With roughly 2.5M users around the world searching for information on an infinite number of topics, Credo Reference offers a unique snapshot into what students and young researchers are searching for most.
For the first time, Credo is sharing our “2021 Top 25 Search Terms” and “2021 Top 25 Subjects” survey insights publicly. Now our customers, as well as all libraries, can leverage their Credo collections and library resources in order to address the needs of users with reliable content. We’ve been diligently collecting and assessing this data to inform our strategies, and we hope it may be of some use to you.
Credo Reference search trends reveal our users’ collected research on the most compelling events, stories, and issues happening now, or in recent news, and are often relevant to popular debates and controversies. Trends show some subjects topping the list year after year (i.e., psychology, history, general reference), and other issues showing a very obvious reflection of the current times (i.e., coronavirus, social inequality, minimum wage).
From our analysis, we see that students are most concerned with understanding what is affecting them now and in the near future. We consistently see search terms like “climate change” and “mental health” top our list of trends, and see political and social issues such as “abortion,” “death penalty,” and “gun control” consistently in our Top 25. This leads us to believe that students consistently need general reference and background information on these topics, so we build our collections around this principle. The below data show the top results collected since the beginning of 2021:
|2021 Top Search Terms YTD|
|minimum wage||← #56 in 2020|
|death penalty||← #49 in 2020|
|unmanned aerial vehicle||← New|
|technology||← #76 in 2020|
|junk food tax||← New|
|human rights||← New|
|water pollution||← #72 in 2020|
We have also collected data on search trends for 2020 to offer a comparative view of what has gained/waned in importance and popularity amongst our users:
|Credo Top 25 Search Terms of 2020|
|social work||← #101 in 2021|
|childhood obesity||← #48 in 2021|
|domestic violence||← #71 in 2021|
|human trafficking||← #49 in 2021|
|police brutality||← #39 in 2021|
|anxiety||← #35 in 2021|
|black lives matter||← #56 in 2021|
As you can see from this data, the top search terms aren’t necessarily surprising, but they also echo the need to ensure that students have reliable reference content available to them. With so many opinions and conspiracy theories circulating on these topics, Credo’s mission is to maintain a safe place for research.
In response to our search trends analysis, we’ve also decided to curate a special “2021 Credo Trending Topics Collection” that mirrors the most searched topics across all of Credo’s collections. The “2021 Credo Trending Topics Collection” offers an à la carte list of Credo’s most in-demand titles available for purchase. Each title provides an in-depth exploration into topic areas of current interest, many of which have been reviewed for their excellence, as noted by Choice’s Top 75 Community College Titles, the American Journal of Nursing top titles of the year, and Resources for College Libraries. Such titles include “#MeToo Issues in Religious-Based Institutions and Organizations” (IGI Global, 2020), Issues in Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility” (SAGE Publications, 2020), and “Handbook of Research on Mass Shootings and Multiple Victim Violence” (IGI Global, 2020).
We’re also sharing our “2021 Top 25 Subjects” survey, which shows usage and research within major disciplines. A key takeaway, in our opinion: the continued high demand for general reference content to support students’ research needs:
|Top Usage Subjects 2021|
|General Reference Encyclopedias|
|Contemporary Issues & Controversies|
|Dictionaries & Thesauri|
|Criminology & Law|
|Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies|
|Food, Drink, Nutrition|
|Media & Communications|
We will continue to gather usage data and share our findings. Do you see anything surprising in our list of Top Search Terms or Top Subjects? Wondering what else is on the list? Let us know!
What Is Credo Reference?
Named a “Must-Have Database” by Library Journal in 2020, Credo Reference enhances the research experience through authoritative reference content and a one-stop exploratory search platform that drives usage of all trusted library resources. The user-friendly interface is ideal for students starting their research or learning about the research process during information literacy instruction. With hundreds of searchable, full-text titles from the world’s foremost publishers, Credo Reference covers every major subject.
Click on the links below for more information about Credo Reference:
- Credo Reference: Academic Core for colleges and universities
- Credo Reference: Complete Core for public libraries
- No Discovery? No Problem. How One College Library in Quebec Is Building Smart Researchers with Credo Reference: Case Study
- Everything You Need to Know: CREDO REFERENCE: Webinar
- Using CREDO REFERENCE in Instruction: Webinar
- Bringing Student Success Online with Films On Demand & Credo Reference: Webinar