The last detailed study of trends in science communication in the uk was carried out a decade ago. A new study has therefore been made (via interview and questionnaire surveys) to investigate how the handling of information by scientists in the uk has developed during the 1980s. The most obvious changes have occurred in informal communication between scientists, reflecting the rapid expansion of electronic networking in recent years. Automation has also led to an increasing emphasis on the information role of the end‐user. At the same time, the formal communication system has posed an increasing number of problems (e.g. information overload, rapid increases in costs). There was a fair degree of consensus amongst respondents concerning likely communication trends in the immediate future. Interestingly, it was the opportunities, as much as the problems, that were stressed.
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