By one of those coincidences that seem to abound in academic life and are probably not coincidences at all, we have recently found ourselves, quite suddenly, in possession of a very great deal of information about the language barrier and about the information requirements of the social sciences. This is a consequence of two recent publications: the Sheffield report on two years of intensive work on the language barrier in an academic community and Bath University Library's INFROSS report. The former looks at the language barrier from the point of view of all disciplines, including the social sciences; the latter looks at the information requirements and problems of social scientists from a very comprehensive point of view and includes amongst the problems that of the language barrier. The two reports therefore complement one another very well, and in my paper this evening I propose to draw on both of them, in an attempt to look at the language barrier from the social scientist's point of view. I shall normally draw more heavily on the Sheffield report than that of Bath—mainly because it is the one with which I am most familiar—though when I came to look at possible solutions, the Bath findings will certainly carry a good deal of weight, as you will see.
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