1997 STS Conference Program


Association of College and Research Libraries
Science and Technology Section

The Scientific Researcher:
Hardwired for Retrieval or Wedded to Print?

Monday, June 30, 1997
8:30 -11:00 am.
Moscone Center, Room 300
747 Howard Street

Are emerging formats and avenues of information retrieval making the traditional scientific journal obsolete? What can libraries do to match the new formats and forms of access to scientists' evolving research needs? This program will feature a discussion of emerging formats and user behavior. Suggestions will be given on how libraries can better serve scientists' research needs by matching material formats and library services to scientists' information seeking behavior.

Speakers and Presentations:

Susan Starr, Library Planning and Action Initiative Coordinator, University of California Office of the President. 

"For better or for worse? Electronic formats for disseminating scientific information"


Many scientists find current paper-based systems for distributing scientific information to be too slow and too expensive. Current systems also often fail to encourage the collaboration scientists need, and they may produce more information than researchers can easily digest. New electronic formats promise to ameliorate some of these problems, but they may well create others. We can judge the efficacy of both current and proposed formats for scientific communication by analyzing their potential to fill three major functions: dissemination, preservation, and quality control. Three major new formats will be discussed: electronic journals, web-based publishing schemes, and the electronic invisible college. The strengths and weaknesses of these formats will be analyzed and compared to other even newer proposals for changing the means by which scientific information is distributed.


Bennett, S. (1996) Re-engineering scholarly communication: thoughts addressed to authors. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, July 1996, 185-207.

Ginsparg, P. (1996) Winners and Losers in the Global Village. Paper presented at Electronic Publishing in Science, UNESCO HQ, Paris, 19-23 Feb. 1996. http://xxx.lanl.gov/blurb/pg96unesco.html#abstract

Harnad, Stevan (1995) The PostGutenberg Galaxy: How to get there from here. The Information Society, 11 (4), 285-291.

Hickey, T. B. (1995) Present and future capabilities of the online journal. Library Trends, 43 (4), 528-43.

Peek, R. P. (1996) Scholarly publishing, facing the new frontiers. In: Scholarly Publishing: the Electronic Frontier. Robin P. Peek and Gregory B. Newby (eds.). Cambridge: Mass: MIT Press, 3-15.

Schaffner, A. C. (1994) The future of scientific journals: Lessons from the past. Information Technology and Libraries, 13 (4), 239-247.

Tenopir, C. (1995). Authors and readers: The keys to success or failure for electronic publishing. Library Trends, 43 (4), 571-591.

link to speaker info

Julie Hurd, Science Librarian, Science Library, University of Illinois, Chicago 

"From Print to Electronic: Are we there yet? How can we know?"


Scientific communication is currently evolving from a print-based system reliant on the refereed scientific journal to a system that incorporates computer-mediated communication and new formats for disseminating information. The Internet, digital libraries, collaboratories, and emerging electronic journals are only some of the developments that will shape scientific communication in the future. As science librarians we are participants in the process along with scientists, publishers, database vendors, and others. This presentation will address what we know about the impact of information technology on scientific communication. How is the information seeking behavior of scientists changing? What research informs us? What else do we need to know? What methodologies offer promise of answering our questions about the transformation underway? What are the implications for library services?


Abels, Eileen G., Liebscher, Peter, and Denman, Daniel W., "Factors that Influence Use of Electronic Networks by Science and Engineering Faculty at Small Institutions. Part I. Queries" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 47(2): 146 - 158, 1996.

Adams, Judith A. and Bonk, Sharon C. "Electronic Information Technologies and Resources: Use by University Faculty and Faculty Preferences for Related Library Services" College & Research Libraries 56(2): 119 - 131, 1995.

Covi, Lisa and Kling, Rob, "Organizational Dimensions of Effective Digital Library Use: Closed Rational and Open Natural Systems Models" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 47(9): 672 - 689, 1996.

Crawford, Susan W., Hurd, Julie M. and Weller, Ann C. From Print to Electronic: The Transformation of Scientific Communication ASIS Monograph Series.Medford, NJ: Information Today, 1996.

Curtis, Karen L., Weller, Ann C. and Hurd, Julie M. "Information Seeking Behavior: A Survey of Health Sciences Faculty Use of Indexes and Databases." Bulletin of the Medical Library Association , 81 (4): 383 - 392, October 1993.

Curtis, Karen L., Weller, Ann C. and Hurd, Julie M. "Information Seeking Behavior of Health Sciences Faculty: The Impact of New Information Technologies." In press. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association.

Doty, Philip, Bishop, Ann P. and McClure, Charles R. "Scientific Norms and the Use of Electronic Research Networks" Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science, Washington, DC, October 1991: 24 - 38, 1991.

