“In less than 10 years,” writes Marshall Clinton in his article for this issue of Library Connect, “the introduction of electronic information resources into our teaching, learning and research processes has transformed scholarship in ways that few could have imagined.”
Many of the challenges this transformation brings are shared not just by librarians and their patrons, but also by the publishers and by the vendors of secondary information products. For example: How can we make the most of the explosion in information and help users become specialists in their disciplines, rather than specialists in searching? One of the most satisfying aspects of all of our jobs is that we’re not in this alone. If we collaborate, the expertise, the technology and the imagination shared by librarians, scientists and publishers can truly make a difference.
In this issue we see how an information behavior study at the University of Toronto revealed that information is sometimes used in unexpected ways, and how a deeper understanding of researchers’ actual behavior within the everyday work context has fed into the development of new services.
Highlights from a survey on trends in A&I services give insights into 60 librarians’ views on recent developments, and John Regazzi, CEO of Elsevier Inc., provides a publisher’s perspective on the industry in an essay examining the future of A&I services. Bridging the globe we hear from librarians in Spain to Taiwan on the ways they encourage their users to use A&I resources, and then we take a quick look behind the scenes at developments in the application of XML and thesauri technology.
All of this points in one direction — superior navigation to information using linking, indexing and intuitive interfaces, is key to offering researchers, teachers, students and practitioners integrated, meaningful and precise research tools.
As librarians, charged with the delivery and safeguarding of valuable information, the opportunities for you to shape the future of information searching and retrieval are vast. As publishers, my colleagues and I look to you as advocates for getting the right information into the right hands, at the right time. This issue of Library Connect reflects some of the valuable partnerships we have already forged in the dissemination of information. With your help, we can build tools to match or even anticipate users’ needs, and thereby reduce learning curves and free up more time for them to excel in their research.
Managing Director, ScienceDirect, Scopus and Bibliographic Databases
Library Connect practical-assistance pamphlet number 6, "How Libraries Are Training Users on E-resources: Best Practices" delivers success stories and tips from librarians around the world. It offers suggestions on how to deliver training to users spanning generations, time zones and fields of interest.
To request print copies please email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively pick them up at upcoming library shows (see page 20). A PDF is available at www.elsevier.com/libraryconnect.
Anyone with comments or suggestions regarding our pamphlets may drop us a line at email@example.com. Your feedback helps guide selection of future topics.