National Academies Press: OpenBook

Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes (1959)

Chapter: Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development

« Previous: Proposed Scope of Area 1
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research and Development

ELIN TÖRNUDD

Earlier studies in the field

During the past three decades several studies have been carried out to determine the characteristics of the subject literatures used by scientists and the relative importance of different kinds of publications, especially journals in various fields.

These earliest studies as well as the great majority of later ones were based on analysis of library records, tabulation of published material covered by abstract journals and bibliographies, or on reference counting, that is tabulating footnotes and other literature references in journals, dissertations, and books. These studies have thrown light on such questions as trends in publication, the relative importance of different special fields, title dispersion, subject scattering, time span or period of usefulness, language distribution of pertinent literature, and the national origin of materials. Several reference counting studies have produced lists of periodicals most frequently cited in the literature to aid libraries in the selection of periodicals in different subjects. Secondary sources such as handbooks, textbooks, abstracts, and indexes very seldom enter the picture in these studies, because they are not normally referred to among literature references, however often they might have been consulted by the author.

The validity of the results of the above mentioned studies depends first of all on the sample used for tabulation. Regarding tabulation of material in biblio-

ELIN TÖRNUDD Secretary of the Scandinavian Council for Applied Research.

This study was made under a contract from Unesco.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

graphical tools, the results need not indicate its usefulness. References in journals and books need not cover the most useful material consulted, and the material cited need not actually have been used.

E.Brodman (reference 2 below) correlated the relative value placed on specific journals by specialists with the value of these journals as measured through reference counting and came to the conclusion that the latter method is untrustworthy.

Not until recently have studies on the use of literature and other means of communication, directed to the working scientist rather than to his products, entered the scene. Four different methods have been used:

  1. Questionnaires directed to (a) samples of scientists or (b) patrons of libraries (“current use”). This method is criticised for its subjectiveness and the poor correspondence between the recollections by the respondents and the facts obtained from more direct observation.

  2. Interviews. This method has the same weaknesses as the previous one, and, in addition, the answers may be influenced by the personal contact with the investigator.

  3. Diary. Two of the most competent studies have been carried out with this method, the latest one by R.R.Shaw, who came to the conclusion that the method may be equally unreliable as the two mentioned above. Full reporting is difficult to obtain even under controlled conditions of study.

  4. Case study. Because of its slowness and high cost this very valid method requiring an highly trained investigator has been used to a rather small extent. A variation “hit-and-run” method involves short data-gathering visits with the group under investigation, and is less costly than the case study, since less qualified investigators can be used. One of the weaknesses of these methods is that persons under study are aware of being observed.

Large scale programs of operational research studies involving combinations of the above mentioned methods are under way, and it is to be hoped that reliable methods will emerge that will facilitate the production of objective data to build a firm basis for developing the scientific literature and reference services.

Excellent surveys of the literature on earlier studies exist, and among these the following deserve to be pointed out:

EGAN, M., and HENKLE, H.H. Ways and Means in Which Research Workers, Executives and Others Use Information. In Documentation in Action. Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1956. pp. 137–159 (bibliography of 53 references).

SHAW, R.R. Studies on the Use of Literature in Science and Technology. In Pilot Study on the Use of Scientific Literature by Scientists. National Science Foundation, Washington, 1956. (Informative abstracts of studies published before the beginning of 1954.)

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

STEVENS, R.E. Characteristics of Subject Literatures. ACRL Monographs. Nos. 5–7, pp. 10–21, Jan. 1953.

A bibliography of earlier studies is presented below. To facilitate a subject approach the latter part of the bibliography is arranged by the field of science or technology with cross references to the first part covering studies carried out with the direct method.

I. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE USE OF SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE AND REFERENCE SERVICES AS REVEALED BY STUDIES DIRECTED TO THE SCIENTISTS

1. BERNAL, J.D. Preliminary Analysis of Pilot Questionnaire on the Use of Scientific Literature. In The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, 1948. Report. pp. 101–102, 589–637.

Purpose. To find out what working scientists read, why they read it and what use they make of the information.

Method. Combination of a diary and questionnaire with responses from 208 scientists who represented 8 British research institutes affiliated with the government, universities, and private enterprises.

Results. Tabulated by institutional affiliation, field of science, and status.

This “classic” among studies proved that it was possible to obtain information on current needs of scientists. The revealed data included the following: 37% of sources of references to the literature were references in articles, abstracts 18%, and personal recommendations 14%. Average number of journals consulted varied from 5 to 10 per week. Mean time reported for reading was 5 hours/week. 65% of the sample kept personal indexes, 76% used reviews and all used abstracts. 47% did not read any foreign language easily.

2. BRODMAN, E. Choosing Physiology Journals. Medical Library Association, Bulletin 32:479–483, 1944.

Purpose. To check the basic assumptions of the reference counting method.

Method. Physiologists of the faculty of Columbia University were asked to list the periodicals they considered most valuable in order of their usefulness and this list was compared against a list obtained by counting references in an annual review publication and in 3 journals.

Results. The rank correlation between the scientists’ list and those obtained through reference counting was low, the corresponding correlation between reference counts from annual reviews and the journals was also low. The reference counting method appeared untrustworthy.

3. BUSH, G.C., GALLIHER, H.P., and MORSE, P.M. Attendance and Use of the Science Library at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. American Documentation 7:87–109, 1956.

Purpose. To determine the extent and ways of use of the MIT Science Library.

Method. Questionnaire to 50% of the library users of one week. The 2800 filled in questionnaires were handled by operational research methods.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Results. The users were found to fall into 2 groups: (1) undergraduates who used the library primarily as a study hall staying on an average for 50 min. per visit and (2) graduates who came to use the library materials and stayed about 100 min. per visit. Chemists were observed to use serial literature more than 3 times as much as books while mathematicians used books more frequently. A mathematical model employing probability theory to measure rate and kind of use of library material together with length of stay of the patrons was an outcome of the survey.

4. CURTIS, G.A. A Statistical Survey of the Services of the John Crerar Library. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1951.

Purpose. To study the extent and way of use of the JCL.

Method. Call slips for materials in the stacks were elaborated with inquiries regarding the intended type of use (school work, private research, company research, etc.) for the publication requested and all patrons were registered. A random sample of the call slips were analysed.

Results. Tabulated by institutional affiliation and use made of the publication, address of the customer, etc. Detailed library statistics emerged.

5. DENNIS, W., and GIRDEN, E. Do Psychologists Read? American Psychologist 8:197–199, 1953.

Purpose. To study the reader audience of different features in Psychological Bulletin.

Method. Questionnaire to the members of the APA with a 50% response.

Results. The reader audience of different features varied from 9% to 58%.

6. GLASS, B. Survey of Biological Abstracting. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1954.

Purpose. (1) To study the effectiveness of Biological Abstracts and (2) to determine the consensus about it.

Method. For (2) questionnaires to 6995 biologists with responses from 1854. To eliminate the possible bias of the low response rate local samples were interviewed.

Results. Tabulated by the samples: US General, US local samples, US librarians, total US, foreign. The questionnaire results that breadth of coverage was considered satisfactory while the slowness in abstracting was unsatisfactory did not agree with the results of the objective part (1) of the study and appear to indicate that promptness is considered more important than exhaustiveness.

7. GRAY, D.E. Physics Abstracting. American Journal of Physics 18:417–424, 1950.

Purpose. To study (1) for what purposes United States physicists use abstracts of physics literature, (2) what they think of the abstracting services available to them, and (3) what they want in the way of abstracts.

Method. A total of 2128 physicists and 300 librarians were queried. A total of 1477 questionnaires from physicists and 202 from librarians were completed. The data were analyzed as follows: (1) by the entire group, (2) in four age groups, (3) in 19 subject subdivisions, and (4) by type of organization of employment.

Results. The seven most used abstracting publications among the physicists were: Physics Abstracts (93%), Chemical Abstracts (40%), Nuclear Science Abstracts (28%), Electrical Engineering Abstracts (18%), Mathematical Reviews (10%), Applied Mechanics Reviews (7%), and Engineering Index (7%).

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

46% of the group used abstracts “principally as a guide”; 6% as substitutes for original articles; 48% half as a guide and half as a substitute. 22% used abstracts principally for keeping up with literature; 30% used them principally for retrospective searches; and the remaining 48% used them for both purposes. In rating Physics Abstracts, 96% of the respondents were satisfied with the quality of its abstracts.

86% of the respondents preferred abstracts to mere titles and references. There was a fairly low ceiling on the additional costs that the respondents were willing to pay for an improved abstracting service.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

8. HERNER, S. Information Gathering Habits of Workers in Pure and Applied Science. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry 46:228–236, 1954.

Purpose. To determine the sources of research information and reference services that are most useful.

Method. 606 scientists and engineers engaged in research at the various divisions of the Johns Hopkins University were interviewed with the aid of a detailed questionnaire.

Results. Tabulated by nature of research: pure or applied and in some cases by subject field of respondent. The degree of dependence upon scientific literatures as opposed to verbal sources varied and was greater by pure scientists, median 75%, than by applied ones, 50%. The same relation existed between scientists affiliated with academic institutions and non-teaching institutions. The most frequently used direct sources of information were advanced textbooks and monographs, research journals, handbooks, mathematical and physical tables, and research reports. The amount of information derived from domestic journals was 75%. Of the indirect sources of information personal recommendation, references in books and papers, regular perusing of the literature, indexes and abstracts, and bibliographies were considered most useful, and were listed in that order. The average number of journals subscribed to was 2. The reference services furnished by the library were used more than twice as much by applied as by pure scientists. The order of the different services was: accession and selected reading lists, guidance by library staff, bibliographies made on request and translations. 219 scientists were asked whether the literature in its present form is meeting their requirements; 129 were satisfied, 49 had no opinion, and 41 were dissatisfied.

8a. HERNER, S. Library Services. Chemical and Engineering News 32:4980, 1954.

Purpose. To determine needs for library service by the technical staff of Atlantic Research Corp. working on jet and rocket fuels.

Method. Interview with research workers.

Results. Distribution of accessions lists and a library bulletin as well as literature searches were in heaviest demand.

9. HERTZ, D.B., and RUBENSTEIN, A.H. Team Research. Eastern Technical Publications, New York 1953, 103 pp. (out of print).

Method. The specific areas covered in the study were: (1) the extent of use of the research team, its size, and membership, in various types of research; (2) the organizational relationship and patterns of specific research groups; and (3) communication problems arising from team research activities.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

The first phase was a questionnaire survey of the number and kinds of research personnel employed in industrial laboratories. A questionnaire was sent to 3500 industrial research laboratories. 1436 usable responses were received. The responding firms employed a total of 44,639 professional researchers and 21,816 non-professional assistants.

The second phase dealt with the personnel makeup of research teams, and with the extent of “multidisciplinary” group research.

The third phase consisted of field investigations of nine selected research and development groups in five organizations, and of interviews with research administrators and research workers in some 40 laboratories. The questions asked had to do with (a) the media and channels of information available to the group and (b) the use that is made of these media or channels by the research team or group. The procedures used were:

  1. a stratified random sample was asked to fill out a sheet at intervals over a 5-week period telling exactly what he had been doing during the preceding 15 minutes, whether he had communicated with anyone, and whether he had obtained any useful information during this period.

  2. a questionnaire which requested information on the communication media each person used for different purposes, the people he contacted most frequently, the number of times he engaged in certain activities over various periods of time, and his best sources of information;

  3. personal interviews with a cross-section of the research groups to obtain personal evaluations of available vehicles of communication.

Results. The average number of communicative acts performed by the subjects was two per hour. In 60% of these communicative acts the subject reported a transfer of information. Communication was greatest on Wednesdays, and lower at the beginning of the week than at the end of the week. The proportion of information-bearing communications was highest on Tuesday and Wednesday. The greatest amount of communication took place during the period just before lunch and during the last hour of the day. The highest period for information-transfer was from 10:00 to 3:00.

The project reported was conducted by a staff of 8 full-time members and 17 part-time members over a 2-year period. Two kinds of action are described as basic in the administration of a research or development group. These are design and control. The basic design-control factors are: physical facilities, equipment, communication media, and personal policies and incentives.

In addition to a mechanism of communication, there must exist (1) the need or occasion for information transfer, (2) a social or psychological rapport among the communicators, and (3) a commonly understood language which permits the ready transmission of intelligence.

As for ways in which information can be transferred, the authors suggest the following: face-to-face communication (conversation and conferences), the most used mechanism in the laboratories studied; written communication, the least used means of communication: communication through published material, least used by organizations in product or process development work and most used among organizations doing fundamental research in physical sciences; telephone or other mechanical means of

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

communication, an important medium, often neglected by research administrators; professional and society meetings; advanced academic work; visits to outside research organizations. Operational examinations by the research administrator of all the foregoing means of conveying information are recommended. Propinquity is described as a factor which improves the use of published material. On the question (on the questionnaire) as to how industrial research personnel obtain information about how to do their jobs, the first choice of the largest number of individuals was by contacting persons of higher rank. Handbooks and other reference materials kept at their desk were second; contacting persons on the same level, third. Few of the respondents consulted persons of lower rank. A majority considered the library an important source of this type of information, but none considered it first in importance.

Measurements of communication levels based on the probability of an individual’s giving or receiving information during 29 sample periods revealed the following: the probability among managerial groups was .095; among electromechanical group members, .080; and among design group members, .075. The average probability of an individual either giving or receiving information was .083.

Average communication rates (the average number of contacts in 36 random 15-minute periods) were measured. Based on kinds of people, the rates were as follows: supervisors, .85; professionals .68; assistants, .63. By kinds of jobs, among those on long-term projects the rate was .71, and among those involved in many short-term projects the rate was .68. In working groups of 2 to 4 persons the rate was .35; in groups of 6 to 8 persons the rate was .91; in groups of 9 to 11 the rate was .63.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

10. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, WELCH MEDICAL LIBRARY. Analysis of Interviews in Indexing of Medical Literature. Baltimore, 1950. 52pp. (out of print).

Purpose. To study the relative amount of use made of various bibliographical tools, the information gathering habits, opinions on the state of medical indexing services and needs for bibliographic services.

