Collaborative Yet Independent: Information Practices in the Physical Sciences

Research Information Network (RIN) Report Series, IOP Publishing, 2011

102 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012  

Eric T. Meyer

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Monica E. Bulger

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Avgousta Kyriakidou-Zacharoudiou

University of Greenwich

Lucy Power

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Peter Williams

University College London

Will Venters

London School of Economics and Political Sciences

Melissa Terras

University College London

Sally Wyatt

Maastricht University

Date Written: December 31, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Eric T. and Bulger, Monica E. and Kyriakidou-Zacharoudiou, Avgousta and Power, Lucy and Williams, Peter and Venters, Will and Terras, Melissa and Wyatt, Sally, Collaborative Yet Independent: Information Practices in the Physical Sciences (December 31, 2011). Research Information Network (RIN) Report Series, IOP Publishing, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1991753

Eric T. Meyer (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St Giles
Oxford, OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
01865 287210 (Phone)
01865 287211 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=120

Monica E. Bulger

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Avgousta Kyriakidou-Zacharoudiou

University of Greenwich ( email )

30 Park Row
Greenwich
London, SE10 9LS
United Kingdom

Lucy Power

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Peter Williams

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Will Venters

London School of Economics and Political Sciences ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 2078523619 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/venters

Melissa Terras

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Sally Wyatt

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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