site can not provide. The main use of a publisher site was to access the content once discovered. The gateway sites referred to in the report include Google Scholar, Web of Science, Pub Med etc.
One of the key benefits we recognised when investigating discovery tools such as Summon, Primo etc was this single point of access for staff and students to search rather than being faced with the myriad of search options, features, interfaces etc available from different publishers. At the start of the academic year, Sept 2010, a number of publishers introduced new & enhanced interfaces to their platforms and continue to do so which in turn creates issues of access and usability.
Perhaps there should be more of a focus in making the content discoverable via gateway sites rather than building feature rich publisher platforms or maybe both is needed, what do you think?