Method. Interviews of 88 medical scientists and 40 medical librarians.

Results. The interviewees seldom used bibliographical tools, and there seemed to be a need for training in the use of available tools. The most useful abstract and index journals were: Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus, Chemical Abstracts, Surgeon-General’s Index-Catalogue and Current List of Medical Literature. There was no clear preference of indexes over abstracts or vice versa.

11. KENT, A. The Dollars and Cents Value of Company Libraries. Paper delivered before the Executive Conference on Organizing Information. Chicago, Feb. 1, 1957.

Purpose. To study the correlation between company’s earning records and library services as well as use of literature.

Method. Questionnaire to 100 companies in the metals field. 45 responses.

Results. In 80% of the 25 top-earning companies, scientific and technical employees spent 6–15% of their working time with literature and 80% of the companies that stated that a great proportion of their scientific people were dissatisfied with the library and its services were in the top 50% in earning rank.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

12. KITTEL, D.A. Case Study in Bibliographic Methods. M.A. Thesis. University of Chicago, 1953.

Purpose. To analyze the relative effectiveness of bibliographic devices in social science research.

Method. Case study as member of research team.

Results. Suggestions by those familiar with the literature proved most fruitful.

13. MORRISON, R.A. Use of Current Sources of Information. I L Research 2:6–8 (2), 1956.

Purpose. To find out what information sources were used to keep abreast of advances in the industrial and labor relations field.

Method. Questionnaire to 300 firms.

Results. Commercial services, periodicals, reports, conferences, and membership in trade associations were used but not exploited adequately.

14. Reading Patterns of Engineers in Industry. EPA Technical Information 1:21–23 (13/ 14), 1955.

Purpose. To study the amount of reading by engineers.

Method. Interview of 200 engineers employed by industries in the Cleveland area.

Results. The average time devoted to reading was 4.5 hours per week with a higher average among subordinates than chiefs.

15. RUBENSTEIN, A.H. Research Communications. Industrial Laboratories 3:49–53 (10), 1952.

Preliminary report on investigation. See ref. 9 above.

16. SCATES, D.E., and YEOMANS, A.V. Activities of Employed Scientists and Engineers for Keeping Currently Informed in Their Fields of Work. American Council of Education, Washington, D.C., 1950. 35 pp.

Purpose. To find out what working scientists do to keep abreast of developments in their fields.

Method. A total of 1,661 persons were studied. Of this number, 1,087 were in the New York and Philadelphia Naval Shipyards, 46 were in the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D.C., and 528 were in industrial firms in metropolitan Philadelphia.

Questionnaires were used in the two Naval Shipyards and in the industrial firms. Since the questionnaires used in the several organizations studied were not the same, the data obtained in each case are not entirely comparable. They are given separately in most instances, and generalizations are made in only a few cases.

Results. Of seven possible self-educational activities (excluding the use of literature, libraries, etc.), the scientists of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard used the following most frequently: (1) attendance at professional society meetings; (2) attendance at lectures; and (3) attendance at technical conferences. The general participation in self-educational activities was very low.

The scientists of the Bureau of Ordnance showed a very small amount of self-educational activity. The questions put to them included those having to do with the use of professional literature. These questions revealed a relatively small use of the literature. However, 35 different journals were read by one or more persons in the group.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

In answer to six questions put to them on a questionnaire, 75% of the scientists and engineers of the New York Naval Shipyard stated that they did a significant amount of professional reading at work and after working hours; 30% attended professional meetings five or more times a year; 27% took occasional courses; 11% wrote technical articles whose preparation required considerable study; and 12% had no time for educational activities of any kind. The amount of activity among the industrial scientists was greater than among those of the New York Naval Shipyard.

Those persons who answered a question on the extent of their reading of periodicals stated that they read an average of seven and a half articles a month. The average number of books read a month was five.

Attendance at professional society meetings and use of other devices for professional contacts were generally low. With the same approximate scoring method for professional contacts and professional reading, the average score for the former was 1.3 while the average score for professional reading was 3.4.

The average number of papers published by the special group was 0.1 a year. The number of contributions was considerably greater among the industrial scientists than among the government scientists.

Among the industrial scientists, there was an increase with age in the amount of professional reading done outside of work. There was an increase in activity as the educational activity increased. There was also an increase with a rise in civil service grade.

Among the various subject fields, the chemists were the most active in self-education, the physicists were second, the electrical engineers were third, the chemical engineers fourth, and the mechanical engineers fifth.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

17. SHAW, R.R. Pilot Study on the Use of Scientific Literature by Scientists. National Science Foundation, Washington, 1956. 103 pp.

Purpose. To study the professional reading of the research staff at the Forest Products Research Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

Method. Diary supplemented by a questionnaire kept during two test periods, the first for two months and the second for one month and check of the results through library records, etc.

Results. The average time spent on reading was about 2 hours a week according to the diary information and about 4–5 hours a week according to the estimate of the respondents. Periodicals accounted for 75% of the items read and reports for 14%. 84% of the material was less than a year old. Only 2.5% of the items were in foreign languages.

Only about 43% of the reading acts was recorded, and the diary method used did not prove trustworthy, at least not when administered for long test periods.

18. THE SOCIAL SURVEY. Technical Information in Industry. An International Study of the Dissemination of Technical and Scientific Information to Small and Medium Sized Industry, Carried out for the European Productivity Agency. Mimeographed report, 1957.

Purpose. To survey the methods used by the industries to obtain technical information and thus assist the European information services in planning their pro-

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

grams of action. The study was carried out in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway, the UK, and USA.

Method. Interviewing the owner, manager or the chief technical officer of altogether 2197 establishments 93% of which had 10–500 employees.

Results. Tabulated by country and by size of the establishments: more or less than 100 employees as well as by country and branch of industry (textiles, metals, electrical and food industries). The overall picture that emerged showed that scientific and technical data seldom are used or needed. Only a few establishments had a planned system for obtaining technical information.

 

Aus.

Belg.

Ger.

Italy

Norway

UK

USA

The % of establishments subscribing to less than 6 journals

79

62

44

84

36

43

35

The % routing the journals

86

71

78

35

56

74

82

The % of establishments where bulletins or abstracts were prepared regularly or occasionally

8

10

12

2

19

30

34

The % of establishments having 100 or more books

9

5

18

6

25

18

25

Applicable information had been found in the journals by two-thirds of the establishments. Low level of organization=filling 0–2 of the following criteria: (1) having technical advisers, (2) taking more than 5 journals, (3) journals routed according to content and not all journals to all, (4) subscription paid for employees’ journals, (5) abstracts prepared, (6) more than 25 books owned, (7) last book added in 1955/1956:

 

Aus.

Belg.

Ger.

Italy

Norway

UK

USA

% of establishments with low level organization

56

54

35

79

36

45

34

% of establishments taking foreign language journals

27

78

29

42

82

13

12

The most frequently used method for solving major problems was personal advice in all countries save Belgium and the USA where special research headed the list. About 50% of the respondents stated that published literature was used for the purpose (in Austria and Belgium 23 and 39% and in Germany 66%).

The outside sources of assistance most frequently used were suppliers, consultants, and organizations for fee-paying members such as trade associations.

The main sources of information used by the technical advisers were considered by the respondents to be literature, “inside” know-how and suppliers.

For currently keeping abreast of advances, trade papers, technical and scientific journals, and suppliers formed the most important sources in all countries.

70–90% of the establishments had not consulted a library in the last year. In USA, UK, and Norway the libraries consulted were most frequently public reference libraries; elsewhere they were trade association or university libraries.

Recommendations. To follow up the study by investigating the role of suppliers and the reasons why they are successful in imparting technical information and to stimulate the use of existing technical information services on the management level.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

19. A Survey of Research Potential and Training in the Mathematical Sciences. Final Report of the Committee on the Survey. University of Chicago, 1957. 163+78 pp.

Purpose. To study by what means the mathematical strength of the USA can be increased and under specific items a.o. how the problem of support of mathematical publications may be solved.

Method. (1) Chairmen of departments of mathematics of 61 academic institutions were interviewed. (2) All American and Canadian Ph.D’s in mathematics were asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire of 15 pages. Of 2710 mathematicians 68.5% (1851) answered.

Results. (1) Quality of departmental libraries was as a rule considered very good. The book budget varied from $100 to $4000 a year, and the number of current periodical subscriptions from 20 to 310. (2) Tabulation by productivity of the mathematician as revealed by his publishing record: top 15% averaged 1.1–2.3 publications a year (depending on the time elapsed since the Ph.D. degree received), next 35%, 0.3–1 publications a year, next 17%, at least 2 papers during whole career, and the bottom 33%, 1 paper or less during the whole career.

About mathematical publications the present refereeing system was considered satisfactory.

Research articles, expository papers, and reviews were regularly or occasionally read to about the same extent, while the use of abstracts was about 20% less frequent.

One-seventh of the respondents read Russian, but 395 scientists had suffered through inaccessibility of Russian literature and 332 through the inability to read Russian. Only 67 respondents had suffered because of inability to read another foreign language.

299 respondents stated that long delays in publication of the work of others had hampered their research.

615 respondents voted for regrouping journals so that each would specialize but the Committee of the Survey did not consider the action desirable.

Evident need of establishing expository journals was revealed.

20. THORNE, R.G. A Survey of the Reading Habits of the Scientific and Technical Staff at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Farnborough, 1954. 8 pp. (mimeographed report).

Purpose. To find out how much time was spent by the staff in reading, writing reports, etc., and what type of literature was read.

Method. Diary with supplementing questionnaire was distributed to 300 persons and 91 replies were received with diaries recorded for a period of one week.

Results. Time spent on reading averaged 5.1 hours/week, that on searching and processing literature 2 hours, and that on writing papers 5 hours. Of the items read—average 15.2 per person per week—only 12% were considered of little or no value.

21. TÖRNUDD, E. Professional Reading Habits of Scientists Engaged in Research as Revealed by an Analysis of 130 Questionnaires. M.S. Thesis, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, 1953.

Purpose. To study the information gathering habits of researchers at the Mellon Institute.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Method. Questionnaire to 136 scientists, response rate 95.6%.

Results. Average weekly reading time 5.2 hours. Number of journals personally subscribed to 4.1 and regularly read 7. Personal indexes kept by 2/3 of the sample.

Translations from foreign languages needed by ca. 50%. The need to learn more about the use of subject literatures had been felt by 44%.

The most important sources of information in their order of usefulness were: journals, books, meetings, abstract journals.

22. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center. The Attitudes and Activities of Physiologists. A nationwide study. The University, Ann Arbor, 1954, 155+187 pp.

Purpose. To study by what means the physiological field can be promoted and the impact of physiology on the national welfare. Under specific aims a.o. to collect and assess information concerning communications.

Method. A detailed 10-page questionnaire was sent to 7104 physiologists—5393 responses.

Results. Tabulated by different fields of physiology and “central”=mainly physiologist as opposed to “peripheral”=using physiology as auxiliary science.

The publishing record for the period of 3 years averaged 4–5 papers (26% 0–2 papers, 30% 3–6 papers, 16% 7–10 papers, and 15% 11 or more papers). There was a curvilinear relationship between the number of publications and age. 5 papers and more were published by the following percentages in different age groups: under 30 years 29%, 30–39 47%, 40–49 60%, 50–59 54%, 60–69 56%, and 70–34%. A direct relationship was found between publishing record and the salary, research funds, the ease of obtaining research funds, and the freedom of choosing his research problem. The publishing record is higher among academic and governmental physiologists than among industrial ones.

The relative importance of different sources of information is indicated by the % of respondents using each considerably or to some extent (figures in parentheses refer to considerable use): journals 98% (86), abstracts 82 (41), reviews 77 (31), monographs 64 (20), meetings 72 (25) and conferences 62 (21).

59% of respondents considered journals satisfactory as they are at present, 48% abstract journals, 48% reviews, 40% monographs, 30% meetings, and 28% conferences.

The ability to keep up with advances in the field was considered very good by 11%, fairly good by 66%, not too good by 20%, and not good at all by 2%.

Problems that hampered the ability to keep abreast of advances were time limitation indicated by 48% of the respondents, too many publications and too large field by 30%, lack of access to published material by 11%, slowness of publications by 8%, inadequacy of publications by 7%, inadequacy of abstracts, indexes and reviews by 6% and isolation from colleagues by 6%.

23. URQUHART, D.J. The Distribution and Use of Scientific and Technical Information. The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, 21 June–2 July, 1948, Report, pp. 408–419. The Royal Society, London, 1948.

Purpose. To determine: (a) how references to materials requested were obtained, (b) what the required information was needed for, and (c) whether the requested publications contained the desired information.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Method. The group surveyed consisted of borrowers of the Science Museum Library in London. Short questionnaires were enclosed in the requested publications of 715 borrowers over a 2-week period in 1949.

Of the 715 questionnaires dispatched, 354 were returned. A combination of simple tabulations and Batten punched-cards was used in the reduction of the data obtained.

Results. (1) Abstracts were main source of citations, followed closely by references in periodical articles. (N.B. The residual nature of materials borrowed from SML.)

(2) About half the references taken from abstract journals were for the past 12 months. This emphasizes that abstracts were used heavily by scanning them as received.

(3) Fifty percent of the material called for was US material (41% for 1931–40, 52% 1941–45, and 67% for 1947).

(4) One-fourth of the literature consulted was published in the last 1 1/2 years, and over 50% in the last 6 years.

(5) In 77% of the cases studied, the publication requested contained the required information.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

24. URQUHART, D.J. Public Libraries and Industry. Manchester Review 6:468–472, 1953.

Purpose. To determine how industry obtains technical information.

Method. Interviews.

Results. (1) Less than 2% of the manufacturing establishments in the United Kingdom maintain libraries; 69% of all firms were found to have less than five periodicals of any sort.

(2) The vast majority of people in industry were found to have no knowledge of how to obtain technical literature and technical information. In the majority of the firms studied there was nobody assigned to obtain and circulate technical information.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

25. WAPLES, D. Belgian Scholars and Their Libraries. Library Quarterly 10:231–243, 1940.

Purpose. To determine which libraries Belgian university professors used for obtaining material in different fields.

