Thursday, 23 December 2010

Information abundance and deep thinking

Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains, worries that we can become addicted to receiving 'pellets of information'. Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, he feels that the number of times we return to our inboxes in a working day (up to 30 times each hour for British office workers, according to recent research) is the triumph of hope over experience.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

CILIP's conversation produces results

Following the 'conversation' about the future of CILIP, CILIP Council has approved a new vision and mission for the organisation.

A fair and economically prosperous society is underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge.

CILIP exists to
Promote and support the people who work to deliver this vision.
Be the leading voice for information, library and knowledge practitioners, working to advocate strongly, provide unity through shared values and develop skills and excellence

The roadmap for change is available here.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Information on the move – the future is mobile

Martin White has long been known for working at the frontiers of information practice. Watch out for his contribution to the December issue of BIR which focuses on the potential of smart phones for location-independent information delivery. Who doesn’t carry their mobile phone with them more or less wherever they are?

The potential of developments in mobile-specific apps are already prompting new, up to the minute delivery routes from Elsevier, Factiva, LexisNexis and the ACS. The advice for information professionals on how to take mobile access forwards in their organisation is timely and practical.

The importance of mobile access is confirmed by a recent survey on people’s online activities mentioned in the December Initiatives column which evidences how the growth in social networking is being fuelled by the transition from PC to mobile.

Monday, 22 November 2010

National Libraries making waves in supporting business

BIR features the National Library of Scotland in its December 2010 issue. Maureen Ridley presents its SCOTBIS service and demonstrates tactics for reaching remote users. National libraries are showing the way too in how they partner with other organisations to support economic development.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Free resources for special libraries

Free resources covering the following may be downloaded from the CILIP website:

* Ten aspects of good practice for information and library services
* Are you at risk checklist
* Resource list of additional information

Meet the Editors at Online Information 2010

Val and Sandra will be at the Sage stand (334) on Wednesday 1st December between 1pm and 3pm.

If you would like to come along and talk to us about the journal or if you have any ideas for an article we would love to meet you.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Department of Health consultation

The UK Government’s Department of Health has just launched a consultation on its proposals for an Information Revolution. The White Paper and information on how to become involved are available on the DH website.

The focus of the consultation is the transformation of the way information is accessed, collected, analysed and used so that people are at the heart of health and adult social care services. The intended outcome is to give people more information and control and greater choice about their care. Worth looking at and joining in – an opportunity for information professionals inside and outside the health service to influence the NHS future from a professional perspective.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Maurice Line

UK Serials News and others have announced the death of Maurice Line during the weekend of 18/19 September 2010.

For those who use the British Library’s Document Supply service and its services to business, science and technology, Maurice’s work at the BL was pivotal to the services we see today and to the development of the BL as a leading international research library. As Librarian at the University of Bath he had directed a study into the scope for automated data processing in the new British Library. He was Librarian of the National Central Library (NCL) from 1971-1973 and a member of the British Library Organizing Committee which undertook preparatory and planning work for the UK's new national library which was to start operating in July 1973. He joined the British Library in 1973, when the NCL was incorporated into the BL, as Deputy Director-General of the Lending Division. He became Director General in 1974, a post he held until 1985. From 1985 until his retirement in 1988 he was Director General, Science Technology and Industry.

For the next 12 years Maurice worked as a consultant specialising in the management of change, and advising organisations in many parts of the world. He was editor of Interlending and Document Supply and Alexandria, the journal concerned with national libraries, their roles and functions and international issues. He also edited, and contributed to, many books in the field of librarianship.

An obituary has also appeared in Times Higher Education.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

New opportunities for LIS skills

Expertise in social media is growing in the LIS profession (watch out for the article by Hazel Hall in the December issue). At the same time, demand for social media consultants is rising in the UK (See Twitter is boosting the jobs market, claims The number of businesses looking for "Twitter consultants" to help them exploit the messaging service has grown by 300per cent this year, says the online recruitment company. Facebook advisors and YouTube experts are also needed to advise business on how to make better use of social media services particularly in sales and marketing. Perhaps this demand will provide new opportunities for information professionals?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Social activism via social media

In this week’s New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of, among other titles, Blink and The Tipping Point considers the nature of social activism and argues that social media tools are not reinventing activism.

