From Start To Finish: Mobile Tools to Assist Librarian Researchers
Mobile apps are a pervasive part of daily life. Well over 100 billion apps have been downloaded since 2009, and there are over one million apps that are available to anyone with a mobile device. While librarians frequently use mobile devices and apps for their professional practice, reference, and teaching, the growing ubiquity and utility of these tools strongly suggest their potential for use in another area of academic life: conducting original research. This aligns perfectly with the growing recognition of librarians as researchers themselves, and the associated requirement by more and more academic institutions that librarians perform research as part of their job description. This chapter focuses on the stages of the research process, including project conception, preparation, start-up, data collection and sampling, data analysis, dissemination, and data storage. The best apps (or mobile websites) available to assist librarians as they complete these steps will be reviewed. Factors considered will be usability, design, features, cost, and privacy concerns. This chapter goes beyond commonly recommended productivity tools such as Dropbox or Evernote and will highlight apps that can assist librarian-researchers in the completion of an entire research project from start to finish. A variety of apps are explored, including those designed specifically for the educational market, those created for broad social science research, and those intended for commercial market use.
research, apps, mobile, libraries, librarians