Method. Questionnaire.

26. WILLIAMS, G.R. A Study of the Bibliographic Sources Used by the Patrons of the John Crerar Library. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1952.

Purpose. To determine the relative extent of use of the various parts of the bibliographic machinery in JCL.

Method. Detailed questionnaire to library patrons who borrowed material held in the stacks (current journals and handbooks, etc., are shelved in the reading rooms).

Results. Footnotes in articles and other references were found to be relied upon to a great extent—footnotes to a greater extent than references in bibliographies following publications. (N.B. the study did not cover current periodicals.)

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

68.8% of the respondents had had training in the use of libraries and 36.6% had received training in the literature of their field.

27. ÖHMAN, E. Jernkontorets Litteraturöversikt. Tidskrift för dokumentation 5:67–70, 1949.

Purpose. To determine whether Jernkontorets Litteraturöversikt, the selective abstract journal in the field of iron and steel published by the Swedish Iron Mongers’ Research Association, was useful to its readers.

Method. A questionnaire to the subscribers with 110 responses.

Results. The preference for fullest possible informative abstracts 3–6 months after appearance of the original article as opposed to prompt indicative abstracts was indicated by a great majority.

30% of the respondents filed clippings from the bulletin in their personal indexes.

Only 60% of the respondents had convenient access to foreign abstract publications in the field and only 40% made regular use of them.

27a. Moss, L., and WILKINS, L.T. Studies in the Use of Technical Information in the Smaller Industrial Establishments. Paper 16, presented at a Symposium on The Direction of Research Establishments, National Physical Laboratory, Sept. 1956. 20+10 pp.

Purpose. The Social Survey studied the use of information by individual scientists and technologists employed in 127 British electrical firms with 200 to 1000 employees.

Method. Interviews with 1082 persons of whom under 20% had some kind of university training.

Results. The preliminary report presents data on the nature of duties analyzed by qualifications and by experience. Those concerned with research and development were found to be on average more highly qualified than others, and 75% of the group concerned with production supervision and control had no qualifications. The size of firm did not seem to be associated with information collecting methods. Whilst literature was recognized as the most useful source of new ideas, in practice only a minority went to literature when working on current problems. The use of literature as an aid to problem-solving was clearly related to the level of qualification. Technical journals were found to play a much more important role than scientific ones, abstracts, and reprints. Mass communication media like newspapers, radio, and TV were rated low as information sources. Less than 10% of the firms had a specific official whose function it was to draw the attention of scientific and technical staff to useful information.

II. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF EARLIER STUDIES ON THE USE OF SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE AND REFERENCE SERVICES ARRANGED BY SUBJECT FIELD (with references to the section above)

UDC 1 Psychology See also references 5 and 8 above and 69 below.

28. BROADUS, R.N. The Research Literature of the Field of Speech. A.C.R.L. Monograph 7:22–31. Association of College and Reference Libraries, Chicago, 1953.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Purpose. What forms of publications are used? From what other fields are information and techniques gathered? In what languages? What ages of publications are used?

Method. Reference count in four journals covering various sample periods from 1919 to 1951.

Included newspapers, books, and periodicals.

Results.

  1. The average number of footnotes per thousand words of text has increased threefold over the years.

  2. In various parts of the field serials made up from 34 to 62% of the references and books ranged from 32 to 63%.

  3. Classification of the subject matter of the 6700 citations showed that it was widely distributed over all fields of knowledge.

  4. The languages averaged as follows:

    English 92%, German 4.1%, French 1.2%.

  5. The average ages of publications used showed much less concentration on current years than is the case in science and technology, yet 27% was in the last five years and over 60% in the last 20.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

29. DANIEL, R.S. and LOUTTIT, C.M. A Survey of Psychological Literature. In Professional Problems in Psychology, pp. 35–66. Prentice-Hall, New York, 1953.

Purpose. To study the scatter of psychological publications and dispersion of titles.

Method. Bradford’s “Law of Scattering” (see 55 below) is applied to the measurement of the dispersion of the literatures on psychology, chemistry, and physics (using data by Fussler, see 42 below).

Results. Very few publications of interest to psychologists appear in psychology journals.

30. LOUTTIT, C.M. The Use of Foreign Languages by Psychologists. American Journal of Psychology 68:684–6, 1955.

Purpose. To determine whether psychologists draw on the world literature and cite foreign references proportional to the volume of foreign literature in the field.

Method. Reference counting in 7 journals.

Result. Hypothesis not supported.

31. LOUTTIT, C.M. The Use of Foreign Languages by Psychologists, Chemists and Physicists. American Journal of Psychology 70:314–6, 1957.

Purpose. To test the validity of the hypothesis of proportional citation of foreign references to the distribution of material by country and language.

Method. Reference counting.

Results. The English and German, especially psychologists, cite their own language far in excess of its relative proportion while the French rely less on French. French chemists and physicists cite other than their own language in 70% of cases.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

32. LOUTTIT, C.M. Publication Trends in Psychology 1894–1954. American Psychologist 12:14–21, 1957.

Purpose. To determine trends in subject interest, journal sources in psychological literature, and language.

Method. Reference counting of entries in every 5th volume of Psychological Index and Psychological Abstracts.

Results. Literature in the applied field has increased. German language shows a decline and English a corresponding increase.

UDC 3 Social Sciences See also references 12 and 13 above.

33. HOBBS, A.H. The Claims of Sociology, a Critique of Textbooks. Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, 1951.

Method. Reference counting in books.

34. LIVESAY, M.J. Characteristics of the Literature Used by Authors of Books in the Field of Economics. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1952.

Method. Reference counting in books.

35. MARTIN, G. Characteristics of the Literature Used by Authors of Books on Political Topics. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1952.

Method. Reference counting in books.

36. MEIER, E.L. Characteristics of the Literature Used by Contributors to American Sociological Journals. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1951.

Method. Reference counting in journals.

37. QUINN, E.W. Characteristics of the Literature Used by Authors of Books in the Field of Sociology. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1951.

Method. Counting references in books.

UDC 51 Mathematics See also references 1, 3, 8, and 19 above.

38. ALLEN, E.S. Periodicals for Mathematicians. Science 70:592–594, 1929.

Purpose. To determine which mathematical journals were most used in 1929.

Method. Reference counting in American and foreign journals.

Results. Over 50% of the citations referred to 9 journals. English journals were cited most frequently.

39. BROWN, Ch.H. Scientific Serials: Characteristics and Lists of Most Cited Publications in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Physiology, Botany, Zoology and Entomology. Association of College and Reference Libraries Monograph No. 16, Chicago, 1956.

Purpose. To determine the relative importance of 838 serials to science as a whole and in different fields of science.

Method. Reference counting.

Result. Recommended lists of important journals.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

40. HOPP, R.H. A Study of the Problem of Complete Documentation in Science and Technology. Dissertation Abstracts 16:1689, 1956.

Purpose. To determine the dispersion of papers in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Method. Reference counting in bibliographies.

Results. A considerable portion of literature was concentrated within a few key periodicals.

UDC 53 Physics See also references 3, 7, 8, 16, 17, 23, 29, 31, 39, and 40.

41. HOOKER, R.H. A Study of Scientific Periodicals. Review of Scientific Instruments 6:333–338, 1935.

Purpose. To determine the most used journals in physics and radio in 1935.

Method. Reference counting in 5 journals.

Results. A heavy concentration was found in very few journals. The radio list was headed by the most important physics journals.

42. FUSSLER, H.H. Characteristics of the Research Literature Used by Chemists and Physicists in the United States. Library Quarterly 19:19–35, 119–143, 1949.

Purpose. To determine the research literature used in the US in “pure” chemistry and physics: (1) the importance of literature of various subject fields of chemistry and physics; (2) the temporal span, particularly the span between date of original publication and date at which it is known to have been used; (3) the principal forms of literature used and their relative importance; (4) the national origins of literature used; (5) the important serial titles for each field.

Method. Reference counting in Physical Review and Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Results.

  1. In general, the serial literature used for research in physics is more recent than that in chemistry. In chemistry, around 50% of the citations are within 5 years of the year of reference and around 70% are within 10 years. In physics, around 60 to 70% are in the first 5 years and from about 70 to about 87% are in the last 10 years.

  2. A definite shift is shown from the use of foreign literature to the use of American literature.

  3. In both chemistry and physics, serial citations make up somewhat better than 90% of all citations. Monographs account for 5 to 6% of the citations in chemistry and 7 to 11% in physics. The use of patents in chemistry has been increasing and as of 1946 accounted for almost 2% of the citations.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

43. SCHAUBER, A. An Analysis of the Documentation of Physics Research to Determine the Serials Most Frequently Used. M.S. Thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1951.

Method. Reference counting in journals.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

UDC 54 Chemistry See also references 1, 3, 8, 16, 17, 23, 29, 31, 39, 40, and 42.

44. BARRETT, R.L., and BARRETT, M.A. Journals Most Cited by Chemists and Chemical Engineers. Journal of Chemical Education 34:35–38, 1957.

Purpose. To determine the journals read by American chemists.

Method. Reference counting in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, July-Dec. 1955, and Journal of the American Chemical Society, July-Aug. 1955.

Results. Relative importance of German has declined since studies made in 1933 and 1939. Much Russian, Japanese, and Italian literature seemed overlooked.

45. CRANE, E.J. Periodical List of Periodicals. Chemical and Engineering News 25:2075, 1947.

Purpose. To present a survey of the coverage of Chemical Abstracts in 1946.

Method. Tabulation of periodicals abstracted in CA in 1936 and 1946.

Results. During the 10 years the number of periodicals had increased by 50%. English was the most frequently abstracted language followed by German, Russian, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Italian.

46. GROSS, P.L.K., and GROSS, E.M. College Libraries and Chemical Education. Science 66:385–389, 1927.

Purpose. To determine periodicals used most by chemists in 1926.

Method. Reference counting in the Journal of the American Chemical Society for 1916–1925.

Results. This classic first study lead to the conclusion that the relative importance of journals varies with a high speed. Five journals accounted for more than 50% of the total citations, although not the same five at different times. More than 50% of the citations were at that time German.

UDC 55 Geology and Meteorology See also references 1, 8, 39, and 55.

47. BAUM, W.A. A Study of Reference Citations in the Journal of Meteorology and the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 36:61, 1955.

Purpose. To determine the most cited meteorological journals.

Methods. Reference counting in the two journals.

48. GROSS, P.L.K., and WOODFORD, A.O. Serial Literature Used by American Geologists. Science 73:660–664, 1931.

Purpose. To determine the periodicals most used by geologists and mineralogists.

Method. Reference counting in 6 American journals for 1927, 1928, and 1929.

Results. The seven most frequently cited journals covered almost 50% of the references, and almost 50% of the cited literature was German in 1929.

UDC 56/59 Biological Sciences See also references 1, 3, 6, 8, 17, 23, 39, 40, and 69.

49. HENKLE, H.H. The Periodical Literature of Biochemistry. Medical Library Association Bulletin 27:139–147, 1938.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Purpose. To determine the most used periodicals in biochemistry.

Method. A reference count based on the Annual Review of Biochemistry. The years 1932 through 1936 were checked.

Results. The distribution of the literature was found to illustrate the law of diminishing returns. Of the 17,198 references to 851 periodicals almost one-half referred to 10 journals. Forty-six percent of the articles cited were less than 5 years old and 59% less than 10 years old.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

50. HINTZ, C.W.E. Internationalism and Scholarship: A Comparative Study of the Research Literature Used by American, British, French, and German Botanists, Thesis, University of Chicago, 1952. 175 pp.

Purpose. To ascertain the extent of interchange of scientific information through the literature among botanists of the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany.

Method. A reference count from arbitrarily selected US, German, and French journals in botany, tabulating in each all domestic citations for the last 5 years.

Both in 1895 and 1939 serial literature was used more often than non-serial literature. Between these 2 years, there was a general increase in the proportionate dependence upon serial literature.

Recency of publications did not appear to be as important a factor to the botanists as to the chemists and physicists.

The extent and manner of use of scientific literature increases as scientific activity increases.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

UDC 61 Medicine See also references 1, 2, 8, 11, 22, and 39.

51. HACKH, I. The Periodicals Useful in the Dental Library. Medical Library Association Bulletin 25:109–112, 1936.

Purpose. To determine the most important journals for a dental school library.

Method. Reference counting in about 20 periodicals.

Result. 6 journals were found to supply 50% of the references.

52. HUNT, J.W. Periodicals for the Small Biomedical and Clinical Library. Library Quarterly 7:121–140, 1937.

Purpose. To aid in selection of periodicals.

Method. Tabulation of loan records for 1934–1935.

Results. Tabulation of frequency of loan by 5-year periods shows 192 journals circulated 12 or more times.

Circulation by publication date indicates that 52% of the periodicals borrowed were issued in the last 5 years, 74% in 10 years and 85% in 15 years.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

53. JENKINS, R.L. Periodicals for Medical Libraries. American Medical Association, Journal 97:608–610, 1931.

Purpose. Selection of periodicals for a small clinical library.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Method. Reference count in three foreign and American journals for 1928–1929; weighting the foreign citations to avoid national bias.

Results. The order of references were: American, English and then German.

Ten periodicals contain 35% and 20 contain almost 50% of the citations.

Eighty-two percent were, in the last 10 years.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

54. SHERWOOD, K.K. Relative Value of Medical Magazines. Northwest Medicine 31:273–276, 1932.

Purpose. To determine what books and magazines the doctor should buy.

Method. Reference count of all citations in one year of the A.M.A. Journal.

Results. 4186 references to periodicals, 422 to books and 201 to special reports and to society transactions.

55 percent of the references fell within the preceding 5 years and 75 percent in the last 10 years.

Considering the last 5 years only and the whole period the rank of the first four periodicals was the same, and provided 22 percent of the references.

The most frequently cited languages were English, then German, with French third.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

UDC 621 Mechanical Engineering See also references 1, 8, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 23.

55. BRADFORD, S.C. Documentation, 2d edition. Crosby Lockwood & Son, London, 1953. Chapter IX.

Purpose. To study the adequacy of coverage of scientific and technical abstract journals and the scatter of articles on applied geophysics and lubrication.