He argues that to compare campaign engagement via social media such as Twitter with the courage of 'true activists', giving the civil rights movement as an example.

"Where activists were once defined by their causes, they are now defined by their tools" he argues.

Naturally, the debate is taken up in the New Yorker's Room for Debate. Well worth a visit to read the full article and the resultant debate.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Defining our professional future

Defining our Professional Future – the report presenting the findings of an extensive consultation to inform the development of CILIP - is now accessible.

For BIR readers from Business and Industry, Health, Government and Academia, the report provides a useful insight into drivers for the future, trends in service provision, changes in the working environment and much more. A rapid scan is recommended for useful information for planning – a longer one if you’re a CILIP member or active in another professional organisation and want to peer into the likely future.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Managing knowledge to improve social care

SCIE, The Social Care Institute for Excellence, has just launched an e-learning resource, Managing knowledge to improve social care.

Developed by a team of KIM experts, the aim is to foster the recognition that using existing knowledge and experience can contribute to improved care outcomes. The e-learning modules set out to help front line social workers (and team leaders and managers) gain a basic understanding of the principles and practice of knowledge management, as well as organise and manage their knowledge and information as effectively as possible. BIR readers may find useful ideas for their own training programmes.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

'Real' books vs. e-books

The historian Lisa Jardine, in her most recent podcast in the Point of View series on Radio 4, considers the fate of public libraries in economically straightened times, particularly as ‘almost two thirds’ of the UK population went nowhere near a public library in the last twelve months.

She then goes on consider the pleasures of reading ‘real books’, and more importantly, keeping and displaying a hard copy book. The success of Oprah Winfrey’s book club in the US in bringing enormous numbers of people to contemporary fiction as well as to literary classics has certainly changed the fortune of many authors, influenced changes in publishing models and may well have created a whole cohort of self educated readers. Winfrey’s readers are quite clear in their demands. Their preferred format is an attractive, hardback book that they can keep and display.

This in itself does not mean that e-versions of books will not find their market too. Jardine is grateful to be reading Blair’s enormous tome electronically, even though it means she does not get to see the previously unpublished photographs of the Blair family to which hard copy readers are treated.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Librarians and library users raise their Voices for Libraries – a campaign worth considering

Blog readers can hardly have failed to notice media coverage of the threat of drastic cuts to public library services across the UK. Voices for the Library intends to ensure that the voices of the people who are library users and library professionals and who understand the real value of public libraries are heard.

By setting up a campaigning website to share positive stories from public libraries and librarians, the campaign aims to illustrate the importance of services, why it is vital that they are run well, and how they serve their communities effectively. So if you use a public library and are convinced of their value as local gateways to knowledge, a basis for lifelong learning, as resource providers for independent decision-making and cultural development of individuals and social groups. Do contact them if you have a postitive story to tell - and encourage others to do so.

CILIP has a sector panel which is aiming to communicate the value of information services and libraries in the health, government, commercial and industrial sectors, contact

Friday, 10 September 2010

Free Access to Sage journals

The SJO Global Free Trial runs until October 15th and provides free access to all Sage journals.

This will require you to register here.

You will then have access to content from 1999 to the present day, including Business Information Review, for the next few weeks. BIR’s September issue will be loaded shortly.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Business publishing news

In September's issue Allan Foster reports on what he terms 'the relative buoyancy of popular business book publishing' with an increase in UK sales of 10%. Penguin has carried out a global rollout of its business book imprint (Portfolio). Meanwhile, the longlist for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2010 has been announced. The shortlist will be announced on 16th September.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

User generated content

User generated content is the most significant trend in the media today. Phone–ins, blogs, email and text contributions to live radio and TV, and YouTube make you wonder if the whole world is sitting there just waiting for the right chance, or for any chance, to provide their opinion. This is one demonstration of the commercial potential of customer-generated content – its value as a free contribution to many programmes. Moon and de Souza in their article 'Customer managed knowledge factories', Business Information Review, 2010, 27 (2), use a range of examples to identify a transition from managing knowledge about customers, through engaging them in product improvement and development, to the proactive leveraging of customers to generate new and valuable materials, for example Apple’s App store.

A transformational example is the development of a student text book on Change Management for South African students undertaken as a course work project and as an initiative under the Global text project ( Do read about it and consider the customer knowledge potential of today’s students.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Flexible working

In the UK, levels of homeworking rose by 20% over the last decade with 12.8% of the workforce (3.7 million people) working mainly at or from home by the end of 2009. The self employed make up approximately two thirds of this number. Although increasing numbers of companies offer staff a chance to do some or all of their work from home many employers still insist on workplace visibility day in and day out.

Perhaps organisations are failing to envision just what a virtual workforce can achieve. In Going nowhere – but fast! E-Employment – the next internet revolution, Business Information Review 27(2), Ron Messer argues that knowledge workers operating in the virtual world represent ‘the primary business assets of the new millennium'. This largely unrealised value lies with their ability to network with others over time and space. Organisational cultures can survive and evolve in the virtual world as evidenced by the successful collaboration of the open source software movement. Just how much of your organisation would be more creative and effective if e-employment was the norm?

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Artistic outlet for knowledge managers

The Festival season is in full swing, certainly here in the UK. This year, the programme on offer at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea includes 'The Knowledge Emporium'.

Local people are encouraged to share stories and knowledge and these thoughts will be integrated into a programme of workshops and performances throughout the festival. In other words, it is a collaborative, iterative, community focused knowledge creation and sharing exercise!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Creative chaos

Creativity and innovation continue to be reckoned as a critical source of competitive success. Creativity, chaos and knowledge management, Sara Smith and Scott Paquette, Business Information Review, 27(2), explores the importance of chaotic environments in stimulating the creation of new knowledge. They suggest that encouraging chaos should therefore be one of the roles of the knowledge manager, a very different view from many advertised roles which focus on knowledge organisation.

Certainly the success of Google and Pixar (the case studies featured) can be seen to be linked to environments that encourage serendipitous connection. These connections are certainly an area that the knowledge manager can stimulate through enabling collaboration and networking activity.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

How professional associations adapt to challenging times

Professional Associations face a number of challenges as their overheads rise, the economic future become more uncertain, event sponsorship reduces, and increasing membership fees to cover the cost of member services is a sure route to decline. These issues are eloquently described in his 2010 Conference speech by SLA Treasurer, Dan Trefethen.

SLA is strenuously cutting costs and reviewing structures whilst making its best efforts to meet the needs of its members.

Candle in the wind or a beacon for the future? Professional associations facing an uncertain future featured in June’s Business Information Review (27(2), is therefore particularly timely. Stimulated by the demise of CiG, Oriole Newgass explores what makes professional organisations work for their members, and suggests why some are successful and some not so. The issues facing CILIP are identical with those facing SLA and suggest that the larger professional organisations may face greater difficulty than those with a narrower focus.

Getting involved with a professional organisation has been a great development route for many leading information professionals. Now is the time for all of us to review what we gain from this involvement and to see how we can realistically help sustain a viable future for those organisations that we align with best.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Libraries as cupcakes

For those who might have missed it, here's the link to the NPR piece on libraries as 'the next big thing'.

Feeding the lions

'A decision made without information or knowledge is pure gambling'. So says Frank Ryan in Evaluating Information Services, Business Information Review, 27(2).

Frank’s expertise in the commercial information resources relevant for investment decisions in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union is second to none. However, in this article he distils the experience of purchasing information resources over many years to share the key aspects to probe before you buy. Share Frank’s advice on assessing value for money. And did you know that 'feeding it to the lions' is a hugely important precautionary step?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Intranets - good practice for 2010

Intranets are now pivotal channels of communication for most organisations. Yet so often their content, design and accessibility falls short of user expectations. Real-world intranets in 2010: SWOT analysis featured in Business Information Review, 27(2) provides an excellent review of current good practice and lessons to learn. Written by Tracy Beverly, and reflecting many years of hard-won corporate experience, the article provides evidence of the five key points for Intranet success as well as the challenges of search, metrics and usage tracking.

And, if you feel that the use of your organisation’s Intranet for providing business information and for knowledge management can be improved, this article will certainly provide ideas.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

NHS White Paper

This week’s talking point comes from the government’s White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.

