November 2008 - June 2009, funded by Research Information Network (RIN) and British Library.
The 'Case Studies in the Life Sciences: Understanding Researchers' Information Needs and Uses' project, undertaken by a team of social scientists and information specialists from the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation ( ISSTI) and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) with Information Services at the University of Edinburgh, was to improve understanding of information use and exchange in the life sciences. Principal investigators were Prof. Robin Williams ( ISSTI) and Graham Pryor (DCC). Associate Data Librarian Stuart Macdonald was seconded to the project as a researcher.
Seven case studies were conducted across a diverse range of laboratories and research groups. They included groups studying humans, animals and plants, and covered different kinds of research context, encompassing analytical laboratory-based research, field research and in-silico research. The starting point for each case study was the use of ‘probes’- specially designed ‘information lab books’ - to chart individual researchers’ information practices. This was followed-up with detailed discussions in interviews and focus groups.