ERIC Number: ED307885
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
An Evaluation of Selected NASA Scientific and Technical Information Products: Results of a Pilot Study.
Pinelli, Thomas E.; Glassman, Myron
A pilot study was conducted to evaluate selected NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) scientific and technical information (STI) products. The study, which utilized survey research in the form of a self-administered mail questionnaire, had a two-fold purpose--to gather baseline data on the use and perceived usefulness of selected NASA STI products by aeronautical engineers and scientists and to develop/validate questions that could be used in a future study on the role of the U.S. government technical report in aeronautics. The study population comprised 2,000 randomly selected members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with academic, government, or industrial affiliations in the United States; 353 usable questionnaires were received by the cutoff date. The results showed: (1) the surveyed engineers and scientists are ardent consumers of STI, with the highest use rate for NASA technical reports (77.6%), followed by NASA-authored journal articles (68.7%) and NASA-authored conference/meeting papers (66.6%); (2) of the engineers and scientists who attended NASA-sponsored conferences and meetings (51.6%), 90% indicated that these conferences/meetings are important sources of information; (3) overall, the use rate for the NASA announcement and current awareness media is low, but those engineers and scientists familiar with them find these materials to be easy to use, current, and to have adequate scope and coverage; (4) over three fourths of those surveyed obtained NASA technical reports from their libraries and used these reports for research purposes; and (5) the surveyed engineers and scientists judged the NASA STI products to be of good quality, with the technical reports judged to have very good format/organization and adequacy and accuracy of both data and visual presentation. The text is supplemented by 50 tables and four appendixes, including copies of the survey instrument and data. (21 references) (EW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA. Langley Research Center.