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ERIC Number: EJ925570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Why Choose This One? Factors in Scientists' Selection of Bioinformatics Tools
Bartlett, Joan C.; Ishimura, Yusuke; Kloda, Lorie A.
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v16 n1 Mar 2011
Purpose: The objective was to identify and understand the factors involved in scientists' selection of preferred bioinformatics tools, such as databases of gene or protein sequence information (e.g., GenBank) or programs that manipulate and analyse biological data (e.g., BLAST). Methods: Eight scientists maintained research diaries for a two-week period, and were then interviewed following a semi-structured interview schedule. Analysis: The diaries and interview transcripts were analysed using a content analysis approach to reveal the factors that affected the selection of the bioinformatics tools the scientists used. Results: Some of the factors (e.g., ease of use, familiarity), were similar to those identified with respect to text-based, bibliographic resources, while others (e.g., interface, scalability) were specific to the bioinformatics domain. Particularly interesting was the variation in how a single factor was defined. Often what was preferred by one group of users was not preferred by another. Conclusions: The identification of the broad, and sometimes contradictory, range of factors preferred by scientists has several implications. These include the need to design and develop tools to accomodate all users, (e.g., with multiple interface options), and to devise means of recommending or selecting tools on the basis of preferred factors.
Descriptors: Scientists, Criteria, Decision Making, Research, Diaries, Content Analysis, Biology, Information Science, Databases, Genetics, Data Analysis, Interviews, Familiarity
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site: http://informationr.net/ir
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A