Full of messages about information, the document should excite all those whose role is concerned with information and knowledge management in the NHS today. Soundbites that warm the opportunistic heart include: 'Putting patients first through an information revolution'; 'A culture of open information, active responsibility and challenge will ensure that patient safety is put above all else'; and 'The Department is committed to evidence-based policy making and a culture of evaluation and learning'.

Most importantly the White Paper highlights the need for an information revolution in the NHS. This heralds a vast improvement in the availability of comprehensive and accurate information on conditions, treatments, and lifestyle choices as well as the prospect of online communication between patient and practitioner.

One could be cynical about the chances of success in delivering such major organisational and service change but the principles in the White Paper adhere to the common sense thinking of Muir Gray, the first CKO for the NHS, and the vision driving the NHS Direct Online service. Although the information strategy for the NHS is scheduled for the year end, the implications of 'Putting patients first' suggest major changes in the way that library and information services are organised to deliver the published information and information management skills that evidence based practice and patient information access demand. These were previously highlighted by the Hill Report.

There is bound to be much angst over the prospects for change and a focus on potential threats to current library and information services. People involved in published information supply, in information literacy training and in practical application of knowledge management must respond to the White Paper with imaginative approaches to ensuring that the NHS has access to the information it needs and makes the best use of its own knowledge and experience. Cutting bureaucracy and administrative costs is a key message for the NHS but is not incompatible with the required level of excellence in information and knowledge related activity, without which the NHS service will be at high risk of failure.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Bad information!

A survey conducted by SLA and Dow Jones has confirmed what many information professionals have suspected - that bad information is bad for business. The survey found that the dangers of unreliable information on the free web include making bad business decisions, missing opportunities and wasting time double checking facts.

You can see the press release and the report here.

More ammunition the next time someone tells you there's no need for information professionals in the age of Google!

Friday, 9 July 2010

The real value of high cost websites

Rory Cellan-Jones continues to uncover the costs of government websites in his blog. In his latest piece, he tries to unravel just exactly how a website (Business Link) can cost £35 million pounds a year to run.

Take some time out to read not just this article, but [some of] the many readers' comments: from website developers who quote considerably less for the same work; from those who attempted to introduce freeware solutions inside government (to no avail) and those small-and medium-sized providers who lost out to the 'big boys' when bidding for government projects.

As we are all aware, the days of freespending on large projects should be well and truly behind us. In our September issue we will be publishing an article about cloud computing and its potential, not just to help organisations contain costs but also to help them build organisational capability.

CILIP Chief Executive

CILIP has announced the appointment of Annie Mauger, who will take up the post in November 2010.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A moment's madness

I attended the excellent Library and Information Science Research Coalition conference at the British Library this week. The well designed programme enabled both audience participation and expert input from speakers. The one-minute madness strand really made an impression and demonstrated yet again that we should all be ready to share important messages in as punchy a way as possible (elevator speech anyone?).

Delegates used the opportunity to share information about their research interests and to find others who had similar interests or who could provide help and support. Most impressive was the ability of almost everyone to speak for exactly 60 seconds without the need for the Chair's 2010 version of 'the gong' - the i-phone vuvuzela app - to hurry them along.

Monday, 21 June 2010


On the eve of the budget, tonight's (live broadcast) Dispatches programme How to save £100billion should be interesting indeed. Release your inner Chancellor by playing Chop or Not and follow the debate on Twitter at #chopornot.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

SLA winner announced

Congratulations to Dr Geoff Walton who has been named SLA's European Information Professional of the year. The award acknowledges Walton's work on information literacy.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Lessons to be learned at the Department for Education

For those looking for an example of poor information management practice, how about the Department for Education's announcement about the closure of QCDA?

The first thing you might notice is the poorly formed URL, one which surely won't survive any future changes in the content management system.

Then you might realise that the PDF has been published with no metadata. In addition, it has been scanned but not OCR'ed so cannot be indexed by Google.

So much for the principles of open linked data!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Knowledge management and creativity

Gary Hamel, the author of Competing for the Future (and co-creator of core competencies) is featured on the BBC's World of Business podcast this week. In his wide ranging conversation with Peter Day, Hamel suggests that organisations can 'buy knowledge' relatively easily these days and that they need to focus more on how they can attract and support the creative individuals that can give them a competitive edge.

Interestingly enough, in June we are publishing an article by Sara Smith and Scott Paquette that discusses the connection between knowledge management, chaos theory and organisational creativity and innovation. The article looks at how Pixar and Google support creativity, knowledge creation and innovation.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Information overload

In the e-world (and the physical world) information overload is a a challenge all but the incredibly well organised and technically literate can find difficult to overcome. Acknowledging that we don't have to read everything we are sent helps. Refining the way we organise the stuff that we really will want to get back to is a great aid to productivity.

Alexandra Samuel's Harvard Business Review blog entry alerted us to Evernote as an example of a tool designed to help people with their personal information management challenges. Tools that help us create a searchable list of items and people that we don't want to forget and (more importantly for those of us with failing memories!) can help us remember the context in which we first met them) are an interesting development.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Contact synching - that sinking feeling

Alexandra Samuel blogs entertainingly for the Harvard Business Review on information and social media issues. In her quest for a 'master rolodex' she wonders why it is so difficult to synchronise her contacts and discovers that, as with so many things, it's simple (to request), but it ain't easy (to deliver!).

She speaks to Joseph Smarr, who moved from Plaxo to Google where he focuses on the social web. Smarr outlines the technological challenges, but urges consumers to pressure companies for change to make their data work and link how they want. When discussing Buzz, Smarr acknowledges that some people responded with surprise and dismay. In February 2010, Phil Bradley blogged that Google had failed to understand that a good social media product should be designed first and foremost to make the user's life easier and that Buzz was a failure in this respect. Only six weeks later, he reports how interest in Buzz has fallen sharply and that he is continuing to rely on tried, tested and trusted Facebook and Twitter.

And the wait for a synching tool continues.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Tools for social engagement

Sarah Hammond is the founder of, an organisation that seeks to facilitate communication between the police and the public. In a Guardian interview , Hammond suggests that a key challenge for the UK police force is 'getting' social media and appreciating how it can be used to engage positively with the public. It's another example of large organisations failing to comprehend the power of new communication tools.

It will be interesting to see how Hammond's vision of 'consumer-focused data' is realised and how MyPolice collaborates with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Contabulary to generate useful, consumer friendly, information.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Consumers pay less for more

The latest KPMG sponsored YouGov research highlights the continuing challenges for the media industry as it attempts to maintain revenue streams. Consumers may well be increasing their overall media consumption, but they are paying less for it.

The research surveys consumers' media consumption and analyses trends every six months. The latest report highlights how spend has declined on newspapers and magazines in particular as an increasing number of publications move to a 'freesheet' model (including the London Evening Standard in October 2009).

Unsuprisingly, when asked about attitudes to paid-for content, consumers are happier to pay for music and films than they are for TV programmes and news, which they consider 'free' at the moment.

The most popular online activity remains social networking and blogging with 50% of respondents using these sites.

For more information:

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Aslib finds a new home

The MCB Group, the holding company of the Emerald publishing group has announced that it has acquired Aslib.

Emerald states that it intends to carry out consultations with current and former members and others but that it plans to build a '21st century membership organisation'.

This seems an excellent time to alert our subscribers to an article due to appear in our June issue. Written by Oriole Newgass, the article considers the role of professional associations and membership organisations for information professionals. Oriole analyses both successes and failures and recommends some radical ways forward for high value professional associations.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Twitter vs traditional news

For those who haven't read it yet, Phil Bradley's blog features an excellent 'realtime' review of the coverage of the California earthquake yesterday, demonstrating quite clearly the timelag between what Phil now considers 'traditional' news providers (web-based news sites) and the breadth and immediacy of information he was able to access via Twitter. Twitter must now be taken seriously as a source for news.

Meanwhile, News International will press ahead with its decision to charge for online content. Content that may not be able to compete with Twitter when it comes to 'on the spot' reporting.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Upcoming conference

The Library and Information Research Coalition holds its first conference this year on June 28th at the British Library Conference Centre. The programme explores the LIS research landscape and combines keynote speakers with breakout sessions and opportunities for active delegate participation.

The programme looks excellent and I am delighted to have been asked to facilitate break out session on the day.

