Digital Transformation. Accelerated Globalization. Innovation. Increased Focus on Sustainability. Aggressive New Business Models. Changing Regulations.

These are just some of the ways the chemical industry is evolving in recent years. And if the chemical industry is changing, it’s no surprise the role information professionals play in the organization is changing as well.

So how can information professionals shift their perspective to support the changing chemical industry landscape? Here are a few ideas:

Know what kinds of content chemical researchers want – and have it readily available.

Driving down operational costs and speeding up time to market are high priorities for chemical companies. What can information managers do to support these strategic initiatives?

Chemical reactions, substances, patents and associated literature, regulatory policies, scientific literature, technical standards and reports, compliance management, human health hazard and risk assessments, dossiers, expert report compilations, and consumer research are all different types of content that employees across departments need quick access to. Having a single source to access these types of content can reduce the risk of inefficiencies in content procurement.

For example, Syngenta, a leading agrochemical company that aims to improve global food security, has 5,000 R&D employees spread across the world. These employees need access to published scientific information, whenever, wherever. But with more content than ever being published, coupled with evolving authentication methods and new licensing models, it became harder to efficiently access vital information. Read more about Syngenta’s approach here.

Another benefit of having a centralized source for content acquisition is the ability to monitor what content is most important to end users, allowing information professionals to make data-driven decisions to maximize the value they can provide with flat or shrinking content budgets, for example by taking subscriptions rather than buying multiple copies where users commonly rely on material from a particular source.

In “Leveraging Usage Data is the Key for Information Managers,” CCC’s Casey Pickering says:

“Information managers should ensure they have access to and understand the usage data they need to defend their content and resource spend. In addition to COUNTER data, information managers may have access to usage numbers from their document delivery provider and/or subscription management vendor. They will also have “non-standard” usage reports from vendors who are not COUNTER compliant. It’s the information manager’s job to bring these data sources together and create a 360-degree view of their organization’s content usage. Reviewing this data can give the information manager the understanding of what content is being used, when it’s used, and more.”

Think about ways you can fulfill new information requests. 

Many researchers – particularly those who do not work within the same geographic location, or those who are part of a younger generation of employees – may not know the traditional library resources available to them through information services. By making employees aware of different ways you can help them with their research requests that make their jobs easier, you’re proving your value company-wide. Some of these initiatives could include:

  • Customizing online research and literature searches using industry-specific databases and publications.
  • Identifying articles, conference proceedings, technical literature on any given topic.
  •  Locating industry profiles and market reports.
  • Creating patent searches
  • Connect users from their preferred resources, like SciFinder, directly to content via APIs, OpenURL, and browser extensions to make it easy for them to get content in their existing workflow.
  • Allowing for fast electronic delivery of documents to users (keyword: fast).

Create a Global Information Network. 

The chemical industry is no stranger to mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships – all of which require streamlining of internal processes and improvement of global coordination. Oftentimes these new, coordinated initiatives require cross-functional information sharing and management.

Sharing information across global teams seems intuitive, but departmental and geographic silos can hinder collaboration. Think about a company like Otsuka, which has a network of 183 companies in 28 countries. Most operate independently, but at the heart of their 46,000 employees is a small, centralized team of information professionals, navigating how information is accessed and collaborated on.

As Honeywell Senior Manager of Intellectual Capital Management Shelley Drabik said in “Understanding the Rules of Content and Information Sharing in a Global Organization”:

“As information professionals, we have greater insight into what departments are working on than other employees because they come to us with questions and research requests. We can break down silos and educate the organization about sharing information responsibly, for internal as well as externally published documents.”

With globalization, however, also comes a greater risk of copyright infringement. Employees aren’t sure what information can be shared across departmental lines and geographic borders. This means it’s more important than ever to educate employees about the risks of copyright infringement and create an easy way for employees to view and confirm the rights to share specific content within the scope of the company’s subscriptions and licenses.

Ultimately, information professionals in the chemical space are uniquely situated to play a collaborative role within their organizations that drives innovation and increases research efficiency. To learn more about streamlining content access and simplifying copyright compliance, visit RightFind Enterprise for Chemical Companies.

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Author: Keri Mattaliano

Keri Mattaliano is a Director of Corporate Solutions for the RightFind Suite in CCC’s Corporate Business Unit. Keri develops go-to-market strategies, conducts market research and competitive analysis, creates customer personas, and develops product positioning and sales training and tools to drive demand for our products. Keri started with CCC in 2011 and has had roles in customer service, account management and client engagement, including managing the client services team in Cologne, Germany in 2014 & 2015. According to the Master’s degree from Rutgers University that her dad framed, she is a librarian, however, she has never worked in a library.
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