Now, as scientists search and browse, they are making queries and selecting information in much tighter iterations and with many different kinds of objectives in mind, almost as if they were playing a fast-paced video game. […] In a compelling analogy, Nicholas et al. describe a "slightly irritated" father watching his young daughter flick from channel to channel while watching television:
[the] father asks … why she cannot make up her mind and she answers that she is not attempting to make up her mind but is watching all the channels … gathering information horizontally, not vertically.
And they conclude
Now we see what the migration from traditional to electronic sources has meant in information seeking terms. We are all bouncers and flickers, and the success of Google is a testament to that, with its marvelous ability to enhance and amplify this flicking and bouncing (like a really good remote) … […]
Just as the aim of channel surfing is not to find a program to watch, the goal of literature surfing, is not to find an article to read, but rather to find, assess, and exploit a range of information by scanning portions of many articles.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A nice quote from Strategic Reading, Ontologies, and the Future of Scientific Publishing, by Allen H. Renear and Carole L. Palmer (Science, 14 August 2009, p.829), on how scientists make use of the literature: