Global Science & Technology Information: A New Spin on Access

Global Science & Technology Information: A New Spin on Access

Global Science & Technology Information: A New Spin on Access

Global Science & Technology Information: A New Spin on Access


In the more than 30 years the U.S. federal government has tracked and monitored international science and technology information (ISTI), the global marketplace and the economy have changed dramatically. Capabilities in other nations have matured, resulti


options for responding to user needs

As technology evolves and international research capabilities mature, the need for global technology assessment continues to increase. the demand for isti has grown to require broader-based information from around the world and about technology and the economic context within which it is found. Users continue to need information that is objective and unbiased, timely, and easily accessible. Emerging needs include assessments that look beyond traditional competitors to emerging capabilities worldwide and to best-in-class research anywhere in the world. Users continue to request better coordination among government isti sources, to access comprehensive information on a topic in a way that presents the information at varying levels of abstraction and detail. Most now see the Internet as the best way to disseminate this type of information.

New challenges for government in providing isti needs

The government should play an important role in collecting, disseminating, and analyzing isti. This is the consensus of government and industry reports (both historical and current) and respondents contacted for this study. Nevertheless, most sources criticize the way in which these services have been managed in the past. Aside from pockets of excellence, such as wtec, the efforts to coordinate isti functions have never been done well, and the information collection has been weakly coordinated. Structural and organizational barriers have limited government's capacity to provide this service.

Admittedly, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on all areas of S&T worldwide are huge and complex tasks. Not only is there a broad geographic area to cover, but the needs of users vary considerably across the government and between the government and the private sector. This is further complicated in that breakthroughs in a number of key areas of S&T develop so quickly, it is difficult to keep up with them.

Deciding where to focus collection efforts, both technically and geographically is also challenging. Different areas of S&T require different approaches to . . .

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