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Title:The Role of The Information Specialist as an Active Team Member in Academic Research
Author(s):Neway, Julie Marlaine
Department / Program:Library Science
Discipline:Library Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Information Science
Abstract:The major goal of this research was to investigate the role of the information specialist as an active team member in an academic scientific research setting. The objectives of the study focused on the impact and acceptance of the information specialist and were measured in terms of the information provided, changes in the scientists' information habits, and their evaluation of the service.
The case study involved sixty-seven scientists in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The information specialist attended weekly lab meetings for thirty-nine scientists, who formed the experimental group, and answered any information requests that they had during the ten month period from January to October, 1981. The remaining twenty-eight scientists served as a control group.
As a result of the services which the information specialist provided, the scientists in the experimental group spent less time reading the literature and less time in discussion with their lab colleagues. They skimmed fewer articles but read more articles in-depth. A strong personal file collection had supplanted the Biology Library as the first location consulted when they needed a formal source of information. The information specialist had alerted the scientists to new journal titles and to the capabilities of the online computer search as a mechanism to provide information relevant to their work.
As a communication source, the information specialist was rated very accessible and easy to use. The information which was provided gave the scientists more time to spend with their research, identified pertinent material which they would not otherwise have found, and was a very easy way to investigate a new research topic.
The major value of this research was that it showed that an information specialist is able to successfully identify and satisfy information needs on a one-to-one basis. Information professionals must reach out to individuals in their natural work environment if they are to become an integral component in the total information and research cycle.
Issue Date:1982
Description:348 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8302941
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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