Re: room for improvement in library use

Douglas B Hanson (dhanson@WORLD.STD.COM)
Fri, 4 Mar 1994 14:42:53 -0500

Cohen-Williams, Pinsker and Finnegan bring up some very interesting points
about how researchers in anthropology (or any other discipline for that
matter) "misuse" the database resources available to them. I work in a
biomedical research environment where access to current literature is vital
to the individual and collective research effort. However, it astounds me
how little individual investigators know about searching databases in order
to pinpoint specific references or for getting a broad overview of a
particular subject area. Many of the investigators I know either leave all
the work to the information professional (IP) with only some general
guidelines to go by or they do a single search on a single keyword and
figure they've covered all bases without consulting the IP. Although I have
become fairly adept at structuring my database searches in the past couple
of years, I find I still need to rely upon the expertise of my information
services professional. Even though she has spent considerable time with me
in learning how to structure searches for particular subject areas and
databases, she still amazes me with the two or three extra references or
resources that she is able to produce in one of her searches. Just goes to
show that I never leave home without consulting my librarian first.

Douglas B. Hanson, Ph.D.
Bioengineering Department
Forsyth Dental Center
140 Fenway
Boston, MA 02115