What were your top challenges managing R&D content and providing information services this year? Every corporate information center is different, but industry trends show a clear pattern of pain points, regardless of company size.
According to Outsell, in 2017, information challenges at the forefront were: taking the reins of data; navigating shifting budgets; and managing smarter tools.
Moving forward, to address these challenges in 2018, here are few things you should keep in mind:
Create a Better Research Access & Search Experience
Publishers, researchers and libraries have relied on IP addresses to authorize content access for many years. But in today’s distributed environment, more effective solutions are needed to facilitate a seamless, intuitive and consistent user experience.
And even when researchers have seamless access to content, with 2.5 million articles being published annually, today’s researchers are tasked with sifting through more content than ever before. When looking for information, researchers need to have confidence they will find the relevant content they seek – fast. Information centers and knowledge managers support this effort– but weeding through irrelevant search results is an ongoing challenge.
To combat these challenges, look out for the tools at your disposal to provide better research experiences. For example, the Resource Access for the 21st Century initiative works to improve user access to subscribed content across a range of content platforms. You can learn more about RA21’s pilot programs in this on-demand webinar, featuring testimonials from GlaxoSmithKline and the American Chemical Society.
Another avenue to explore is semantic enrichment. Look at this white paper, Semantic Enrichment and the Information Manager, to learn how this concept can work across your organization, in areas like early phase research, competitive intelligence, pharmacovigilance and IDMP.
Find a Way to Showcase Your Information Center’s Value
Most information managers face the challenge of content being a target during budget cuts. When internal stakeholders and the C-Suite don’t have enough insight into what the information center does, making the case for content investments becomes more difficult.
There are several ways you can showcase your information center’s value – but data insights need to be at the helm of this strategy. Information managers have been using usage statistics for years to determine what content researchers consider important. While quantitative analytics are extremely important, standalone usage statistics are only the starting point. Data needs to tell a story that goes beyond numbers, and provides a more precise picture of what users are most interested in – and which content supports overarching business initiatives.
Here are a few steps to follow:
- First, make sure you are sharing the right data.
- Second, make sure you’re involving the right people.
- Third, make sure you’re showcasing the information in an easily digestible way, such as through data visualizations.
Turn Information into Knowledge
As corporate libraries evolve, there’s a need to shift from an explicit learning environment to a tacit one. Tacit knowledge, defined as personal and undocumented knowledge that’s dynamically created and experience based, requires information managers to think beyond managing content and move into determining ways to curate and disseminate this information in more consumable ways to help accelerate research.
How can you make changes that will incorporate tacit knowledge alongside traditional information resources? At Shire, Jill Shuman’s advice is to “start simply and begin by adding a series of podcast interviews with [your] scientists, and then perhaps branch out into building communities of practice, where like-minded employees can share best practices within an environment that can be both archived and searched.”
Continued Reading: What’s in a Name? The Library vs. Knowledge Management Center
What are your 2018 top goals for your corporate information center? Let us know in the comments below.