ERIC Number: ED385295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
Communication by Engineers: A Literature Review of Engineers' Information Needs, Seeking Processes, and Use.
King, Donald W.; And Others
There have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of studies involving scientific and technical information communication performed over the last 25 years. This review attempts to provide a window to these studies for persons interested in studying the results published in technical reports and the formal literature. This review primarily deals with the information-seeking needs and behavior of engineers and, to a lesser degree, scientists or those said to be generally engaged in research and development. The principal focus in on primary communications through interpersonal means and through information found in documents such as books, journal articles, technical reports, etc. Less attention is paid here to the use of secondary services and products such as printed bibliographic indexes and automated bibliographic databases; numeric databases; intermediary organizations such as libraries, information clearinghouses, and information analysis centers (IACs); and technologies used by engineers for communication purpose. The review covers research reported from 1970 forward, although some exceptions are made, particularly when earlier studies begin a sustained series of studies or when they serve as precedents for other subsequent studies. Section 2 provides a brief overview and summary observations concerning: scientific and technical information (STI) communication research approaches and models; STI communication; communication through primary STI media; interpersonal STI communication; STI communication through secondary media and databases; use of libraries, IACs, and clearinghouses; and state-of-the-art literature reviews of engineers' information needs, information-seeking processes, and information use. Section 3 discusses some distinctions made in the literature between engineers' and scientists' information needs, information-seeking processes, and information use. Several extensive and continuous STI communication research efforts are discussed in section 4, including general research themes, brief descriptions of research methods used, and some significant findings. The research review, section 5, consists of a numbered list of 456 references, given in alphabetical order by author. An annotated bibliography of many of the references follows in section 6. A subject index and author index are also provided in section 7. (MAS)
Descriptors: Annotated Bibliographies, Communication (Thought Transfer), Engineers, Information Needs, Information Seeking, Literature Reviews, Research and Development, Research Reports, Scientific and Technical Information, Scientists
Council on Library Resources, 1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036-2217 ($25 prepaid).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Council on Library Resources, Inc., Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A