Method. Counting abstracts in 300 abstracting and indexing journals and checking duplicate abstracting as well as counting references in bibliographies.

Results. Only 280,000 useful articles of the estimated total of 750,000 were found to be abstracted, and those abstracted were found to have been abstracted on an average 2.7 times (a check for electrical engineering yielded the duplication factor 3.9). The law of scatter was developed.

56. VOIGT, M.J. Scientific Periodicals As a Basic Requirement for Engineering and Agricultural Research. College and Research Libraries 8:354–359, 375, 1947.

Purpose. To study the interrelationship between scientists and research carried out in the applied fields of engineering and agriculture. Particular emphasis was given to the analysis of subject fields in the pure sciences as they relate to the applied sciences.

Method. Reference counting in the subjects soils and dairying in the agricultural field and mechanical and metallurgical engineering in the technical field.

Results. Metallurgical engineering makes a great deal of use of the publications of pure science with 23% of the references in pure science. In mechanical engineering the references used in pure science were slightly less than half this percentage. Three-fourths of the references cited in metallurgical journals were in periodicals in the technical and engineering field, with 61% in mining and metallurgy. In mechanical

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

engineering 87% of the references were distributed in various engineering fields.

In the two fields of agriculture the pure science periodicals accounted for about 31% of the total references in the soils journal and more than 35% of the periodicals cited in the dairying journal. This indicates that the pure science journals are of importance in applied science as well as in pure science.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

UDC 621.3 Electrical Engineering See also references 16, 18, 27a, 41, and 55.

57. COILE, R.C. Periodical Literature for Electrical Engineers. Journal of Documentation 8:209–226, 1952.

Purpose. To determine the periodicals used by electrical engineers.

Method. Reference count from six journals for 1949; omitting self references in ranking.

Results. Eighteen journals covered 50%; 54 journals contained 75% of the references. The age of papers cited was: 50% less than 4 years; 75% less than 11 years.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

58. DALZIEL, C.F. Evaluation of Periodicals for Electrical Engineers. Library Quarterly 7:354–372, 1937.

Purpose. To determine the most important journals for electrical engineers and to find a practical means of evaluating scientific periodicals.

Method. Reference counting method was selected.

Results. Plotting the number of references to a given periodical as found in the present study on log-log paper, the author found that he obtained a curve that was very similar to that obtained by plotting the results of previous studies. From this, he concluded that reference counts in chemistry, mathematics, physics, radio, and electrical engineering follow a simple mathematical law.

A method for measuring the number of references needed for a valid count is discussed. It consists of tabulating references and plotting them on log-log paper until the first 20 or 30 points determine a straight line. This indicates that a sufficient number of references have been obtained to follow the probability law controlling this type of investigation.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

59. MCNEELEY, J.K., and CROSNO, C.D. Periodicals for Electrical Engineers. Science 72:81–84, 1930.

Purpose. To determine deficiencies in periodical holdings at Iowa State College by determining the journals used most frequently by electrical engineers.

Method. Reference count in seven key foreign and domestic journals for January 1925 through June 1929.

Results. Nine most frequently cited journals produced over 50 percent of the citations.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

UDC 624 Civil Engineering

60. RITCHIE, M.G. An analysis of the documentation of civil engineering research to determine the serial publications most frequently used. Thesis, M.S., Washington, D.C, The Catholic University of America, 1951. 58 pp.

Purpose. To determine:

  1. What are the important titles in the field?

  2. What is their relative importance?

  3. What related fields of literature are important?

  4. What are the important titles in these related fields?

  5. What foreign languages are necessary to civil engineers?

  6. What foreign journals are necessary?

  7. What is the importance of supplying back volumes? How far back in point of time do civil engineers go for their reference material in research?

Method. The source journals used in the present study were: Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Journal of the American Water Works Association, Sewage Works Journal, Proceedings of the American Concrete Institute, and the Proceedings of the Highway Research Board. The volumes for the period 1945 through 1949 were analyzed. Duplicate references and references to unpublished materials were not recorded.

Results. Twelve titles account for 50% of the references. The first 100 titles cited accounted for 78% of the references.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

UDC 629.13 Aernautical Engineering See also reference 20.

61. RANDALL, G.E. Who Uses a Technical Library.

Purpose. To study the current use of Arnold Engineering Development Center.

Method. Analysis of loan records.

Results. Only 27 of total staff (74% of the engineers) used the library.

UDC 63 Agriculture See also references 23 and 56.

62. CROFT, K. Periodical Publications and Agricultural Analysis. Journal of Chemical Education 18:315–316, 1941.

Purpose. To determine the chemical magazines used most by agricultural chemists.

Method. Reference count in 23 volumes of the Journal of the Association of Agricultural Chemists, listing all periodicals referred to 10 times or more between 1915 and 1940, omitting government publications.

Results. Only 11 journals averaged as many as five references per year over the whole period and six accounted for half the use.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

UDC 66 Chemical Engineering and Technology, Food Technology, Oil Technology, and Metallurgy See also references 8, 8a, 11, 16, 18, 21, 23, 27, 44, and 56.

63. BORG, F.S., and LOFTMAN, K.A. Domestic and Foreign Periodicals in the Field of Petroleum Chemistry. Oil and Gas Journal 199–208, April 21, 1949.

Method. Tabulation of references in Chemical Abstracts.

64. HARDIE, B.G. A Study of the Use of Pure Science Periodicals in Practical Research on Petroleum. M.S. Thesis, Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1949. Also Oil and Gas Journal 121, 159–61, May 18, 1950.

Method. Reference counting in journals.

65. SMITH, M.H. The selection of chemical engineering periodicals in college libraries. College and Research Libraries 5, 217–227, 1944.

Purpose. Selection of chemical engineering journals.

Method. Reference count from four journals and one handbook, including self-references.

Results. A total of 21,728 references were counted. The bulk came from Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. The number of foreign references in all the American sources was less than 50%. In the British source it was more than 50%. German was by far the most important of the foreign languages; French was second.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

UDC 677/678 Textile and Rubber Technology

66. PURDUM, C.W. A Statistical Analysis of Articles Appearing in the Literature of Rubber Chemistry. M.A. Thesis, Western Reserve University, 1951.

Method. Tabulation of references in Chemical Abstracts. For textile industry see reference 18.

UDC 72 Town Planning

67. MORRIS, J.E.B. The Library Materials Used in Urban Planning. Differences Between Items Cited by Scholars and by Practitioners within the same Field. M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1955.

Method. Reference counting in books.

Result. Scholarly works cite most frequently theoretical works while practical ones draw mainly on descriptive literature.

UDC 93 History

68. ALSTON, A.M. Characteristics of Materials Used by a Selected Group of Historians in their Research in United States History.

Method. Reference counting in periodicals and books.

69. STEVENS, R.E. The use of library materials in doctoral research; a study of the effect of differences in research method. Library Quarterly 23:33–41, 1953.

Purpose. To prove or disprove the seeming differences between the character of

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

historical research and its literature and that of experimental research and its literature.

Method. Reference counting in representative doctoral dissertations. The thesis collections of three universities, Washington University (St. Louis), the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois, were studied. The subjects chosen for investigation were the following: United States history, classical language and literature, botany, psychology, and education. The same number of dissertations was chosen in each field. A total of 100 dissertations were examined. They were classified as to research method (historical or experimental) by a team of judges. Upon analysis, it was found that some of the dissertations followed a third method, which was termed “textual.” Textual dissertations were defined as tracing the technical tradition of a manuscript. Of the 100 dissertations, 40 were classified as historical, 9 were textual, and 51 were experimental.

Results. In the historical research dissertations, the mean number of citations of titles not in the university library was 65.67. In textual research the number was 9.33. In experimental research, the number was 3.71. The mean number of titles cited only once in historical research dissertations was 128.85. This number for textual research was 33.89. For experimental research it was 16.76. Thus, it is shown that there are a greater number and a greater proportion of rarely issued titles, and of titles not in the library, cited in historical than in experimental research.

When often-cited titles were compared with titles cited only once, it was found that the proportion of the more-often-cited titles not in the library was much lower than that of the less-often-cited titles. When the data obtained by considering the 100 theses as a unit were broken down by library, by specific subject field, and by type of research, the fact still emerged that the proportions of titles cited in historical dissertations that were not in the library was greater than in experimental dissertations. Further, the author found by correlating rarely used titles in all fields and types of research with the number of cited titles not in the library that these two facts are closely related.

(Abstract condensed from Shaw.)

The Scandinavian study

A study was set up in Denmark and Finland to supplement the results obtained in previous studies (references 1–27a) of which a great majority have been carried out in the USA (22 studies) and in the UK (6), while the European scene has been entered only by the EPA study covering a sample of small and medium sized industries (reference 18) and by two smaller investigations (references 25 and 27).

In order to ascertain the requirements for scientific and technical information of those who are liable to be encountering the greatest problems the study was designed to cover two samples of junior research workers within the age limits 25–40 years excluding professors, directors of institutes, and other persons in top positions, who can be expected to know personally most of the scientists in

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

their own field and be in the position to assign literature work to their assistants. In both countries the samples were drawn from three different working environments: industrial laboratories, research institutes, and academic institutions.

Through the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) its Junior Scientists Committee was approached. The Board of this group showed a great interest in the study and supplied the required information of their contact net from which a sample of 100 persons was chosen at random.

The Finnish sample of 100 younger scientists was chosen at random from a register of scientific and technical research workers.

During September-November 1957, 100 copies of the Danish and 100 copies of the Finnish questionnaire together with a circular letter, appended to the end of this report in an English translation, were mailed to the two samples and 190 filled-in questionnaires were received. Among these were two that had to be omitted from the tabulation, as the respondents were overqualified for the groups in question. Negative responses were received from four scientists who recently had moved to another job not involving research activities, or had finished working to become housewives. After two reminders only 6 cases remained unanswered on Dec. 31, 1957, and a response rate of 97% was considered satisfactory.

The answers were coded on standard type key-sort cards and tabulated as a rule by country and institutional affiliation. The latter approach was selected rather than grouping by the nature of research activities because: (1) the distinction between basic and applied research was subject to individual interpretation and both types of activities were in several cases carried out by the same person; (2) only about a fifth of the respondents considered their present work to be primarily of basic nature; (3) the institutional approach was considered most rational for the purpose of planning measures to improve future services.

Among the institutional affiliations the “academic” section comprises scientists and engineers working at universities, institutes of technology, and other academic institutions in which the majority of respondents divide their time between research and teaching. The “research” section employed at research institutes, cooperative institutes sponsored both by branches of industry and by government institutes, comprises the most nearly full-time researchers in the samples, while most of the respondents in the “industrial” section divide their time between research and development on one hand and production supervision on the other.

The results are grouped by questions.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
I. THE STUDY POPULATION (QUESTIONS 1–2)

The distribution of respondents by field of research is given in Table 1. The Danish and Finnish groups differ little from each other. Among the latter there were fewer civil, electrical, and mechanical engineers and correspondingly a stronger representation on the chemical engineering side.

TABLE 1 Distribution of respondents by field of research and institutional affiliation (Questions 1 and 2; based on 188 responses)

 

Field of research classified by UDC

Institution

51/53

54

55/59

61

62

63/65

66/664

665/669

674/678

Danish (94)

Academic

8

10

2

 

4

2

 

1

 

Research institutes

 

 

5

1

15

2

3

1

2

Industry

1

 

 

 

7

2

10

14

4

Total Danish, %

10

11

7

1

28

6

14

17

6

Finnish (94)

Academic

4

8

1

1

2

1

2

 

 

Research institutes

1

1

5

1

8

1

5

3

3

Industry

 

 

 

2

5

3

14

14

9

Total Finnish, %

5

10

6

4

16

5

22

18

13

Both Groups, %

7.5

10.5

6.5

2.5

22.0

5.5

18

17.5

9.5

51/53 mathematics, astronomy, physics

54 chemistry “pure scientists”

55/59 geology, meteorology, biology

61 pharmaceutical technology

62 engineering (excluding chemical engineering)

63/65 agriculture, household equipment, industrial management

66/664 chemical engineering and technology, industrial microbiology and food technology

665/669 oil, ceramic, paint, and soap technology, metallurgy

674/678 wood, rubber, paper, textile, and plastics technology

As seen from Table 2 the study population consisted of 126 graduates from institutes of technology and 62 graduates from universities, agricultural colleges, and pharmaceutical colleges. All respondents had an academic record corresponding to an American M.S. degree. In addition 12 respondents in the group of engineers and 11 respondents in the group of scientists had doctoral degrees.

The academic section of 27 persons in the Danish sample was somewhat larger than that in the Finnish one. In both groups the research institute sections were of the same size, while the industrial section had a heavier representation in the Finnish group. The 41 respondents who considered their work to be primarily basic research were all affiliated with academic institutions save 9 who worked in research institutes.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

TABLE 2 Distribution of respondents by academic degree, nature of research and institutional affiliation (Question 2; based on 188 responses)

 

Doctor of Tech.

M.S. Engineering

Ph.D. Science

M.S. Science

All

Institution

Pure

Appl.

Both

Pure

Appl.

Both

Pure

Appl.

Both

Pure

Appl.

Both

Pure

Appl.