Harter, Stephen P., "The Impact of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication: A Citation Analysis" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 7(5), 1996. Available at URL: http://info.lib.uh.edu/pr/v7/n5/hart7n5.html

Hughes, Janet. "Use of Faculty Publication Lists and ISI Citation Data to Identify a Core List of Journals with Local Importance" Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory 19(4): 403 - 413, 1995.

Hurd, Julie M., Blecic, Deborah and Vishwanatham, Rama. "Information Use by Molecular Biologists: Implications for Library Collections and Services: Manuscript in preparation.

Hurd, Julie M. and Weller, Ann C. "From Print to Electronic: The Adoption of Information Technology by Academic Chemists" In press. Science & Technology Libraries.

Hurd, Julie M., Weller, Ann C. and Curtis, Karen L. "Information Seeking Behavior of Faculty: Use of Indexes and Abstracts by Scientists and Engineers." Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science, Pittsburgh, PA, October 1992: 136 - 143, 1992.

Hurd, Julie M., Weller, Ann C. and Curtis, Karen L. "Information Seeking Behavior of Science and Engineering Faculty: The Impact of New Information Technologies." Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science Mid-Year Meeting, San Diego, CA, May 1996: 188 - 196, 1996.

Liebscher, Peter, Abels, Eileen G., and Denman, Daniel W., "Factors that Influence Use of Electronic Networks by Science and Engineering Faculty at Small Institutions. Part II. Preliminary Use Indicators" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 48(6): 496 - 507, 1997.

Rogers, Everett M., Diffusion of Innovations 4th edition. New York: Free Press, 1995.

Walsh, John P. and Bayma, Todd. "The Virtual College: Computer-Mediated Communication and Scientific Work." The Information Society, 9: 343 - 363, 1996.

Link to speaker info

Marilyn Von Seggern, Head, Science Reference, Owen Science and Engineering Library, Washington State University 

"Seeing the Forest, the Trees, and the Species Communities"


The information-seeking habits of scientists and engineers are impacted by changes in the research environment. More research is crossing disciplinary boundaries to draw methods, techniques, and information from other communities. Communication of all kinds is undergoing rapid change due to electronic advances, and the results can be seen in the increase of collaboration and collaboratories, a decrease in interaction time, a move from print to electronic publications, and other trends. Change effected by technological innovation comes to science and engineering disciplines at varying rates and with different consequences. As information professionals adapt access and services to the changing environment, the differing characteristics of individuals and groups of researchers as well as "the bigger picture" should be taken into account.


Ackerson, Linda G., "Basing Reference Service on Scientific Communication: Toward a More Effective Model for Science Graduate Students," RQ 36 (2): 248-260, 1996

Brody, Herb, "Wired Science," Technology Review 99 (7): 42-51, 1996.

Cunningham, Diana, Suzanne Grefsheim, Marjorie Simon, and Phyllis S. Lansing, "Biotechnology Awareness Study, Part 2: Meeting the Information Needs of Biotechnologists," Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 79 (1):45-52, 1991.

Ferguson, Chris D., and Charles A. Bunge, "The Shape of Services to Come: Values-Based Reference Service for the Largely Digital Library," College & Research Libraries 58 (3):252-267, 1997.

Hallmark, Julie, "The Effects of Technology on the Information-Seeking Behavior of Scientists," in Changing Gateways; the Impact ofTechnology on Geoscience Information Exchange; Proceedings, Barbara E. Haner and Jim O'Donnel, eds., Proceedings of the Geoscience Information Society 25: 51-56 (Alexandria, VA: Geoscience Information Society), 1994.

Hallmark, Julie, "Scientists' Access and Retrieval of References Cited in Their Recent Journal Articles," College & Research Libraries 55 (3): 199-209, 1994.

Klein, Julie Thompson, "Interdisciplinary Needs: The Current Context," Library Trends 45 (2): 134-54, 1996.

Marchionini, Gary, Information Seeking in Electronic Environments, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), 1995.

Marchionini, Gary, and Danuta A. Nitecki, "Managing Change: Supporting Users of Automated Systems," College & Research Libraries 48 (2): 104-109, 1987.

Palmer, Carole L., "Information Work at the Boundaries of Science: Linking Library Services to Research Practices," Library Trends 45 (2): 165-91, 1996.

Von Seggern, Marilyn, "Scientists, Information Seeking, and Reference Services," in Library Users and Reference Services , Jo Bell Whitlatch, ed., The Reference Librarian no. 49-50: 95-104 (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press), 1995.

Walsh, John P., and Todd Bayma, "Computer Networks and Scientific Work," Social Studies of Science 26 (3):661-701, 1996.

Wilson, Lizabeth A., "Building the User-Centered Library," RQ 34 (3): 297-302, 1995

Link to speaker info


Amy Paster, Acting Head, Life Sciences Library, Penn State University

Chair, STS Planning Committee, ALA San Francisco, 1997:

Amy W. Shannon,Head, Life and Health Sciences Library




Content Last Modified June 1997