Modelling the information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists in an industrial environment

David Ellis (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN)
Merete Haugan (Statoil, Trondheim, Norway)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 1 October 1997

Abstract

The study explores the role of information and information seeking in the Research and Development Department of an international oil and gas company. The information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists at Statoil’s Research Centre, in Trondheim, Norway were studied in relation to their research activities in different phases and types of project. The project phases were evaluation of alternative solutions; development and testing; and summary of experiences. The project types were incremental; radical; and fundamental. Eight major characteristics were identified in the patterns: surveying; chaining; monitoring; browsing; distinguishing; filtering; extracting and ending. The study analyses the requirements for different types of information in an environment where the need for internal and external resources are intertwined; it also compares features of the information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists from this and previous studies. It was found that, although there were differences in the features of the information seeking patterns of the research scientists and engineers, the behavioural characteristics were similar; and the study identified identical or very similar categories of information seeking behaviour to those of previous studies of academic researchers.

Keywords

Citation

Ellis, D. and Haugan, M. (1997), "Modelling the information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists in an industrial environment", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 53 No. 4, pp. 384-403. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000007204

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Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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