Danish

Academic

3

1

4

6

5

11

2

 

2

9

1

10

20

7

Research institutes

 

 

 

 

20

20

 

1

1

4

4

8

4

25

Industrial

 

1

1

 

33

33

 

 

 

 

4

4

 

38

Total Danish

3

2

5

6

58

64

2

1

3

13

9

22

24

70

 

 

 

(5%)

 

 

(68%)

 

 

(3%)

 

 

(23%)

 

 

Finnish

Academic

4

2

6

4

3

7

3

1

4

1

1

2

12

7

Research institutes

 

 

 

 

11

11

 

3

3

5

9

14

5

23

Industrial

 

1

1

 

32

32

 

1

1

 

13

13

 

47

Total Finnish

4

3

7

4

46

50

3

5

8

6

23

29

17

77

 

 

 

(7%)

 

 

(53%)

 

 

(9%)

 

 

(31%)

 

 

Both groups

7

5

12

10

104

114

5

6

11

19

32

51

41

147

 

 

 

(6.4%)

 

 

(60.6%)

 

 

(5.9%)

 

 

(27.1%)

(21.8%)

(78.2%)

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
II. HOW WELL DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH ADVANCES IN YOUR FIELD? (QUESTION 3)

As seen from Table 3 the academic sections appeared to be in the best position in regard to the ability of keeping abreast with current advances. This could be expected considering the nature of work: mostly long-term research projects and teaching in specific subjects. The research sections were least satisfied with

TABLE 3 Estimated ability in keeping up with the new developmentsa (Question 3; based on 188 responses)

 

very well

satisfactorily

not well at all

Total No

Institution

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

 

Danish

Academic

5

18

19

70

3

12

27

Research institutes

2

7

19

66

8

27

29

Industrial

6

16

26

68

6

16

38

Total Danish

13

14

64

68

17

18

94

Finnish

Academic

10

53

9

47

 

19

Research institutes

6

21

22

79

28

Industrial

16

34

31

66

47

Total Finnish

32

34

62

66

94

Both groups

45

 

126

 

17

 

188

a No correlation was found between estimated success in keeping up with advances and location of institution: in the large cities or at a distance from these centers.

their ability to tackle the problem. This finding probably reflects the difference in activities: short-term research projects in a variety of related subjects, and less “academic freedom.” Respondents in the industrial section took the position in between the academic and research sections. The overall Danish picture checks very well with the results of the American study of physiologists (22).

The Danish and Finnish groups cannot be compared with each other, because of an unfortunate mistake in the wording of the given alternatives in the two languages. The Finnish alternatives were (1) well, (2) fairly, (3) badly; and the Danish ones (1) very well, (2) satisfactorily, (3) not well at all. This inconsistency brought all Finnish responses to the first two mentioned categories.

The hypothesis that research workers in large cities with a relatively easy access to sources of information and more abundant contacts with colleagues would estimate their ability to keep up with advances to be better than those working in the country side and in smaller cities, was not supported. No difference was found between the responses from these groups. It should be pointed out, however, that the majority (90%) in the Danish group work in the Copenhagen area, while only 60% of the Finnish respondents work in the capital Helsinki.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
III. ESTIMATE THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE TO YOU OF THE FOLLOWING SOURCES OF INFORMATION: (1) LITERATURE AND (2) VERBAL SOURCES (QUESTION 4)

The estimated minimum percentage of information obtained from the literature was 20% and the maximum 100%. As illustrated by Table 4 the median percentage was 75%—considerably higher than that found by Herner (8) and

TABLE 4. Relationship between estimated percentagea of information obtained from the literature (as opposed to verbal sources) and the type of institution (Question 4; based on 187 responses)

 

Percent

 

Institution

100

90

80

75

70

60

50

40

30

25

20

10

Total

Danish

Academic, no.

 

7

7

1

3

1

3

2

2

 

 

 

26

Cumul., %

 

27

54

58

69

73

85

92

 

100

 

 

 

Research institutes, no.

2

6

3

9

2

1

5

1

 

 

 

 

29

Cumul., %

7

28

38

69

76

79

97

100

 

 

 

 

 

Industrial, no.

2

7

4

5

4

2

9

 

4

1

 

 

38

Cumul., %

5

24

34

47

58

63

87

 

97

100

 

 

 

Total Danish cumul., %

4

26

41

57

67

71

89

92

97

100

 

 

93

Finnish

Academic, no.

5

4

3

2

1

1

 

2

 

1

 

 

19

Cumul., %

26

47

63

73

79

84

 

95

 

100

 

 

 

Research institutes, no.

 

7

3

 

7

5

2

 

4

 

 

 

28

Cumul., %

 

25

36

 

61

79

86

 

100

 

 

 

 

Industrial, no.

4

12

5

7

1

3

8

4

2

 

1

 

47

Cumul., %

9

34

45

60

62

68

85

94

98

 

100

 

 

Total Finnish Cumul., %

10

34

46

55

65

75

85

92

98

99

100

 

94

Both groups Cumul., %

7

30

44

56

66

73

87

92

98

99

100

 

187

a No correlation was found between the estimated percentage of information obtained from the literature and the location of institution (large city or rural).

Hertz and Rubenstein (9) among similar American populations. This seems to manifest either a greater literature-mindedness or a lower rate of direct communications among Scandinavian research workers than among their American colleagues. Most probably both factors play a role. The upper quartile was 90% in all sections save the Finnish academic one, in which it was 100%, and the lower quartile was about 60% in all sections save the Danish research section and the Finnish academic section, which both had a lower quartile of 70–75%.

It is interesting to note that in the similarity of the answers by the two groups from different countries the only significant difference appears in the heavy (90–100%) dependence on literature manifested by a greater part of the Finnish

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

group than of the Danish one. In both academic sections the high dependence on literature was more common than it was in the other sections, as Herner (8) has discovered. There was little difference in this respect between the industrial and research sections. The low degree of dependence on literature—40% or less—was reported by 3–16% of the respondents scattered rather evenly over both groups and all sections.

Table 5 shows the answers to the same question tabulated according to the field of research. The greatest use of literature was made by pure mathematicians and physicists, pure chemists, and pharmaceutical scientists, and there was a very small, statistically insignificant, difference between these groups and the other subject groups in contrast to the findings of Herner (8). In all subject groups save the earth scientists and biologists the dependence on literature as opposed to verbal sources was greater than that found in the American study (8). The 17 workers in the fields of wood, rubber, paper, textile, and plastics technology reported the lowest degree of dependence upon literature, and remarks to the effect that research results were kept secret and seldom promptly published accompanied several of these responses.

Apart from the last-mentioned group little difference was found in the percentages of information obtained from the literature by pure scientists on one hand and the applied scientists on the other. In view of Herner’s findings, this similarity again seems to indicate that both groups in the present study, especially the Finnish ones, perhaps are less communicative in their research work than their American colleagues.

TABLE 5. Relationship between estimated percentage of information obtained from the literature and the field of research (Questions 1 and 4; based on 182 responses)

 

Minimum % obtained from literature

Cumulative %

51/53a

54

55/59

61

62

63/65

66/664

665/669

674/678

25–40

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

50–60

100

82

75

80

95

64

88

97

82

70–80

86

76

50

80

70

45

71

66

53

90–100

36

35

25

40

30

45

29

34

12

Total No.

14

17

12

5

40

11

34

32

17

a UDC classes specified under Table 1.

IV. ESTIMATE THE TIME YOU SPEND WEEKLY ON SEARCHING AND READING LITERATURE (QUESTION 5)

Table 6 illustrates the dispersion of estimates which ranged from 1 to 50 hours per week spent on literature. In the Danish group there were more respondents limiting their reading to 1–2 hours/week and less respondents devoting over 12 hours to it, and the Danish average time 8.9 hours was thus

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

slightly shorter than the Finnish 9.7. The Danish median was between 7 and 8 hours and the Finnish median between 9 and 10.

All these figures are higher than those reported by Shaw (17) (2 hours/week on the basis of the diaries and 4–5 hours on the basis of the answers to the questionnaire), by Bernal (1) (5.3 hours and only 4.9 hours by junior scientists), by Thorne (20) (5.1 hours on reading+0.6 hours on searching), and by the Cleveland study (14) (4.5 hours).

There are probably several reasons for this difference in estimates, among which the following factors regarding the Scandinavian groups should be pointed out: (a) the relatively high dependence on literature as a source of information as opposed to verbal sources, (b) by far the greatest part of literature is in some foreign language and is likely to require somewhat more reading time; (c) the scarcity of literature scientists or documentalists, who would make a selection to weed out unnecessary material, and the low degree of exploitation of such existing services. There was a significant difference between the Danish and Finnish industrial sections. The average time spent by the former was 7 hours/week or 2.5 hours less than the latter. What causes this difference cannot be judged from the available data.

TABLE 6. Relationship between estimated time spent on literature and institutional affiliation (Question No. 5; based on 181 responses)

Institution

1–2

3–4

5–6

7–8

9–10

11–12

13–14

15–16

17–18

19–20

Over 20

Average

Danish (89)

Academic

3

2

3

7

5

2

 

3

 

 

 

8

Research institutes

1

1

5

4

5

4

 

4

 

3

1

11

Industry

3

4

11

6

8

2

 

1

 

1

 

7

Total Danish

7

7

19

17

18

8

 

8

 

4

1

8.9

Finnish (92)

Academic

1

4

2

1

4

 

 

4

 

2

1

10.5

Research institutes

 

6

5

3

4

3

1

3

 

1

1

9.5

Industry

2

3

11

6

8

5

2

5

 

3

1

9.5

Total Finnish

3

13

18

10

16

8

3

12

 

6

3

9.7

Total

10

20

37

27

34

16

3

20

 

10

4

9.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

37.0%

42.6%

20.4%

 

Table 7 shows a direct correlation between the estimations of time devoted to the literature and the percentage of information obtained through reading.

V. HOW MANY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL JOURNALS AND SERIES DO YOU PERSONALLY SUBSCRIBE TO AND OBTAIN THROUGH MEMBERSHIPS? (QUESTION 6a-b)

As shown by Table 8 the average number of journals received personally by the respondents was 3.1. This figure checks reasonably well with the finding of Bernal (1) (2 journals, only 1.1 by junior scientists), of Herner (8) (2 journals),

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

TABLE 7. Relationship between estimated percentage of information obtained from the literature and the estimated time devoted to it (Questions 4 and 5; based on 180 responses)

Minimum time hours/week

Cumulative %

Number

25–40

50–60

70–80

90–100

1–3

100

100

100

100

18

4–6

83

93

95

85

49

7–10

54

67

69

57

60

11–14

8

18

42

32

19

15–18

8

5

27

24

21

19–

0

0

8

15

13

Total No.

24

39

64

53

180

of Törnudd (21) (4.1), and of Shaw (17) (2.1). Institutional affiliation did not appear to affect personal subscriptions.

TABLE 8. Number of journals personally subscribed to or received through membership in scientific societies (Question 6a-b; based on 84 Danish and 85 Finnish responses)

Institutional affiliation

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Over

Average

Danish (84)

Academic

3

2

7

5

2

1

2

1

 

2.7

Research institutes

1

4

6

2

3

6

1

1

3

3.8

Industrial

1

5

8

8

2

4

2

 

4

4.1

Finnish (85)

Academic

1

6

2

1

5

2

1

 

 

2.7

Research institutes

1

4

8

5

4

3

1

 

 

2.7

Industrial

3

8

12

9

3

2

3

 

2

2.7

Total

10

29

43

30

19

18

10

4

7

3.1

VI. HOW MANY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL JOURNALS AND SERIES DO YOU FOLLOW REGULARLY? (QUESTION 6c)

Table 9 illustrates the dispersion of the number of journals read or scanned ranging from 1 to 50. The average number is as high as 18 and median about 15. In accordance with findings mentioned under Sections III and IV the number is considerably higher than that found in previous studies. Bernal reported 9.7 journals for the whole sample and 7.1 journals for the group of junior scientists and Törnudd 13.2 journals.

Among British technologists employed by the electrical industry some 10% of the sample said they saw no journals regularly, about one-third claimed to see between 1 to 3, a further one-third between 4 to 6, 17% between 7 and 11,

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

and 6% more than 12 (27a). These figures are, however, not comparable with the previously cited ones, because they refer to industrial technologists of various kinds the majority of whom did not have academic degrees.

TABLE 9. Number of journals regularly read (or scanned) (Question 6; based on 173 responses)

Institution

1–5

6–10

11–15

16–20

21–25

26–30

31–35

36–

Total

Average

Danish

Academic

2

6

5

1

1

5

1

3

26

20

Research institutes

3

6

4

3

2

3

2

1

25

16

Industrial

4

9

8

9

1

2

 

3

36

17

Total Danish

9

21

17

13

4

10

3

7

87

18

Finnish

Academic

3

5

5

1

1

 

1

1

17

14

Research institutes

2

8

1

5

5

1

3

 

25

17

Industrial

3

6

12

14

3

3

 

4

44

18

Total Finnish

8

19

18

20

9

4

4

5

86

17

Both groups

 

173

17

Cumulative, %

100

89

66

46

27

19

11

7

 

 

VII. WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS DO YOU USE (A) FREQUENTLY, (B) OCCASIONALLY, (c) SCARCELY EVER? (QUESTION 7)

Table 10 gives percentages of respondents using the six given types of publications and in parentheses the percentage using them frequently. The order of importance of these publications was: journals, books, abstracts and indexes, reviews, research reports as individual publications, and patents in both national groups and in all sections save the Danish industrial one in which patents and research reports changed places.

The fact that there was little difference in the relative importance laid on the various publications among workers in different organizations and that monographs, handbooks and compendia were rated as nearly equally useful as journals is most interesting. The latter finding, also emphasized by Herner (8), Moss (27a), Thorne (20), and Törnudd (21), suggests that more attention should be paid to the characteristics and effectiveness of the nonperiodical literature and its documentation to satisfy the requirements of scientists.

About 20% of the respondents reported that they scarcely ever used abstracts or indexes. This figure checks very well with the finding by Glass (6) who found that more than 10% of the biologists belong to the non-users of abstracts, and with the University of Michigan study of physiologists (22) which revealed that 13% of the scientists referred to abstracts to little or no extent. Bernal (1) reported that 87% of the British sample of scientists used abstracts and the survey of mathematicians (19) showed that at least two-thirds of the mathematicians made some use of abstracts and that the use among those with

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

TABLE 10. Relative importance of different publications according to institutional affiliation (Question 7; based on 188 responses)

(Figures in parentheses give % using the publication frequently)

 

Percent Using

Institution

Journals

Abstracts & indexes

Reviews

Books

Patents & specifications

Research reports

Danish

Academic

96

85

56

85

22

48

 

(89)

(48)

(30)

(70)

 

(15)

Research institutes

97

72

72

93

55

69

 

(86)

(45)

(21)

(62)

(7)

(17)

Industrial

100

79

68

97

58

53

 

(89)

(34)

(5)

(61)

(21)

(16)

Total Danish

98

79

66

93

47

56

Finnish

Academic

100

89

69

100

26

63

 

(89)

(63)

(11)

(74)

 

(16)

Research institutes

100

85

64

100

46

68

 

(83)

(46)

(7)

(68)

(14)

(14)

Industrial

100

87

56

100

44

66

 

(94)

(34)

(13)

(64)

(4)

(6)

Total Finnish

100

87

61

100

41

66

Both groups

99

83

63

97

44

61

a high publishing record was more frequent. There is no question of the fact that the overwhelming proportion of research workers in all scientific fields make some use of abstracts, while their use by, for example, industrial technologists is smaller. Moss (27a) reported that only about 25% of the technologists in the British sample of technologists employed by electrical firms had made any use of abstracts in the 3 months preceding the enquiry and that 63% did not know about abstracts.

