Scientific and Technical Information Transfer

Issues and Options

by Tora K. Bikson, Barbara Quint, Leland Johnson

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In this study the authors consider ways to more effectively transfer to potential users the knowledge produced by federally funded research in science and technology. Federal policymakers are concerned that the information created through the billions of R&D dollars spent annually by the federal government is not well utilized because of inadequacies in information transfer between the research and user communities. They propose a number of options for improving information transfer which emphasize increasing the selectivity, interactivity, and user-responsiveness of existing formal dissemination systems and on coupling them more closely to informal systems. Specific proposals include: technology-intensive options which take advantage of the special properties of interactive computer and communications technologies; supply-side options which seek to improve dissemination processes from the information supply side, either with or without electronic technology; and user-focused options directed to strengthening the ability of users themselves to access and evaluate information.

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