View the PDF document Information searching preferences and practices of computer science researchers

Cunningham, S. J., Connaway, L. S. (1996) Proc OZCHI’96,Hamilton, New Zealand, pp 294-299; November.

We present preliminary findings of an ongoing study of the ways that computer scientists seek, use, and store information when conducting research. Their preferred methods of information foraging has implications for the design of information retrieval systems for these researchers. Traditional indexing schemes based on controlled vocabularies see little use. Researchers rely heavily on browsing and citation searches-information gathering techniques that are not well supported by existing indexes and retrieval systems. Not surprisingly, resources that can be immediately accessed from the user’s office (particularly via the Internet) are preferred to those requiring a special trip to another location (such as a university library).