Justine Hall is correct in pointing out that one could draw an erroneous conclusion regarding the popularity and significance of the Internet as a source of engineering knowledge by relying on a snapshot survey, such as that conducted by the NCE 500 (NCE 13 May).
Any survey of this nature can only be indicative. The term 'Internet' can cover a multitude of sins, and the email basis of the survey gives it a built in bias. The results do, however, coincide in broad terms with other indications of engineers' information-seeking habits;
although we can go one step further to more accurately research this.
ICE is soon to embark on a Knowledge Needs Satisfaction survey to discover exactly what is important to members regarding 'knowledge' and how satisfied they are. The survey will follow the same methodology as the highly informative Member Satisfaction Survey and will be carried out by the same independent research agency.
It will provide valuable input into the ongoing development of ICE's knowledge strategy.
Mike Chrimes, head librarian, ICE, 1 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA