- A Conceptual Framework for Information Use Behaviours in Research Processes
- No.12, p.231-242
The relation between libraries and researchers is not so well understood in Japan. The causes being various, the problem cannot be solved by simply adopting some library techniques developed in foreign countries. First we must examine existing library characteristics in Japanese context, and then design for technical developments. For this purpose we have to understand the information users in research processes. It is because “user studie” are asked for.
In the United States there was “a bewildering variet” of user surveys, particularly in 1960s, and also in Japan we have had several of them. But they are ambiguous in the absence of consistent theoretical or conceptual frameworks and obtained data cannot be fitted to libraries.
Even in such a conceptual or terminological disorder a little advance of theorization is bringing about stabilization of the basic concepts “need”, “demand” and “use”. It can be said that “user studie” have so far been concerned with information gathering stages, and not with using stages. Moreover, there was not a general agreement as to the possibility of finding out “need” experimentally.
The “need” is defined here as information needed for scientific advances, and not always as those required personally by researchers. As for the method, the “need” can be reconstructed by tracing back user behaviours related to an individual contribution. This is analogous to a reference case which begins with a dialogue and ends in an identification of “need”.
The author emphasizes that the concept of “need” should be introduced into the planning of libraries and defining works of librarians.