The use by biologists and engineers of non-specialist information sources and its relation to their social involvement

E.T. Woudstra, J. Willems

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    Abstract

    Earlier investigations showed that many academics obtain information pertaining their own field of science from the general massmedia, such as newspapers. Who are those scientists? Is there a relation between the social engagement and the use of non-specialist information sources? We investigated the social engagement of biologists and engineers in correlation to their use of general massmedia in the Netherlands. Biologists find their work social significant, most of engineers do not. Many biologists are members of non-specialist organizations, subscribe to non-specialist journals about science and participate in non-scietific activities related to their work. Most engineers do not. Many members of both groups (biologists and engineers) use non-specialist informations sources like general science magazines and national newspapers to obtain information about their own field of science. And most biologists and engineers did so to obtain information about new developments in their own field and in related fields. We did not find any correlation between the social engagement of scientists and their use of non-specialist information sources. Most scientists use them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-216
    Number of pages12
    JournalScientometrics
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1993

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