Urquhart (23) found that abstracts were the main sources of citations used by the borrowers of the Science Museum Library. This finding reflects the residual nature of the material borrowed from this central library. The finding by Williams (26) that references in journal articles and books were used more frequently than abstract publications in the John Crerar Library cannot be compared with Urquhart’s finding, because it excluded references to recent material which made 50% of the citations in Urquhart’s sample. Bernal (1), on the other hand, found that footnotes were used as sources of reference more than twice as often as abstracts by scientists who did not have an opportunity to make use of an efficient information service.

The fact reported by Shaw (17) and Thorne (20) that only 5–6% of the reading acts concerned abstracts indicate that abstracts do not belong to the favorite pastime readings of scientists. The findings do not, however, mean

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

that the ratio of their value to the value of, say, periodicals would correspond to the respective percentages of reading acts found by analyses of diary studies.

Shaw (17) reported that 14–18% of the literature read by scientists at the Forest Products Research Laboratory was report literature and Thorne (20) that the corresponding percentage was 44%. Herner (8) and Törnudd (21) also found a considerable dependence on reports. The present result, indicating a minor use of research reports, mirrors the fact that reports as a publishing media are less frequently used in the Scandinavian countries. Foreign reports, especially classified ones, scarcely enter the scene, and form a still greater problem in small countries than in the USA and the UK. Joint efforts in the documentation of report literature are urgently called for to supplement programs like the documents exchange scheme operated by the European Productivity Agency.

The patents, standards, and specifications formed the least important class of publications in the present study, and there is reason to assume that especially patents are frequently overlooked in the course of research. This seems to be due to unfamiliarity with patent indexes and the free services offered by national patent offices. The liaison between the last mentioned and the industry has received special attention in Denmark and might account for the slightly greater use of patents in the Danish group. In the EPA study (18) 12% of the US firms, 10% of the German ones, 7% of the Italian and British ones, and 8% of the Norwegian ones had used patent specifications to solve major problems. Patents were, however, lowest on the list of different types of publications save commercial reports.

Two-thirds of the research workers in the present study had made at least some use of reviews though only about one-tenth had used them frequently. These figures check well with the Bernal’s (1) corresponding figure, 76%, and with the figure 77% obtained in the study of American physiologists (22). The survey of mathematicians, however, revealed that reviews were as heavily read as research papers, that is by ca. 85% of the total number of respondents. The high quality of Mathematical Reviews seems to account for this fact.

VIII. LIST THE FOREIGN LANGUAGES THAT YOU CAN READ (QUESTION 8)

Table 11 shows that all the Scandinavian respondents are able to read technical literature in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, and English. Three-fourths of the respondents in the Danish group read French. The corresponding figure in the Finnish group is only one-fourth because Finnish constitutes an additional language either as mother tongue or second domestic language. This language record is higher than any previously reported corresponding data, simply because research workers in small countries with less known

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

languages have not been involved in earlier studies. The weaknesses of the Scandinavian group are to be found in the eastern languages, Russian, and Spanish.

Bernal (1) found that 47% of the British research workers did not easily read any foreign language, and Shaw (17) reported that only 2.3–4.8% of all publications read were in another language than English. The survey of mathematicians (19) revealed the astonishing fact that one-seventh of the respondents were able to read Russian and that only about 4% had encountered difficulties because of inability to read another foreign language.

TABLE 11. Number of foreign languagesa read (Question 8; based on 185 responses)

Nationality

2

3

4

5

6

Over 6

 

Cumulative %

 

Danish (92)

100

73

23

3

1

 

Finnish (93)

100

98

26

6

3

1

Percentage of respondents reading different foreign languages

 

Danish %

Finnish %

Danish

 

100

Finnish

2

(100 % of the Swedish-speaking respondents in the group)

Norwegian

100

100

Swedish

100

100

German

100

100

English

100

98

French

74

23

Dutch

12

5

Italian

12

5

Spanish

2

5

Russian

3

1

Portuguese

0

1

Esperanto

0

1

a Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish were counted as one language. These Scandinavian languages were considered foreign only to the Finnish respondents with Finnish as their mother tongue. Finnish was counted as foreign to all but the last-mentioned category.

The following figures reported by the EPA study (18) as percentages of small and medium sized firms in which foreign language articles had been read in the last year illustrate the position of small countries with little known languages: Austria 30%, Belgium 72%, Germany 30%, Norway 77%, UK 14%, and USA 9%.

In view of the increasing importance of the Russian, Japanese, and other eastern languages a rational solution to the problem seems to be close cooperation between the large language groups which might take the form of ex-

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

change of translations or at least abstracts in each others’ languages. The often heard plea that scientists should learn more languages cannot but with difficulty be applied to small countries where the number of necessary languages already at present is high, and where contributions to international cooperation are currently made in that original research is published in a world language rather than in the national languages.

IX. DO YOU KEEP A PERSONAL INDEX? (QUESTION 9)

As seen from Table 12 more than 50% of all respondents and 60% in the Danish group maintain personal indexes. These figures are in agreement with 65% found by Bernal (1) and 64% found by Törnudd (21).

TABLE 12. Keeping personal indexes (Question 9; based on 188 responses)

 

Danish group (94)

Finnish group (94)

Both groups

Institution

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Academic

19

70

10

53

29

63

Research institutes

18

60

15

54

32

57

Industrial

20

51

26

55

45

54

Total

57

60

51

54

106

57

X. DO YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO USE REFERENCE AND INFORMATION SERVICES OF A LIBRARY? (QUESTION 10)

As seen from Table 13 about three-fourths of the research workers indicated that they had an opportunity to resort to the services of a library. That this opportunity is inefficiently exploited or that the services are not as adequate as one might expect will be illustrated under the next heading.

No difference was found between the responses from scientists working in large cities and those working at a distance from these centers.

TABLE 13. Opportunity to use reference and information services of a library (Question 10; based on 188 responses)

Institution

Number

%

Danish

Academic

19

70

Research institutes

26

90

Industrial

32

84

Total Danish

77

82

Finnish

Academic

11

58

Research institutes

19

68

Industrial

39

83

Total Finnish

69

73

Both groups

146

78

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Moss (27a) found that rather less than a tenth of the technologists employed in British electrical firms with 200–1000 employees appeared to work in an organization where there was a specific, named official with the function to draw the attention of scientific and technical staff to useful information, and the EPA study (18) revealed that the majority of small and medium sized establishments had not consulted any kind of library during the last year, the percentages varying from 63% in the UK to 92% in Italy.

XI. WHICH OF THE SERVICES LISTED BELOW HAVE YOU MADE USE OF: (A) FREQUENTLY, (B) SOMETIMES, (C) NEVER? (QUESTION 11)

(a) Loan and photocopy services constitute the only form of service which has been used by the majority of the scientists in both national groups. That the given percentages are not 100 does of course not imply that the remaining percentage would not have used a library. It merely implies that the libraries used have not offered personal services to the reader.

(b) Quick reference service is frequently used by less than a sixth of the re-

TABLE 14. Use of different library services (Question 11; based on 186 responses)

 

Percentage using each form of servicea

Institution

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j

k

Danish (92)

Academic

95

37

19

7

4

15

11

4

29

33

67

 

(88)

(15)

(4)

 

 

(4)

(4)

 

(7)

(11)

(11)

Research institutes

96

57

43

18

11

14

29

25

33

43

79

 

(75)

(11)

(4)

 

 

 

 

(7)

(4)

(7)

(25)

Industrial

100

49

40

22

14

24

14

5

22

14

70

 

(65)

(14)

(5)

(3)

(3)

(5)

 

 

 

 

(5)

Total Danish

98

48

35

16

10

18

17

11

27

28

72

 

(75)

(13)

(4)

(1)

(1)

(3)

(1)

(2)

(3)

(5)

(13)

Finnish (94)

Academic

94

21

10

 

 

5

 

5

32

11

37

 

(47)

 

(5)

 

(16)

 

(16)

Research institutes

75

57

14

4

 

15

39

7

53

36

25

 

(64)

 

 

 

 

(4)

 

 

(14)

(11)

(7)

Industrial

92

47

17

4

 

4

34

9

19

18

21

 

(60)

(4)

(4)

 

 

 

 

 

(4)

(9)

(2)

Total Finnish

87

45

15

3

 

7

29

7

32

21

26

 

(59)

(2)

(3)

 

 

(1)

 

 

(10)

(6)

(6)

Both groups

92

46

25

10

5

13

23

9

30

25

50

 

(67)

(8)

(4)

(1)

(1)

(2)

(1)

(1)

(6)

(6)

(10)

a Percentage frequently using the form of service in parentheses.

a, loan and photocopy services; b, quick reference service; c, brief literature searches; d, comprehensive literature searches; e, critical searches with an evaluation of the information reviewed; f, continuous scanning of the literature and “feeding” relevant items; g, translations of foreign language publications; h, abstracting papers specified by the client; i, translation of the client’s publication into a world language and checking the linguistic form; j, editorial assistance; k, guidance by the library staff.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

spondents and has been used sometimes by about 50% of the respondents if the academic sections, who had availed themselves of this service to a still smaller extent, are omitted. This finding must be considered shocking in view of the time lost by research workers, who apparently have to leave their work and go to a library to check every simple bit of information. Unfortunately no comparative data from other studies are available. The author’s limited experience with reference services in American and British libraries, both public, university, and special libraries, however, suggests that the facilities and their utilization in these countries are of another magnitude than they are in Scandinavia, where the majority of libraries still concentrate their activities on the classic aspects of librarianship. This does not mean that there would not be efficient information centers in Scandinavia, but the results prove that the services offered by these centers are not utilized by younger research workers. Whether this deficiency is due to the inability of the centers to “sell” and publicize their services or to a lack in the education of research workers or their personal preferences, is difficult to decide. Probably all aspects need attention and urgent measures in view of the shortage of qualified researchers.

(c) Brief literature searches on request have been made for a still smaller proportion of the respondents, for 35% of the Danish and for 15% of the Finnish group. Here again the academic sections have sought the service to a smaller extent than the others in accordance with the findings of Herner (8). This difference is naturally due to the fact that brief literature searches are seldom needed by a person working on long-term projects of specialized nature. The above-mentioned percentages can be compared with Herner’s 65% referring to the total sample at Johns Hopkins and 35% referring to the pure scientists versus 79% to the applied scientists. It should be noted, however, that the last-mentioned figures cover both brief and more comprehensive literature searches.

The conclusions made under (b) apply to these services and the laments can rightly be raised to the second power.

(d) Comprehensive literature searches on request belong to less self-evidently needed services, because it can be claimed that a research worker gains substantially more by performing a large part of the search himself. This applies especially to exhaustive searches with the aim of reviewing a field to be entered in the course of a new research project. Patent searches concerning patentability, state-of-the-art, infringement, and validity, on the other hand, undoubtedly belong to the domain of information specialists, as well as, for example, bibliographies requested by research workers who are preparing material for publication.

The results of the present survey show that a very small proportion of the

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

respondents have had occasion to have comprehensive searches made: 16% of the Danish group and only 3% of the Finnish one. Herner’s study on the service requirements among research workers at Atlantic Research Corporation (8a) revealed that comprehensive literature searches were in high demand, and there is no reason to assume that the Scandinavian respondents would not profit by having more searches made.

(e) Critical surveys of the literature searched on request in which attention is paid to the value of reported results had been carried out for 10% of the Danish group, mainly for the industrial employees, while nobody in the Finnish group had used this type of service which requires a very highly qualified searcher.

It need not be considered Utopian to make a plea for improved facilities for this type of service also, although its development demands an effective program for the training of documentalists or information specialists.

(f) Continuous scanning of the literature on a subject requested by the research worker and the “feeding” of references, abstracts, or the material as they appear is one of the most important tasks of any information service, and the closer the contact between the service point and the research worker the more efficiently this service can be rendered. Therefore it is deplorable to note that only 18% of the Danish research workers and 7% of the Finnish ones had ever made use of this service. It is out of the question, of course, that the research worker by this means could be supplied with all the information he needs, but there is no doubt that a research worker’s burden could easily be lightened and that he or she would escape scanning some of the worthless material accumulating if there were a selective feeding service, designed to meet the requirements.

(g) Translations of foreign language publications into mother tongue were obtained by 17% in the Danish sample and by 29% in the Finnish group. These figures are lower than 33% found by Herner (8) and about 50% found by Törnudd (21) in studies of American scientists. The translations reported were mainly from Russian and in the Finnish group also from French.

(h) Abstracting articles specified by the research worker had been carried out for 11% in the Danish group and 7% in the Finnish one.

(i) Translations of manuscripts into a world language and checking the language before publication were services mostly used by the academic and research sections in both national groups. On an average 30% of the respondents had had occasion to use this service and especially the checking service. This percentage covers a great majority of those who reported having published research results in a world language. There is every reason to improve these facilities, because the value of the additional effort of publishing original research in a world language is decreased by incorrect translations and linguistic oddities.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

(j) Editorial assistance in proofreading, diagrams, etc., had been received by about one-fourth of the respondents or by about one-half of those who had made contributions to the literature.

(k) Guidance by the library staff when searching the literature had been resorted to by almost three-fourths in the Danish group but only by one-fourth in the Finnish one. The Danish figure is in agreement with the corresponding 70% reported by Herner (8), while the Finnish figure is surprisingly low. The questions were framed in similar ways in both languages and cannot have caused the difference.

