. "Information and Literature Use in a Research and Development Organization." Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information -- Two Volumes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1959.
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Because of the late receipt of the diaries for analysis and inclusion in the present paper, only the preliminary results are given.
4.02. AMOUNT OF LITERATURE READ, AND WHERE READ
Because of the apparent deliberate choice by many of those taking part of a period when some reading was possible (and the natural tendency for this to be during working hours), the amount of reading and the place where it was done cannot be taken as typical. All those who took part in the test read some periodicals, some reports and some textbooks. (Abstracts are dealt with in 4.03.) In the total of 579 periodicals, of 750 articles, 48.5% were scanned and 51.5% were read. This was 4.0 periodicals and 5.2 articles per head. Of 756 reports, 41% were scanned and 59% read to make 5.3 reports per head. Of 569 textbooks, 67% were scanned and 33% read—4.0 textbooks per head.
The usage of the three kinds of literature per head is seen to be about the same, but though the number of periodical articles scanned was virtually the same as the number read, reports were more carefully read, by comparison. Only consultation of textbooks showed a preponderance of scanning, suggesting that these were used mainly for checking facts or references.
The places where reading was done, with the proportion of reading in each place of each kind of literature are given in Table 6. From the table it is plain
Office or laboratory, %
Travelling on duty, %
At home, etc., %
that the claim (vide 3.02) that for an average of 58% of the past working year no time for reading was available in working hours cannot be reconciled with the conditions established from the diary analysis, but as has already been pointed out, the latter are believed to be unreliable as to quantity of reading and place where reading was done.
4.03. READING OF ABSTRACT JOURNALS
One of the most striking features of this survey was the evidence of the small amount of use of abstract journals, amounting to only 0.9 consultations per head. Only 32% of the scientists consulted any abstract journal at all. In the absence of further information it is not possible to reach firm conclusions on why this should be so, but it may be because few of the libraries circulate abstracts (keeping them principally for use in the library), or alternatively that the Group libraries’ own (selected) weekly bulletin, and book and report