IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Knowledge, Use, and Attitudes of Academic Librarians
Author: Dean Hendrix [State University of New York at Buffalo]

Libraries and the Academy 7, no. 2: 191-212

Year: 2007


Subject/Type: IP Knowledge
Focus: Access to Information, Copyright, Enforcement
Country/Territory: United States of America
Objective: To assess the knowledge base, use, and attitudes of academic librarians regarding P2P technologies.
Sample: 162 academic librarians
Methodology: Mail-in questionnaire

Main Findings

Results indicate that American academic librarians do not generally exhibit extensive knowledge of peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies (a below average knowledge grade of 49%; nearly half of all knowledge questions answered with "not sure"). Furthermore, they do not or did not very much use P2P technologies (about a third of the respondents indicated use of at least one of the listed P2P applications; 90% of them never used eight out of nine P2P applications listed).

Attitudes of academic librarians toward P2P are largely neutral or indifferent, especially in regard to questions directly related to workplace implications (half of the sample did not have an opinion on the role P2P might play in libraries, and did not state whether libraries should adopt the technology to provide services). However, they seem to be aware of positive and negative potentialities of P2P: 66% believe that P2P facilitates piracy, and 74% think that P2P facilitates collaborative work; very few respondents are in favour of blocking or criminalising P2P.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]