- Brodman, Estelle（安西郁夫訳）
- Differing Uses of Scientific Literature
- No.1, p.33-38
Differing groups of people use scientific literature in different ways. The research scientist uses it to learn what others have done in his field, so he can start his work where others have left off, not repeat unknowingly the work of his predecessors. He uses extensively the keys to the literature which index the small advance on the frontiers of his field. The applied scientist, the technologist, on the other hand, is interested in translating known theories into actual things, and for him the commonly accepted knowledge (so-called “state of the ar” reviews) and technical data are of primary interest. The applied scientist also uses oral methods of obtaining the facts he needs: he asks someone or he listens to someone talk.
The popularizer of science is a new phenomenon in an age when science is difficult to understand but increasingly important for the citizen and his government. The popularizer is interested in the small advance only when it changes the fundamental explanation of some natural phenomenon or points the way in which the science appears to be going. He needs the current awareness which comes from scanning new literature and then synthesizes and digests the knowledge for the reader.
Finally the librarians and documentalists go to the scientific literature to exploit it for aid to the scientists they serve. The librarian's role is to control the literature; the documentalist's to use it. Since this is so, the librarian does not need to have the same depth of scientific knowledge as the documentalist or the other groups mentioned; on the other hand, for his control of the literature the librarian has to have a profound knowledge of the keys to scientific information: indexing and abstracting tools, reviews of the literature, lists of translations, reference works and the like. This knowledge is the unique contribution which librarians can make to scientific progress, and this is what lifts librarianship from a routinized clerical job to an intellectual discipline. As librarians show how helpful they can be to science, so I believe will they receive the respect, status, and salary they wish. Some ways for doing this are: by giving lectures to undergraduate and post-graduate students in the bibliography of science and ways to use the literature, by patiently instructing individuals in these things whenever they come to the library, and by showing scientists trying to publish reports of their research how to refer to the previous work. Only in that way can librarians join that honored and dedicated group that says, “I laboured not for myself only but for all them that seek learning”
(Librarian and Associate Professor of Medical History, Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri)* Read at Japan Library School, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, June 27, 1962.