Information Needs and Information-Gathering Behavior of Research Engineers
Research into both the information needs of engineers engaged in research and development, and the means chosen by engineers to fulfill their information needs are summarized in this condensation of a Master's thesis. Parallel questionnaires were administered in 1981 to 78 engineers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and to 64 academic scientists in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Response rates of 78 and 50 percent respectively were achieved. Questions dealt with types of information needed; sources of information used; utilization of personal resource collections; frequency of use of online searching, reference services, and libraries; and satisfaction with available library collections. Only a portion of the research results are outlined in this publication. It is reported that eight sources of information were found to be commonly used by engineers: books, research journals, colleagues, personal resource collections, regular reading of the literature, technical reports, personal research records, and knowledge transmitted at conferences or meetings. It is also noted that engineering libraries were the primary source for all types of information needs but that the use of library reference staff was significantly lower than use of libraries. A 19-item bibliography is provided. (Author/ESR)
Siess, J.A. Information Needs and Information-Gathering Behavior of Research Engineers.