Wie Ingenieure üblicherweise recherchieren
und wie Information Professionals
es besser machen können
Engineering a Better Search:
A Survey of Info Pros
Von Janice Sykes
In the process of writing this paper, I conducted a survey of info pros who work directly with engineers to better understand the techniques that their researchers use for finding information relevant to their work. I surveyed 10 info pros—including those who work for engineering firms, information centers in large corporations, and as independent consultants. The results from this small sample were largely consistent.
Based on my conversations with engineering info pros, I have distilled some common search practices and suggested tactics for process improvement that allow us to add value by complementing what engineers may already be doing.
Common search practices of engineers: Tend to search Google first.
How info professionals can provide more value: Show engineers a comparison of Google results with those from professional search services in the next section). Use information center website and marketing materials to discuss pros and cons of both.
Demonstrate ease of searching and filtering results in commercial databases.
Common search practices of engineers: Develop deep expertise in their field and search familiar locations on the web where they have found relevant information.
How info professionals can provide more value: Emphasize time saved when searching collections of authoritative, curated information rather than searching databases separately.
Promote global nature of many research databases for broader awareness and insights.
Communicate benefits of surveying research in other disciplines when embarking on new projects.
Common search practices of engineers:Value membership in professional societies focused on their specific discipline and often rely on those society publications.
How info professionals can provide more value: Become familiar with resources of professional societies in order to identify gaps and complementary information resources.
Attend conferences or local chapter events also attended by target audience to learn more about their work.
Common search practices of engineers: Place high priority on conversations with peers and colleagues, including at workshops and conferences.
How info professionals can provide more value: Lurk in social networking sites like LinkedIn groups, ResearchGate and internal communities to become more familiar with current topics.
Contribute to the conversation when your information resources could provide value.
Common search practices of engineers: Like to discuss articles and reports that are helpful to them when collaborating with colleagues.
How info professionals can provide more value: Promote collaborative tools, where multiple users can share search results.
Common search practices of engineers: Maintain relationships with universities where they may have access to library services.
How info professionals can provide more value: Proactively initiate conversations about information needs and schedule follow-up calls to discuss potential next steps.
Promote the quality and simplicity of your organization’s library services and precision search skills of info pros in engineering-specific disciplines.
Position yourself as a trusted advisor regarding trusted advisor regarding sources and search strategies.
Launch tools such as search widgets and templates to facilitate effective searching from various intranet pages.
Post testimonials from satisfied customers.
Common search practices of engineers: Expect quick and easy access to full-text documents.
How info professionals can provide more value: Source articles immediately for end-users from in-house subscriptions or external suppliers with sources like the ProQuest Dialog document ordering tool.
Common search practices of engineers: Have less familiarity with business databases or investigate markets and competitors.
How info professionals can provide more value: Set up alerts so that your end-users can receive information from global news and trade sources.
Common search practices of engineers: Are cost-sensitive.
How info professionals can provide more value: Be prepared to discuss the financial risks of not having comprehensive and current information.
Track expenditures with a cost estimator or by project code and then assess ROI. or clients
Use a tool like ProQuest Dialog that has multiple pricing options, including transactional (pay-as-you-go) plans can help organizations budget.
Common search practices of engineers: Enlist the help of info pros for patent and prior art searching.
How info professionals can provide more value:The risk of missing patent information is too great to allow engineers to rely on the self-serve approach. Ensure that your organization has access to a comprehensive patent searching tool