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Information Needs of Scientists and Engineers (Outsell)

July 15, 2009

It’s always helpful to find out what the information needs are of our users;  one of the sources is the published academic literature.  Another source is an organization such as Outsell, which is a research firm focused on the needs of information managers (librarians & info professionals).

Outsell, in their continuing end-user research, recently published the following report, which is probably relevant to most of our user base (given that 80% of us serve R&D and 71% of us serve Clinical or Medical Affairs).

STM End-User Survey Part 1 – Scientists and Engineers 

Scientists and engineers are important information consumers, spending between one-quarter and one-third of their work week gathering and analyzing information. They continue to encounter problems accessing the information they need, and this report provides valuable insight into opportunities for information providers to improve information products and so drive revenue. Outsell has tracked the information behaviors and preferences of scientists and engineers for eight years, and this report features our latest research on this user population. It analyzes their current information needs and habits, and considers implications for the IM functions that serve them and the information providers that supply them.

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