Brussels, 15 Oct 2002
'CORDIS is the right tool for the Europe of innovation. Effort should concentrate on increasing its value.' This is one conclusion of the interim report summarising the first phase of the survey 'External monitoring, quality of service and user feedback for online services and printed publications'.
The survey was undertaken by a contractor of the European Commission, who collected opinions from CORDIS users, potential users and RTD publication readers (Innovation & Technology Transfer, CORDIS focus and Euroabstracts). The survey was e-mailed to more than 55,000 registered CORDIS users and made available online on CORDIS. With almost 4,600 replies the response rate has been very encouraging.
Some 52.9 per cent of respondents declared themselves satisfied or very satisfied with CORDIS, while only 13.8 per cent claimed to be dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, leading to a mean overall score of 3.46 out of five. Nearly one third of users visit CORDIS at least once a month. Within this group, the satisfaction with CORDIS was higher at 3.65 out of five.
According to the survey, information related to the R&D programmes, R&D projects, framework programmes, calls for proposals and funding sources are the most requested on CORDIS. 'EU funded research' is also the area which shows the highest degree of user satisfaction (3.72/5), while 'innovation in practice' only achieved a satisfaction level of 3.10/5.
When users claimed to be dissatisfied with CORDIS, the reason was often that they know CORDIS has the information they want, but sometimes find it difficult to find that information. 'More personalised tools, easy navigation and powerful tools for retrieving information are major demands of our community of researchers, entrepreneurs and administration officials,' states the paper. The report goes on to express the concern that 'complexity could be a barrier to enjoying the benefits of the service.'
The report concludes that 'CORDIS is the only pan-European link between the actors of a very diverse R&D&I community.' Initial recommendations for future development include 'avoiding complexity, new search tools, improvement on R&D project information and improving the innovation area.'
The RTD publication survey is ongoing. Reponses received thus far on the Commission's RTD publications are predominantly positive. Readers of CORDIS focus gave the publication a mean score close to 3.25 out of five, Euroabstracts received 3.57 out of five and Innovation and Technology Transfer (I&TT) 3.36 out of five. The paper version of each publication attracts more readers than the online version, with only 18 per cent using the Internet to access CORDIS focus and Euroabstracts and 13 per cent for I&TT. CORDIS focus readers highlighted the 'actuality' of the publication as one of its strongest features.
The CORDIS survey will now continue with phase II, using more detailed questionnaires to glean even more information on what CORDIS users want and need.
The full interim report and the questionnaires for phase II are available at the following web address: http://www.cordis.lu/usersurvey/survey20 02.htm