The difficulties reported by engineers in searching information
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Zhang, Shuai; Johnson, Aylmer
Institution: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Efforts have been made by researchers in the area of knowledge management to understand engineers’ information searching behaviors, such as the types of information searched by engineers, and the sources and tools they use to address their information needs. However, few studies pay attention to the difficulties that engineers are experiencing in fulfilling their information needs. This paper presents an exploratory study that investigates the problems of information searching in engineering design development. In this research, eight engineers with different level of experience were interviewed to identify the difficulties they deal with in searching required information. The reported problems that participants are experiencing include: 1) formulating information queries; 2) hesitation in consulting others; 3) the limitations of existing retrieval tools.