TrendAlert: Scientists As Information Users – Are They Being Served?
Scientists, a key user group that Outsell has studied over the years, are all about the innovation that drives competitiveness. Understanding scientists' information needs, preferences, and behaviors is paramount for information management (IM) functions that support this community of users, to ensure they have the tools and information they need to drive innovation for the enterprise and for the nation. This Briefing examines Outsell's latest research on this user population to understand their current relationship with, needs for, and practices around information, and considers the implications for the IM functions that serve them. Based on interviews with about 260 respondents and 376 corporate and government information managers, it provides a current look at the changing needs of this information-hungry group of professionals. The data shows that scientists are big information users. They are independent seekers who like to find things on their own
- and opt more often for 'pull' than 'push' delivery methods. The Internet looms largest in their array of go-to places for information, and they value an information service that first and foremost provides desktop access to the content they need. As market forces increasingly drive research agendas, scientists cite a growing need for competitor and market information. They work in an imperfect information world, however, spending 22 percent of their time at work finding and using external information, but often not finding what they need or not having the money to pay for it. They have readily adopted handheld devices and many use them to receive a variety of content. In a series of imperatives for information managers, Outsell urges them to show creativity, take a broader view of role and partners, and tie every IM activity to explicit user needs.