XII. IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO AVAIL YOURSELF OF SOME SERVICE LISTED ABOVE WHICH YOU FEEL A GREAT NEED FOR, MARK IT WITH AN ASTERISK (NOTE: ONLY ONE ITEM) (QUESTION 12)

As seen from Table 15 only 66 respondents indicated a requirement for some additional service. Some respondents checked several items, although it was pointed out that only one check was wanted, and in these cases all but the simplest type of service checked were omitted.

Continuous scanning of the literature and feeding of pertinent material received the greatest number of votes and comprehensive literature searches were second. The other services that were checked as needed were in this order: brief literature searches, translation of manuscripts into world languages, translation of foreign language publications, critical literature surveys, and abstracting specified articles. Quick reference service was missed by only 2 respondents,

TABLE 15. Unavailable services for which the need is greatest (Question 12; based on 66 responses)

 

Number of respondents requiring the servicea

Institution

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j

k

Danish (29)

Academic

 

 

 

2

 

4

2

2

3

 

Research institutes

 

1

 

1

1

1

1

 

 

Industrial

 

 

1

4

1

 

3

1

1

Total Danish

 

1

1

7

2

8

3

3

4

Finnish (37)

Academic

 

 

1

2

 

2

1

 

2

Research institutes

2

 

3

3

 

6

 

 

 

Industrial

 

1

1

4

2

6

1

 

 

Total Finnish

2

1

5

9

2

14

2

 

2

Both groups of respondents, %

3

3

9

24

6

33

8

5

9

a The services a–k are specified under Table 14.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

and two Finnish respondents expressed their need for loan and photocopy service.

It seems that the comparatively large amount of time spent by the respondents and the relatively large number of journals reported to be regularly read or scanned in this study and the previous study by Törnudd (21) are due partly to the fact that library services have not been available or have not been utilized efficiently. This interdependence was also suggested by Bernal (1). Assuming that three hours, a little more than one-half of the difference between the average time spent by the respondents in this study and that reported in the other British and American studies, could be saved for the research worker, it would be economically profitable to employ one literature specialist for every 9 research workers, who still would spend 6–8 hours on the literature.

XIII. HOW MANY PAPERS, RESEARCH REPORTS, AND BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED DURING THE PAST THREE YEARS AND IN WHICH JOURNALS HAVE YOUR PAPERS APPEARED? (QUESTION 13)

As seen from Table 16 the average number of papers (books counted as three papers) amounted to 3.6 and the average number of papers among those who had published something 5.8. The corresponding medians are 1 and 4. The publishing record in the industrial section is lower than that in the academic and research sections. It must be pointed out that only about one-half of the publications were actual research papers, and the rest articles in trade journals.

The results agree with those obtained in the American study of physiologists (22) who were reported to publish on an average 4–5 papers in three years and among whom young physiologists up to 39 years of age mostly published a maximum of four papers. The survey of American mathematicians (19) re-

TABLE 16. Number of papers published during the past 3 years according to institutional affiliation (Question 13; based on 188 responses)

Institution

No answer

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11–15

16–

Total average

Average by author

Danish

Academic

 

3

1

4

3

2

2

2

2

2

 

3

1

2

6.6

7.5

Research institutes

 

9

2

3

4

2

4

1

1

1

 

 

1

1

4.5

6.6

Industrial

3

25

2

2

5

 

 

1

 

0.8

2.7

Total Danish

3

37

5

9

12

4

6

4

3

3

 

3

2

3

3.7

6.2

Finnish

Academic

2

3

4

1

2

2

2

 

 

 

1

 

2

 

3.9

4.7

Research institutes

1

5

3

2

3

5

5

1

 

1

2

4.8

6.0

Industrial

12

20

6

 

2

2

 

3

 

1

1

2.1

5.0

Total Finnish

15

28

13

3

7

9

7

4

 

 

1

 

4

3

3.4

5.3

Both groups

18

65

18

12

19

13

13

8

3

3

1

3

6

6

3.6

5.8

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

vealed that 85% of the sample produced one publication or less a year and accordingly a maximum of 3 publications in three years. The top 15% produced 1.1–2.3 publications a year or 3.3–6.9 publications in three years. Scates and Yeomans (16) report that 139 employees at New York Naval Shipyard published on average 0.1 article during three years, but this low figure is due to the fact that only 9 persons answered the question. Among the last-mentioned respondents the average number of publications was 2.1.

As seen from Table 17 three-fourths of the Finnish publications for which media were specified appeared in domestic journals, while more than one-fourth of the Danish contributions were published in foreign or international journals and another fourth in joint Scandinavian periodicals. This implies that at least 50% of the Danish publications appeared in world languages. The percentage of Finnish contributions published in world languages was certainly higher than the 25% published in non-domestic periodicals because several Finnish journals containing both Finnish and foreign language articles were specified.

TABLE 17. Nature of publishing media used for own papers (Question 13; based on 358 publications for which media was specified by authors)

Nature of journal

Danish group, no. of papers

Finnish group, no. of papers

Both, % of papers

National

80

155

66

Joint Scandinavian

37

23

17

Foreign

45

18

18

Total

162

196

 

XIV. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES YOU HAVE HAD WITH YOUR OWN PUBLICATIONS? (QUESTION 14)

Only 42 respondents specified problems they had encountered in connection with their own publications as seen from Table 18.

Slowness in publication, one of the suggested problems, was written in by a good third of the respondents, while lack of suitable journals was mentioned by only one-sixth, namely by research workers in very special fields. Lack of financial support for printing and translating manuscripts into a world language appears to have hampered the publishing activities of a large enough group to suggest a study of the circumstances. Lack of time was mentioned by one-fourth of the respondents and lack of clerical and editorial help by one-sixth.

Summing up, it seems that the Scandinavian group of junior research workers has reasonably adequate opportunities to get their contributions published. The fact that a large part of original papers is published in internationally lesser

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

known domestic periodicals seems to constitute a more difficult problem, as the contributions often remain unnoticed by the international abstracting and indexing publications. This fact was recently revealed in a Norwegian study carried out by the Interim Abstracts Committee of the Joint Committee of the Norwegian Research Councils.

TABLE 18. Difficulties with own publications (Question 14; based on 24 Danish and 18 Finnish responses)

Difficulties mentioned (first four problems given in the questionnaire)

Danish group

Finnish group

Both, % of respondents

Lack of suitable journals

4

3

17

Slowness in publication

11

4

36

Lack of financial support for printing

6

6

29

Lack of financial support for translation into a world language

5

7

29

Lack of time

4

7

26

Lack of competent translators and language examiners

5

 

12

Lack of clerical and editorial assistance

3

3

14

Lack of know-how in reporting

2

 

5

Restrictions by the company

 

2

5

Other: necessity to popularize, time lag required for wetting, inability of printers to set mathematical text

2

1

7

That research workers employed by industry have special problems with their publications is evident from their low publishing record reported above and revealed in the study of physiologists (22). Measures toward decreasing unnecessary secrecy are called for.

XV. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES YOU HAVE IN OBTAINING REQUIRED INFORMATION AND KEEPING UP WITH ADVANCES (QUESTION 15)

As seen from Table 19 lack of time constitutes the most common problem (71%) followed by lack of access to published material (23%), lack of suitable abstract journals and reviews (16%), lack of adequate library services (14%), and slowness in publication (6%). This list of problems gives quite another picture than that obtained in the American study of physiologists (22). The main problems among the latter population were lack of time (48%), too many publications and too much content in the field (30%), lack of access to published material and inadequate library facilities (11%), slowness in publication (8%), and inadequacy of the content of published material (7%).

The difference seems to be due to less adequate library facilities at the disposal of the Scandinavian groups.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Slowness in publication indicated as a major problem by relatively few respondents in these studies was considered a more serious obstacle by mathematicians in the American study (19) which revealed that one-sixth of the respondents had needlessly duplicated the work of others or otherwise been hampered in their research because of long delays in publication of the work of others. 25% of the respondents indicated that this problem was a really serious one.

TABLE 19. Difficulties connected with acquiring needed information and keeping up with advances (Question 15; based on 76 Danish and 72 Finnish responses)

Difficulties mentioned (first four problems given in the questionnaire)

Danish group

Finnish group

Both, % of respondents

Time limitations

64

53

71

Lack of access to published material

16

18

23

Slowness of publications

8

1

6

Lack of suitable abstract journals and reviews

13

11

16

Time lag in abstracting

2

3

3

Too many duplicating abstract journals

2

 

1

Inadequate documentation of theses

2

 

1

Lack of library services and loans

6

6

8

Lack of experience of and belief in library services

1

1

1

Slow deliveries of loans & photocopies from central libraries and from abroad

1

7

5

Too large field and too much published, rehashes

2

3

3

Inadequacy of content of published material, untrustworthiness

2

1

2

Inadequacy of presentation of material: frequent use of block diagrams

1

 

1

Isolation from colleagues at home and abroad

6

 

4

Long delays in publication no doubt increase the probability of undesirable duplication of research. Accelerating the publishing speed would, however, solve but a fraction of the problem complex involving such additional factors as indicated above and exemplified under the following heading.

XVI. CAN YOU DESCRIBE SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF UNDESIRABLE DUPLICATION IN YOUR WORK CAUSED BY THE LACK OF INFORMATION ON RESEARCH CARRIED OUT ELSEWHERE? (QUESTION 16)

Only 19 cases listed in Table 20 were written in, and the small number does not encourage generalisations. It should, however, be noted that 2 of the cases were caused by delays in publication, 3 cases of duplication were due to industrial research results not published; at least 2 cases were caused by the fact

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

that the previous results had been published in a relatively obscure publication. One of the cases was due to inefficient cooperation between similar institutions in neighbor countries. One of the cases was definitely caused by inadequate searching of the literature and one by the inadequacy of the publication in question. Whether the remaining 9 cases were caused by inadequate searching of the literature, lack of access to relevant publications, by inadequate indexing, by the literature itself, or by other factors cannot be judged on the basis of the obtained information. A repeated search of the literature on each of the subjects would answer these questions in regard to the documentation aspects of the problem, while the actual circumstances and thus the decisive factors might be overlooked.

TABLE 20. Specific cases of undesirable duplication of research carried out because information was not readily available (Question 16; 19 cases)

Chemistry

1. Investigation on a new complex builder was published, and a letter received to inform that the same study had been carried out in the USA.

2. The composition of cork was investigated for some time, before results of an identical study carried out in Spain became known, as their author supplied reprints of his papers.

Physics

1. Study on the validity of Lambert’s law in regard to a photometer was duplicated before finding out that it had been performed in Germany.

2. 80 hours wasted time in the calculation of an optical filter before accidentally finding out that the problem had been solved and that the filter in question was commercially available.

Biochemistry

1. 6 months wasted on an investigation before results of an identical study appeared in Nature.

2. Development of analytical methods and studies on the structure of polysaccharides.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

1. Development of a casting process without knowledge of the fact that the process in question was patented.

2. Design of a frequency multiplier for FM radiophony.

Food Technology

1. Studies on the drying of lump sugar.

2. One month wasted in meat investigations, before an English publication on

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

the same research topic appeared. The latter had been submitted and accepted for publication by the English journal 10 months before it finally appeared.

3. Preparation of diatomaceous earth for filtering.

Chemical Technology

1. Manufacturing process for p-aminophenol was studied during the war. Later a detailed description of a commercially used method was found in a book.

2. An apparatus for peat gasification was designed in Finland and eventually an OEEC publication was found (Finland is not an OEEC country) in which an almost identical apparatus with similar dimensions designed at the University of Louvain was described. At the time this information was not available in any “ordinary” publication.

Ceramic Technology

1. Duplication occurred in ceramic investigations. The second study, however, lead to improved practical results.

2. Development of a method for the dispersion of sulphur in ceramic batches was carried out and considered a rather intricate problem, until it was found out that a preparation for the very purpose was manufactured by Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd.

3. Work on drying ceramic ware by a certain method was duplicated. Similar results of an American study were later found in a journal article.

Pulp and Paper Technology

1. Journal article mentioned an applicable test method without giving a literature reference. The method was never found described in the literature.

Building Technology

Moisture in cast roofs was studied simultaneously and independently by two Scandinavian research institutes.

Table 21 presents the number of affirmative answers to the question of unnecessary research performed. As could be expected duplication was reported by a greater proportion of industrial research workers than of scientists with academic and research institute affiliations.

TABLE 21. Number of respondents stating that specific instances of undesirable duplication of research has occurred because information was not readily available (Question 16)

 

Danish group

Finnish group

Both groups, %

Institution

No.

Specific cases described

No.

Specific cases described

Academic

4

3

2

2

13

Research institutes

5

3

4

2

16

Industrial

15

6

7

3

26

Total

24

12

16

7

21

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

Several respondents commented on the unnecessarily prolonged secrecy precautions which lead to needless mass duplication of research effort.

XVII. CAN YOU RECOMMEND IMPROVEMENTS WHICH MIGHT MAKE THE LITERATURE AND REFERENCE SERVICES MEET YOUR NEEDS MORE ADEQUATELY? (QUESTION 17)

Fifty-four suggestions listed in Table 22 for the improvement of literature and reference services were put forward. The great majority of suggestions concerned the periodical literature and were centered around weaknesses which are receiving attention but might require more efficient measures.

TABLE 22. Number of respondents presenting concrete suggestions for the improvement of the literature and the library services (Question 17; based on 188 responses)

Institution

Danish group

Finnish group

Both, %

Academic

10

5

33

Research institutes

8

8

28

Industrial

10

13

27

Total

28

26

29

List of suggestions made for the improvement of the state of affairs

Number of times made indicated with figure in parentheses.

Journals
  1. Grouping and reducing the number of journals (8) with concentration of original work into international research journals rather than small national journals which preferably should specialize in review articles. International cooperation called for.

  2. Stricter editorial policy (5) to avoid rehashes.

  3. Abstracts of all articles (11) preferably printed on separate pages to facilitate cutting out and pasting on catalog cards.

