Mobile’s Role in Information Management and Research Content 

The best information in the world isn’t at all useful if you can’t reach it.  Research content has become particularly overwhelming, not just because of its abundance, but also because people’s access preferences are changing rapidly.

There are very few job roles that haven’t been impacted by changing technology over the past ten – even five – years. When you consider Pew Research’s statistic that 68% of internet users in advanced economies around the world own a smartphone, it’s clear to see we’re quickly adapting to new mobile technologies that affect our lives inside and outside of work.

Opening the Door to Research Content On-the-Go

With new technologies come necessary new skill sets, and the roles of information managers and corporate librarians are no exception. The ability to manage a central resource service that is completely electronically based is still somewhat new to information managers.

Once you open the door to research, get past authentication, and the whole matter of making sure people get the information when they want it, where they want it, then they must deal with that flood of information and learn to filter it.

And of course, acceleration toward mobile access makes this more complicated. Jill Shuman, Shire’s director of Library and Knowledge Management Center, says this is an issue that didn’t exist five to seven years ago, but has become prevalent today.

“People are not just at their desks, working on their computers,” Jill said. “They’re out in the field, speaking with key opinion leaders and health care providers, and they’re not willing to wait. So not only is there more information than ever, but we must be very strategic about how that information is delivered.”

Related Reading: Defending Content Spend 101 – Make Sure You Involve the Right People

The challenge: Consistency among approaches to on the go access’

What’s important isn’t just that content is accessible from mobile devices, but the consistency in publishers’ approaches to mobile. For those providing service, this creates a challenge in complexity for both information managers and for their users.

When vetting your information center, Jill recommends asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do we want access to be cloud-based, for example, so that people can reach it from everywhere?
  • How do we want people to sign on to be able to get their information?
  • How are people accessing content?  Where is content coming from? Once the process is laid out, have the analytics in place to be able to adjust based on users’ changing preferences. 



Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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