Information Needs and Information Services - Theory...

Information needs and information services

When working with information (especially documentary), the problem of determining the consumer (researcher) and meeting his needs becomes important.

The Information Need (IP) refers to the conscious need for knowledge, or in other words, the awareness of the lack of available knowledge.

When identifying information needs, you should consider: type of information (subject, types of documents), quality and amount of information (reliability, completeness, non-redundancy , reliability of information sources), ways of presenting information to the consumer (verbally, on the screen, original, copy, information publication, microfilm, etc.), terms of submission gap between the appearance, publication of information and bringing it to the consumer.

In order to identify and provide information needs, an information service system is required with the appropriate organization of information flows.

Information needs depend on various objective and subjective factors. Distinguish subjective IP, which are determined by the opinion and requirements of the consumer, his ideas, knowledge, ability to formulate a request and needs for objectively necessary information, and the need for objectively necessary information that must be is connected with the task, the problem that the consumer is exploring in accordance with his official duties, in particular, in the management system of the enterprise (organization).

In the performance of professional duties, there are requirements for current and retrospective information, narrow and wide-range information, industry, inter-industry, legal, regulatory and other types of information.

For a more efficient organization of information services, it is necessary to take into account the principal feature - subjectivity and inadequacy of the expression of information needs. In other words, the information need of the subject is determined by the degree of understanding of the tasks facing him and the knowledge of the possibilities of information service systems.

Studying the requests of consumers of information is a priority task of scientific and information activities. This task is very difficult, as consumers, as a rule, do not know how to articulate their needs, and they are refined as they work with the information they receive.

Existing methods for studying information needs are divided into two groups:

indirect, or documentary, based on the analysis of documentary sources (feedback cards, requests of consumers of information, etc. regardless of whether they were asked by specialists) ;

direct, associated with the participation of the consumer information, the study of the problem, the problem, the object, the specific situation, which allow us to identify the need for objectively necessary information of specific consumers.

Direct methods are usually implemented using questionnaires, interviewing and other expert methods. With their help they study not so much the information needs, but rather the representation of the subject about these needs. The use of direct methods allows not only to provide information support to the members of the team, but also to determine what kind of information is needed for everyone to fulfill their duties.

At the same time, it should be borne in mind that decisions made on the basis of expert assessments are based on the subjective opinions of experts and do not always allow us to determine the true information needs.

The use of indirect methods is associated with the study of the subject area and the functional-job duties of specialists. Here methods of the analysis of the systems based on the analysis of the structure of the goals and functions of the consumer's activity, as well as methods of mathematical modeling are widely used.

As a result, an information model is formed that reflects the potential information needs and allows organizing information services in the process of managing the domain.

The problem of studying the information needs and requests of information consumers can be solved on the basis of statistical studies of information flows, studying their regularities (see Chapter 7), such as the experimentally discovered law of the rank distribution of J. Zipf, theoretically specifying his law B. Mandelbrot, regularities of the ordering of the parameters of documentary information flows S. Bradford, B. Vickery, the regularity of concentration-scattering, investigated with reference to the problems of determining information the needs of VI Gorkova, and the like.

It is promising to define the needs of consumers based on the structuring of the goals and functions of the activities of managers (when servicing in the DOR regime) or specialists (serviced in the PRI mode).

In order to solve the problem of providing information needs in the theory of scientific information retrieval, various types of information services are offered: routine maintenance under standard inquiries (NW), selective information distribution (IRI), differentiated management services (DOR), retrospective search ( RP) for arbitrary queries.

Access to scientific and technical information is a kind of information services, information services existing before the advent of electronic computing.

Mechanization and automation of access to STI began in the 1970s. At the same time, they began to distinguish library information targeted at a wide range of readers, and special scientific and technical information that they collect, form reference information funds and provide specialists with special departments separated from libraries, departments and departments of scientific and technical information (ONTI) or the Bureau of Technical Information (BTI).

At present, information service (service) is a field of professional activity that provides search, processing, processing and distribution of information.

In the development of the information communication system, three types of information services were formed: documentary, factographic and conceptual.

Documentary service of the society and its various institutions, including science, technology and economics, was traditionally provided with scientific and technical information. Its essence lies in the fact that information needs are met by providing

documents, information from which the consumer extracts independently. The development of this type of service has made not only printed and machine-readable documents available to the mass consumer, but also databases of various types and names.

The further improvement of IT allowed to move to factographic information service. Its basis is the provision of information (data, facts) to the consumer in accordance with his request. This is a more complex form of service organization. To form and implement a query, it is required to know the characteristics of the search object, the relationships between them, i.e. you need a lot of information that allows you to formulate a query and understand it.

There are two types of factographic services: information retrieval and information-solving.

In the first case, only the search for information on the given characteristics is performed; the second provides the provision of information about the object obtained as a result of the operation of the data conversion algorithms.

Necessity of interpretation, analysis, abstract processing of received information (data), the presence of huge volumes of information led to the emergence and development of conceptual information services. It involves providing the consumer with so-called situational information: interpretation of data, assessments, recommendations, forecasts, abstract reviews, reviews, translations from foreign languages, etc. In other words, information is provided, which in explicit form in documents and databases may not exist. Such information can be obtained on the basis of analytical and synthetic processing of scientific and technical information or based on analysis and processing (based on decision-making models, prediction models, etc.) of factual information. Conceptual-graphic service can be considered as a form of interpreted documentary and factographic services or as a kind of scientific activity in the field of information analysis.

There are various types of documentary information services. The main ones are:

routine maintenance in the form of preparation and publication of overview and abstract information, a library

graphic pointers, etc., or service on standard queries;

• notification of individual specialists (subscribers) about current publications, which are of potential interest for them through the selective (address) information distribution ( IRI ) on the "interests profiles" formulated by consumers, or differentiated management services (DOR) as information becomes available to make managerial decisions;

Retrospective search, ie. finding documents that contain information on specific requests, in an array of all accumulated sources of information, which can be carried out either in the form of preparing thematic collections or on-line.

Along with the basic, more complete classifications of services were offered. In particular, in 114, with. 2471 provides a generalized classification based on several characteristics (Table 6.3).

Table 6.3

Types of information services

Classification Criterion

Type of Service

According to the source of the initiative

• Forced;

• at the request of consumers

By document type

• maintenance of published documents and (or) their copies;

• maintenance of copies of unpublished documents (reports on research, dissertations, translations, etc.)

For direction or targeting

• information publications (many addresses);

• selective distribution of information (one address)

By periodicity or urgency

• The current alert;

• Retrospective search

By the way of bringing documents to the consumer

• Direct transfer of documents or copies thereof to consumers;

• two-stage service (at first the information publication-signal, and then - copies of the documents that interested the consumer)

By appointment , goals

• Introduction;

• for practical use

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