  4. UDC classification of American and English publications as well as others (7).

  5. More footnotes.

  6. Standard size and running pagination of journals (2).

Abstract journals and indexes
  1. Grouping and reducing the number of abstract journals (3) through international cooperation.

  2. Speeding up abstracting (6), e.g., by collecting of abstracts, immediately after manuscript has been accepted for publication in a journal.

  3. Fuller abstracts (1).

  4. Need of fuller coverage (4) was expressed for (1) theses, (2) Russian and Japanese literature.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
  1. Need for additional abstract journals (3) was expressed in the following fields: fishery, materials of construction.

  2. Editions of abstract journal printed on one side of the page (1).

Reviews
  1. Need for more critical reviews of the literature (4) e.g., industrial management, operations research, and the handbook literature.

  2. Need for critical reviews of commercially available instruments and their application (2).

Libraries
  1. More subject specialists in library staff (6).

  2. Improvement of subject catalogs in libraries (3).

  3. More liberal lending policy and faster photocopying services (2).

  4. Under question concerning difficulties in keeping abreast of new developments inadequate holdings of libraries were pointed out by 34 respondents.

Information services
  1. Tailor-made abstract services with international coverage supplying abstracts from a specified field (9).

  2. “University microfilms” for Europe (1).

  3. Development of existing national technical information centers (2).

  4. Documentation of initiated research programs (1).

  5. Translations of Russian and Japanese publications (3).

Instruction in the use of libraries and in subject literatures
  1. Courses in the use of libraries and subject literature on the undergraduate level (5).

Miscellaneous
  1. Selling information-mindedness to the industrial management (1).

  2. Publication form for unfinished researches which cannot be published in a normal way.

  3. Arrangements facilitating the use of colleagues’ personal indexes.

It is notable that one-fifth of the respondents made a plea for the inclusion of abstracts of articles in all periodicals either in the form of index cards or printed in a way facilitating clipping. In addition to abstracts, the classification of articles and monographs by the Universal Decimal Classification was recommended. UDC is the most widely used system in Europe, and the often heard wish that American documentation would follow suit was made by several respondents.

To decrease the unnecessarily large number of research journals, suggestions were made to publish original research reports in international periodicals limited to narrow fields, rather than in local journals with limited circulation,

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

which were considered more suitable, for example, for reviews. This trend is demonstrated by the great number of Ada…Scandinavica series established recently through the cooperation between scientific societies and research councils in northern Europe. These joint efforts have solved many problems in the dissemination of research results.

Regarding abstract journals, the speeding up of abstracting and international coordination to decrease the number of parallel services was emphasized by several respondents. Means similar to those developed by ICSU Abstracting Board were recommended for this purpose.

Concerning reviews, the need for critical reviews for horizontal subjects to supplement reviews of special fields was mentioned.

The concrete suggestions concerning libraries and information services covered the need for more subject specialists to carry out reference services in libraries and the improvement of subject catalogs. The latter requirement is notable as it does not come from librarians, as usually is the case.

The need for an abstract service currently supplying the client with cards from a selected narrow subject field was expressed by 9 respondents. It was pointed out that such services should be comprehensive and international in scope and preferably carried out through international cooperation. The idea is far from utopian. On a small scale it has been realized a.o. in Sweden where the Association for Documentation carries out an abstract service along these lines. The coverage of foreign material is selective and far from inclusive, while the Swedish scientific and technical publications are covered as fully as possible.

XVIII. HAVE YOU AFTER GRADUATION FELT A NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILL IN THE USE OF LITERATURE?

Table 23 shows the responses to the above question which in more than 50% of the cases was affirmative. The difference between the answers by the Danish and those by the Finnish group do not bear any significance. They are namely due to an error in the questionnaire. The Finnish version of the question was erroneously formulated to read: Have you after graduation been compelled to improve your skill…, and this framing naturally decreased the number of affirmative answers.

In an American study (21) the percentage of respondents giving an affirmative answer to the same question was definitely lower: 44%. Williams in his study of patrons of the John Crerar Library (26) found that 68.8% of the respondents had had training in the use of libraries and 36.6% had received training in the literature of their field. In Scandinavian countries these matters have

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

received very little attention, and there is every reason to believe that formal instruction in literature and library know-how is needed.

It is interesting to note the six suggestions made for the inclusion of courses in subject literatures and the use of libraries in the curricula of universities and institutes of technology and even at the highschool level. These were made in connection with suggestions for general improvements of the literature and library services.

TABLE 23. The proportion of respondents having felt a need for improving their skilla in the use of literature after graduation (Question 18; based on 176 responses)

Institution

Affirmative answer, %

Negative answer, %

Total

Danish

Academic

44

66

27

Research institutes

71

29

28

Industrial

67

33

33

Total Danish

61

39

88

Finnish

Academic

58

42

19

Research institutes

55

45

22

Industrial

36

64

47

Total Finnish

45

55

88

Both groups

53

47

176

a No correlation was found between the need for improving skill and the school of graduation.

Summary and conclusions

The 72 studies summarized above furnish valuable information on the manner in which scientific literature and library services are used. Several recent studies have remained unpublished and deficiencies in the documentation of documentation research have rendered it difficult to trace relevant investigations. This fact is the more deplorable as the results obtained so far are fragmentary and the coverage of the studies far from adequate, not to mention the fact that the methodology for obtaining truly objective data still remains to be developed.

To summarize some of the findings made in recent investigations it should first of all be pointed out that in spite of the great diversity of information gathering behavior from scientist to scientist, there is a similar pattern to be found when scientists are studied in groups. This pattern has been proved to be influenced a.o. by the following factors:

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

1. The accessibility of information and the extent to which information services are available and utilized.

Improving library facilities and services should therefore result in a twofold improvement: in addition to receiving better service the scientist himself would certainly find more efficient ways of utilizing information.

A comparative study of scientists working in similar institutions with similar working conditions and staffs, and in similar subject fields but with different library facilities suggests itself for the measurement of the role played by services. Optimum service conditions applicable in setting up efficient services might be found by means of such comparisons.

2. The kind of work.

It has been found that research workers, teachers in academic institutions, and information specialists are the heaviest users of literature as well as the most diligent producers. The majority in this group rely on literature to a greater extent than on all other sources of information taken together. The number of persons in this group has recently been studied in most countries in view of the need to decrease the shortage of highly qualified scientists and engineers. That each member of this important group of scientific workers spends on an average from 2 to 10 man-hours a week on the literature means in terms of salaries and the manpower shortage a great investment rendering even minor improvements significant if they result in cutting down the time spent on literature or decreasing the unnecessary duplication of research.

Scientists employed by industry for other duties than research and development have been found to resort to the literature to a very small extent. Whether this fact is due to inadequate services and publications or to other factors requires clarification.

That available services are insufficiently utilized by most scientists regardless of their activities constitutes a grave problem requiring special attention. The aggressive dissemination of information by various services may prove to be excessive and too inefficient a method of work. Services rendered on request are likely to offer a better pay-off of the investment of time and money, provided requests are received.

3. The working environment.

The few studies which have attempted to throw light on the influence of institutional affiliation have concerned research workers and revealed that the greatest difference is probably to be found between scientists working in academic institutions on the one hand and those employed by industrial, government, and other research establishments, on the other. Whether the preference for performing all literature work personally, common in the first-mentioned group, is due to the environment or to the lack of adequate service facilities cannot be determined from the available data. That the latter group seems to be encountering greater difficulties should be taken into consideration.

4. The educational background.

A direct correlation has been found between the educational record and the extent to which literature is resorted to. This finding suggests the desirability of arranging courses in subject literatures and in the use of libraries for scientists with lower degrees. The fact that research workers and engineers have been found to lack skill in

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

the use of different sources of information calls for the inclusion of such training in curricula of universities and institutes of technology in all countries. A recommendation to this effect from a suitable body should be considered.

5. The field of science.

Comparative studies have revealed that workers in the more exact sciences tend to depend on the literature to a still greater degree than, e.g., biologists and medical workers. It has also been found that the life of usefulness of publications varies from field to field. The finding that researchers in applied sciences would depend on the literature to a smaller degree than pure scientists disagrees with the results of the present Scandinavian study in which the scientists with only few exceptions used reference services. The excessive secrecy precautions concerning results of applied research do cause unnecessary duplication of research.

The finding that, e.g., American psychologists limit their information gathering mainly to material in their mother tongue while chemists and physicists use foreign publications more frequently seems to mirror the coverage of the respective abstract services as much as actual differences between the subject fields.

In short, the differences between requirements by workers in different subject fields may have been overemphasized.

6. Nationality.

In spite of the small number of studies carried out in other countries than the USA and the UK, it can be stated that nationality plays a certain role.

Language problems with respect to English, German, and French are of minor importance among research workers and other academically trained persons who are able to read these languages. An author’s own publication that must be translated into a world language does, however, constitute an additional problem. Workers with a lower educational record are handicapped even with English, and require suitable publications in their mother tongue.

In small countries the relative importance of literature as opposed to verbal communications is naturally greater than in large countries, as the number of countrymen with the same speciality often is small, and foreign contacts are more difficult to make, especially by junior scientists. A more reserved general behavior pattern might also account for the decrease in importance of verbal communications as a source of information among non-American scientists.

There is no doubt that research workers in the USA and the UK enjoy information services seldom used by, although to some extent available to, Scandinavian scientists. Since the way in which small and medium sized industry uses technical and scientific information appears to be similar in the USA, UK, and European countries as revealed by the EPA study, the differences found between research workers from the various countries seem to be due to differences in the education of scientists.

Thus the exceptional features found in the Scandinavian group, such as the great amount of time devoted to literature, the large number of periodicals regularly read, the kinds of difficulties encountered in keeping abreast of new developments, and the small extent to which library services were demanded, may stem from the difference in emphasis laid on information gathering in connection with academic studies and the scarcity of information services, rather than on actual national factors.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

7. The age of scientists.

It has been found that junior scientists use literature to a smaller extent than their seniors and that there is a curvilinear correlation between publishing activities and age, the most productive age being in the 40’s. If the first-mentioned finding is typical it accentuates the exceptional features of the young Scandinavian group.

None of the methods used in studies of the use of information by scientists has proved to be truly reliable, and therefore the results of the operational research program underway in the USA are looked forward to with great expectations. Should these studies reveal better methods for the study of these problems, a coordinated research program carried out in several countries and covering a variety of users of information should be undertaken with the aim of collecting the relevant data needed to form a basis for the development of scientific literature and information services.

Meanwhile, local studies carried out by some of the methods directed to the users of information to clarify questions connected with services to smaller groups will be justifiable—in fact there does not seem to be any doubt of the necessity for every information service to carry out a continuing analysis of the requirements of its users, especially of its least industrious users.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This study was made under a contract from the Department of Natural Sciences of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the fullest possible cooperation and help was given by Dr. J.E.Holmstrom.

Mrs. Helen L.Brownson, Program Chairman, Area 1 of the International Conference on Scientific Information, has shown kind interest in the work and sincere thanks are due for her invaluable help in collecting material. The authors of similar studies, completed and current ones, have been most helpful in supplying the author with both reports and advice.

The author wishes to express her thanks for the cooperation of the Junior Scientists Committee of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and their Finnish colleagues who were queried and who responded, sparing no trouble to bring the response rate up to nearly 100%.

Last, but not least, an acknowledgment is due to the Scandinavian Council for Applied Research for their interest in the project.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

APPENDIX I. English translation of the circular letter mailed to the scientists in the sample.

The use of scientific and technical literature and reference services

The rapid growth of the flow of literature has several harmful effects on technical progress: valuable research results often remain unexploited, research and development work is duplicated, and searching for as well as reading the professional literature requires more and more time of the busy research worker.

To help to improve the situation attempts have been made to find out how research workers obtain the necessary information and which are the greatest difficulties involved. In the USA several studies have been carried out with the aim of finding an answer to these problems, and Unesco has recently taken the initiative to perform comparative studies in Europe where these problems presumably are different.

Unesco has requested me to carry out a query in Scandinavia, and I have dispatched the enclosed questionnaire to a sample of 100 young research workers in Finland. With the kind permission of the Board of the Danish contact group Yngre Forskere I am now mailing the same form to a sample of 100 members of the group. I should very much appreciate it if you would be kind enough to answer as many of the questions as possible and return the filled in questionnaire. The study will be of little value if responses are not received from all.

The answers will be considered confidential and the results will be submitted in the form of statistics.

Sincerely yours

ELIN TÖRNUDD

Secretary of the Scandinavian

Council for Applied Research

Enclosure: questionnaire

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

APPFNDIX II. English translation of the Questionnaire for research workers on the use of scientific and technical information

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 19
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 20
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 21
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 22
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 23
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 24
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 25
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 36
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 37
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 38
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 39
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 40
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 41
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 42
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 43
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 44
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 45
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 46
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 47
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 48
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 50
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 51
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 52
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 55
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 56
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 58
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 59
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 60
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 61
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 62
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 63
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 64
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 65
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 66
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 67
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 68
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 69
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 70
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 71
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 72
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 73
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 74
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 75
Suggested Citation:"Study on the Use of Scientific Literature and Reference Services by Scandinavian Scientists and Engineers Engaged in Research Development." National Research Council. 1959. Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10866.
×
Page 76
Next: The Transmission of Scientific Information »
Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information: Two Volumes Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The launch of Sputnik caused a flurry of governmental activity in science information. The 1958 International Conference on Scientific Information (ICSI) was held in Washington from Nov.16-21 1958 and sponsored by NSF, NAS, and American Documentation Institute, the predecessor to the American Society for Information Science. In 1959, 20,000 copies of the two volume proceedings were published by NAS and included 75 papers (1600 pages) by dozens of pioneers from seven areas such as:

  • Literature and reference needs of scientists
  • Function and effectiveness of A & I services
  • Effectiveness of Monographs, Compendia, and Specialized Centers
  • Organization of information for storage and search: comparative characteristics of existing systems
  • Organization of information for storage and retrospective search: intellectual problems and equipment considerations
  • Organization of information for storage and retrospective search: possibility for a general theory
  • Responsibilities of Government, Societies, Universities, and industry for improved information services and research.

It is now an out of print classic in the field of science information studies.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!