Challenges for Information Professionals in 2020

March 23, 2020

A recent major survey, commissioned by biomedical research funder the Wellcome Trust has taken a closer look at the challenges for information professionals in 2020. It revealed that a large percentage of information professionals are facing “shocking” levels of stress, brought on by their “overwhelming work pressures”.

We work with numerous organisations across diverse industries — supporting discovery in everything from pharmacology to environmental science and intellectual property to agriculture. Despite the differences in the research fields, the information professionals we work with often cite the following challenges as most pressing in their day-to-day working lives: 

Challenges for Information Professionals in 2020:

Time Management

Research doesn’t begin and end with an article search. In any given day, you are unlikely to find yourself working simply as a ‘librarian’. Information professionals frequently need to work as:

  • Intermediaries – providing packaged answers and analysis to outside queries;
  • Guides – aiding junior team members in searches, and critical evaluation of relevant articles;
  • Facilitators – arranging information infrastructure, and assisting database use;
  • Educators – providing training in information searching skills; awareness of resource constraints, and ensuring regulation compliance is adhered to

With workloads this expansive, it’s no wonder such high levels of stress have been recorded. 

Organisation & Sharing of Data

Since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, those working in the healthcare industry have no doubt seen an increased number of research requests flood their inboxes. Unforeseen world events such as this can disrupt even the most organised of work schedules. COVID-19, and the need for self-isolation in some cases, highlights another issue — the sharing of data. If you are unable to get to your job for an extended period of time, could your colleagues easily access your work? And would your research be organised enough for them to continue it in your absence?    

Proving ROI for Information Professionals

This isn’t an issue unique to information professionals. The security of every job is down to one thing — demonstration of ‘return on investment’. In-depth research analytics are key for gaining insight into the positioning of your research fields, and the identification of important patterns and trends within the sector. Of course, it’s not just your own results you are asked to prove, but the competency levels of every information specialist in your department. Raising levels of self-sufficiency of your researchers is integral to safeguarding your own position. 

Dialog Overview

Dialog launched its core search product in the late Sixties. We’ve spent the last fifty years working with our customers to deliver not just software, but the tools to improve the way they do their research. Self-service alerts are the latest update to our platform — available at no additional cost to existing subscribers — and were developed to tackle the issues we’ve listed today.

Our Dialog®Alerts Manager already makes it easy to manage (and bulk-edit) large volumes of searches in your alert portfolio; whilst providing an audit history of all your activity. Self-service alerts build on this system, providing you with a simple way to share your research with other Dialog® platform users in your organisation. Distribute results in real-time, by building complex search strategies that end-users can easily subscribe to — reducing the number of individual research queries you need to answer and encouraging self-sufficiency from your team members.

Locating relevant alerts is effortless too, thanks to the introduction of custom topic tree organisation. Save your alerts to folders arranged by department, drug or anything else relevant to your organisation; and keep track how many users sign up to your alerts. With so much more insight into the value you’re adding to your end-users’ research, your next ROI report will practically write itself.  

Find out more about the new self-service alert functionality and how it can help you address the coming challenges for information professionals in 2020: click here.

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