Collaborative Yet Independent: Information Practices in the Physical Sciences
Research Information Network (RIN) Report Series, IOP Publishing, 2011
102 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 31, 2011
In many ways, the physical sciences are at the forefront of using digital tools and methods to work with information and data. However, the fields and disciplines that make up the physical sciences are by no means uniform, and physical scientists find, use, and disseminate information in a variety of ways. This report examines information practices in the physical sciences across seven cases, and demonstrates the richly varied ways in which physical scientists work, collaborate, and share information and data.
This report details seven case studies in the physical sciences. For each case, qualitative interviews and focus groups were used to understand the domain. Quantitative data gathered from a survey of participants highlights different information strategies employed across the cases, and identifies important software used for research.
Finally, conclusions from across the cases are drawn, and recommendations are made. This report is the third in a series commissioned by the Research Information Network (RIN), each looking at information practices in a specific domain (life sciences, humanities, and physical sciences). The aim is to understand how researchers within a range of disciplines find and use information, and in particular how that has changed with the introduction of new technologies.
Keywords: information practices, physical sciences, information science
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