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The information needs and behaviour of clinical researchers: a user‐needs analysis

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Aims:  As part of the strategy to set up a new information service, including a physical Resource Centre, the analysis of information needs of clinical research professionals involved with clinical research and development in the UK and Europe was required. It also aimed to identify differences in requirements between the various roles of professionals and establish what information resources are currently used.

Methods:  A user‐needs survey online of the members of The Institute. Group discussions with specialist subcommittees of members.

Results:  Two hundred and ninety members responded to the online survey of 20 questions. This makes it a response rate of 7.9%. Members expressed a lack of information in their particular professional area, and lack the skills to retrieve and appraise information.

Discussion:  The results of the survey are discussed in more detail, giving indications of what the information service should collect, what types of materials should be provided to members and what services should be on offer.

Recommendation:  These were developed from the results of the needs analysis and submitted to management for approval. Issues of concern, such as financial constraint and staff constraints are also discussed.

Conclusions:  There is an opportunity to build a unique collection of clinical research material, which will promote The Institute not only to members, but also to the wider health sector. Members stated that the most physical medical libraries don't provide what they need, but the main finding through the survey and discussions is that it's pointless to set up ‘yet another medical library’.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Institute of Clinical Research, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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