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SCIENTISTS AND INFORMATION: I. USING CLUSTER ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY INFORMATION STYLE

JUDITH PALMER (Agricultural and Food Research Council Institute of Arable Crops Research, Rothamsted Experimental Station Harpenden, Herts AL5 2JQ)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 February 1991

Abstract

Semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews were used to explore the influence of personality, discipline and organisational structure on the information behaviour of biochemists, entomologists and statisticians working at an agricultural research station (n = 67). Cluster analysis was used to reveal groupings in the data. Library and document‐based activities did not differentiate individuals. Computer use, both for scientific work and information handling, and the degree of enthusiasm displayed for actively seeking information divided the population. Discipline, work role and time spent in the subject field and organisation were the most important determinants of information behaviour. There were some indications of male/female differences in information behaviour. A comparison of the groups obtained from the cluster analysis with a subjective classification showed the former to be more robust in later analysis.

Citation

PALMER, J. (1991), "SCIENTISTS AND INFORMATION: I. USING CLUSTER ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY INFORMATION STYLE", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 105-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb026873

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited