Scholarly work and the shaping of digital access


  • Carole L. Palmer

    1. Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 219 Library and Information Science Building, 501 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61920
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In the cycle of scholarly communication, scholars play the role of both consumer and contributor of intellectual works within the stores of recorded knowledge. In the digital environment scholars are seeking and using information in new ways and generating new types of scholarly products, many of which are specialized resources for access to research information. These practices have important implications for the collection and organization of digital access resources. Drawing on a series of qualitative studies investigating the information work of scientists and humanities scholars, specific information seeking activities influenced by the Internet and two general modes of information access evident in research practice are identified in this article. These conceptual modes of access are examined in relation to the digital access resources currently being developed by researchers in the humanities and neuroscience. Scholars' modes of access and their “working” and “implicit” assemblages of information represent what researchers actually do when gathering and working with research materials and therefore provide a useful framework for the collection and organization of access resources in research libraries.