A new white paper published by Oxford University Press explores how students seek contextual information to support a range of activities central to their studies. The study’s large-scale survey of undergraduate and master’s students found that reference content supports a range of core activities for independent study. Whilst research is the most commonly identified, class preparation, general reading, and studying for exams were also identified by a majority of students as cases in which they would seek contextual information to support their work. This applies consistently across the full range of subject-areas, and across the regions examined. In sum, this study suggests a new perspective in the debate on the place of reference resources in the current information environment.
Oxford University Press (2018). Paths to reference: How today's students find and use reference resources. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.