Physical Sciences and Mathematics Literatures and Their Users

Authored by: Cecelia Brown

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ELIS4-120044373

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Abstract

The literatures of the physical sciences and mathematics are as diverse as the information wants and needs of their users while serving the common purpose of disseminating their research findings. The peer-reviewed journal is the hallmark of scholarly communication for physicists, astronomers, chemists, and mathematicians yet each discipline has its own unique information sharing practices. This entry discusses the information behavior of physical and mathematical scientists and the ways in which their literatures mesh with their distinctive research activities. Although physicists and astronomers were among the earliest adopters of electronic modes of scholarly communication, chemists and mathematicians have been slower to embrace digital information sharing. This entry therefore also considers the influence of electronic distribution of physical science and mathematical information on the ways in which their intended audiences access and manage the plethora of digital resources. Recent initiatives designed to facilitate access to the literatures of physics, astronomy, chemistry, and mathematics are also surveyed.

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