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Title: Telling science’s stories

Every biologist has been frustrated by an inability to find a specific piece of information in the literature. You are planning an experiment and you want to know whether factor X modifies the cellular response to factor Y. How do you find this information? Reference books and review articles are little help because most are supremely superficial, and any specific information they might contain is hopelessly out of date (not to mention the problem with constantly changing biological nomenclature). Online searching is only useful if the data you are looking for happens to be in the title or abstract. Unless what you’re looking for is the main subject of the paper, perusing the literature is almost hopeless. So what’s the best way to find biological information? The universal struggle that biologists undergo to find information in published papers indicates that the literature is not the actual repository of most biological knowledge. Most useful information, it seems, is not actually written down, but is passed orally between investigators. In other words, the best way to find biological information is to talk to other scientists.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
922163
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-58288
KP1504020; TRN: US200803%%199
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: The Scientist, 22(1):27; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; BIOLOGY; SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL; COMMUNICATIONS; INFORMATION RETRIEVAL communication, science, biology