Information for the Sciences

What information do scientists need, and how do they find it? The last decade has seen vast changes in the possibilities and, indeed, in the requirements of faculty and students in science disciplines. The culprit is of course the computer, and even more the Internet: what was once a primarily intramural activity of finding and reading print on paper (and thus centered on local resources) now generally begins with electronic searches and may never lead the searcher to paper at all.
This is not to say that paper is any less valuable or important --rather, that there's more to look at, to evaluate, to know about: more formats, more sources, more tools. Librarians worry that the necessary paper skills aren't being learned, that information seekers content themselves with the first things they find via web searches, and don't read and evaluate as they should.

We'll look at a few examples of tools, searches, and information formats, to get a sense of what the present offers and the future threatens:

We'll also check out approaches to making the paper archives of the past accessible (JSTOR will be the example --and here the point is what's happening with the legacy of the past), and look at a couple of examples of electronic publishing (Academic Press IDEAL full-text journals, and Science magazine's electronic augmentation of weekly content) as examples of the current frontiers.

See a quotation from the May-June 1999 issue of Harvard Magazine on the usefulness of librarians

I seem to be the Keeper of the web site for the Event.