Use of Bioinformatics Resources and Tools by Users of Bioinformatics Centers in India.

Author:Meera, Yadav
  1. Introduction

    'Needs' refer to lack of self-sufficiency and also represent gaps in the present knowledge of the users. Apart from the expressed or articulated needs, there are unexpressed needs which the user is aware of but does not like to express (Devadason & Lingam, 1996). Information needs is a complex process. 'Information' is put to different uses and 'Need' is satisfied by having access to the identified information in a particular package and form, and at a suitable time. The complexity with 'information needs' lies with the troublesome concept 'information'. When the term 'user study' is employed the specific sub-field should be specified, and the aspect or aspects of 'information' under consideration should be defined. The purpose of a library and an information system is to fulfil the users' needs and requirements for documents and information. Such needs may be related to educational activities, research activities, professional activities, recreational activities, cultural activities or personal development. Information needs should not be confused with information seeking behaviour. What users believe they need is represented in the subjective understanding of needs. This subjective understanding is reflected in their information seeking behaviour. Even if this behaviour may be studied objectively it is still not useful as criteria for what is needed. What is needed is something that is able to solve the problem behind the users' behaviour. The word 'information' is used, in the context of user-studies research. There is not much effort in research and writing of user studies that has circumstances in information science apart from information retrieval. The probable interrelationships among personal needs and these other factors aim is to suggest that when we talk about users' information needs we should have in mind some conception of information (facts, data, opinion, advice) as one means towards the end of satisfying such fundamental needs (Wilson 1981).

    Information plays a vital role in bioinformatics to achieve the existing bioinformatics information technologies. Librarians have to identify the information needs, uses and problems faced to meet the needs and requirements of the bioinformatics users. In the present age of information, it has been increasingly felt that to serve users better, information needs and uses must become the central focus of attention. It is beyond doubt that the success of the information service is more likely to be achieved by adjusting the services to meet the specific needs of an individual or a specific group rather than trying to adopt the user to match with the output of the information system. We have to create and develop the user-oriented system for their maximum information satisfaction. In recent years, there have been several studies pertaining to users and their information needs.

    Information is recognised as a national resource, which is of vital significance in all sectors of human endeavour--planning, decision making, research and development, education, socioeconomic and cultural development, and also in improving the quality of life of every members of the society. Along with the material and energy, information is considered a potential resource, a product and there by a need, which must be put to use effectively. It is true that the information scientists had for a long time neglected one of the most important components of any information system, namely the 'user'. They were more concerned with the information and their bibliographical organisation and control. It is also true that this organisation was ultimately meant to satisfy the information needs of users. How exactly the user behaved when he was looking for some information, what type of information was used in which situation, how the information was used when obtained, all these were not very clearly known to the information scientists? So, for the proper and systematic planning and development of information resources and services the user studies are very essential.

    The present study is aimed at ascertaining the information needs of Bioinformatics Users. It is essential in designing information systems and in building up need based information centers. The study follows an exploratory design. It focus on needs, uses, identification and various problems arising out of it, especially in the context of information; be it related to information technology or management problems in the process of information. Users study, research has contributed to a better understanding of information needs and uses among the users in Bioinformatics.

  2. Literature reviews

    Yoon and Kim (2014) investigate the international graduate students' internet use in the context of seeking health information because according to them, the internet is a useful and primary source for health information, especially by foreign-born students. Chen (2014) studied the information needs and information sources of family caregivers of cancer patients. The finding shows that family caregivers' information needs varied along the cancer journey, and they used various information sources to satisfy these needs. Demographic variables affected the information-seeking behaviour of the family caregivers. Du and Song (2013) study the information needs analysis of the aerospace discipline. The findings indicate that journals are the most important information resources. While 20 per cent of cited journals were discipline-specific, 80 per cent were in related fields. To provide for aerospace research, a library collection needs to include the databases of the field, and commercial and open access journals that cover aerospace engineering, related disciplines and the sciences in general. Catalano (2013) revealed that graduate students begin their research on the internet much like any other information seeker, consult their faculty advisors before other people, and use libraries in diverse ways depending on the discipline studied. He noted the difference between doctoral and master's students. It indicates that information behaviour research conducted on graduate students should define between masters' and doctoral students. Further, the findings inform both academic librarian and faculty practice as to how and to assist students with their research by helping them to understand how students typically approach research. Robson and Robinson (2013) study shows that library and information science focus on information seeking and the information user, while those from the field of communications focus on the communicator and the communication process. A new model is proposed that includes key elements of existing models and takes into account not just the information seeker but also the communicator or information provider. Sahu and Singh (2013) study shows that differences in information seeking behaviour and needs for various academic is the sub-fields of Indian astronomy or astrophysics, and highlights the value of information seeking behaviour to scientists working in astronomy or astrophysics. The study concludes that astronomyor astrophysics academics were making use of the Astrophysics Data System followed by their use of e-archives for education and research. The findings underscored the need to continue accessing specialised needs to find innovative solutions.

    Parves (2012) study shows that corporate managers are in constant need of current and trustworthy information quickly. After he conducted an interview of 352 managers working in financial institutions in India, the choice of managers' specific type of information is financial and industry specific databases which is in electronic format. Therefore, the format preferred by the manager was faster communication and it was found to be the electronic format of databases. Savolainen (2012) studied the conceptualisations of task-based information needs, approached the motivators for information seeking in terms of the informational requirements posed by tasks at hand. However, the ways in which such needs trigger and drive information seeking have not been specified in detail. Expectancy-value theories provide a more elaborate picture of motivational factors by focusing on actors' beliefs about the probability of success in information seeking and the perceived value of the outcome of this activity.

    Beautyman and Shenton (2009) in their study explore the nature of school students' inspired information wants. It considers how such wants arise and actions taken by youngsters to meet them through their information needs. The findings have a range of implications, notably for practices in both education and Library and Information Science. Kumar (2009) analyses the information needs and use pattern among faculty members and research scholars of Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut's university campus and six district colleges. This study raises awareness of the collections and services of the library, and shows the effectiveness of resources and services of college libraries and the university library. It focuses on the skills needed to use electronic resources and emphasises the need for user education and training in using electronic sources in the library based on user responses.

    Miranda & Tarapanoff (2007) deal with the identification of the information needs and information competencies of a professional group. Information needs were closely linked to the needs of the work processes and that the competencies developed to attend these needs were closely related to the success factors. Webber and Zhu (2007) investigate the question of how Chinese young adults (18-26 years old) in Sheffield seek employment information, and what sources and channels they use. Fifty five percent of the respondents felt that they had encountered barriers when seeking information. The largest number of employed respondents had used newspapers and magazines to find their current...

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