It's also interesting to note the low price of this conference. £84.10 seems excellent value for a one-day event in central London. Congratulations to the programming committee and all those concerned.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

BBC, social media

The ever excellent Pods and Blogs programme is a regular feature on BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night programming and does, of course, have its own podcast. It's the type of programme that introduces you to great content you may never have actually searched for or found without prompting. It is highly recommended.

In this week's broadcast, the programme featured Matt Novak who glories in the job title paleo-futurologist. His blog Paleofuture provides 'a look into the future that never was' by showing historical predictions for the future. In 1930, for example, the Syracuse Herald ran an article predicting the digital distribution of films in an article 'Television will soon flash talkies through the ether'. Or how about 1981's 'Computer criminals of the future' which predicts growth in computer fraud (although simultaneously predicting a decline in buglaries because computers will be guarding our homes!).

Bearded men of the 21st century is just one example of why we should all exercise extreme caution when predicting the future.

Searching Chinese patents

In 1985 China put in place its first patent law. It acceded to the World Trade Organisation in 2000. As China's presence on the economic global stage increases, its patent applications increase with its own patents and those from countries seeking patent protection in China. According to China's State Intellectual Property Office, in 2007 China received more patent applications that any country (694,000). (The US had the second most applications (484,955), followed by Japan (443,150).

This article by Christine Kaemmer is a useful and well structured resource for those who need to research Chinese Patents and Utility Models. It's written so that it's accessible to non IP experts - and sensibly stresses the importance of using expert searchers for prior art work.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Ignorance management

In discussing the huge effects that can be stimulated by an organisation’s failure to tackle or even to recognise the existence of ignorance management, Chris Rivinus throws down a challenge to all of us.
“It doesn’t matter what level of the organisation you call home, mitigation of Ignorance Management starts by looking in the mirror".

Good business information services are a force against ignorance management but it’s certainly worth thinking about whether use of BI services is feeding instinctive prejudices for action or encouraging people to stop and think on the basis of current evidence. And you may want to consider mapping ignorance in your own area of your organisation – even if you keep p your results to yourself you may be able to act on them.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Reputation management

This article by Rob Brown, published in the March 2010 issue of the journal (27/1), couldn't be more timely. In the last month we have seen several high profile sportsmen face media scrutiny of the gap between their 'personal brand' and their 'character'.

Those who listened to Rob Brown at the 2008 London Online Information Conference can testify to the power of his advice on the routes to develop personal and corporate reputations. There are so many messages in his article - perhaps the key one for us is to cultivate your knowledge, your networks, your experience - and your influence will increase with your reputation. The many areas for action that Rob covers in his article provide a good assessment tool not just for individuals thinking of their personal reputation but for people running and providing information services. Which of these actions are most likely to increase service reputation?
The article abstract is available on the Sage website.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

BIR March 2010

Just over four months ago, as the newly appointed editors of BIR, we attended our first editorial meeting with the good folks at Sage. We knew we were taking over an already established and successful journal that had benefitted from great editors and contributors. We were nervous - but excited!

We have many people to thank for their patient guidance, including Gwenda Sippings the previous editor who was consistently helpful through the handover process - and beyond; Caroline and Vijay at Sage who provided advice and support throughout and Allan Foster who ensured we benefitted from his 20+ years of experience contributing to the journal. Our editorial board members continue to provide expertise and content advice.

With the help of all these people, not to mention the contributors, our first issue as editors (volume 27/1) is now published! The table of contents is available here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Business Information Survey 2010

The March 2010 issue of BIR sees the publication of the 20th annual survey of the current state of business information services.

This year's survey is the result of indepth conversations with 22 information service leaders in manufacturing, business and finance, law, insurance and consultancy and professional services. As always we are truly grateful to those people who shared their experiences, thinking and concerns with us so freely.
The survey reflects the increased scrutiny of the costs and benefits of information services that a tough business environment makes inevitable. The respondents report tough negotiations with vendors as they battle to keep expenditure as low as possible. 85% of the respondents report a downturn in content budget and/or staffing numbers. 20% have outsourced or offshored parts of their information fuction, while more are considering such a move. For the first time, law firms in particular are exploring this option.

The picture isn't one of universal gloom. Some services are taking the opportunity to focus on developing business critical services and raising their profile. For some, the challenging times are helping them 'move up the value chain'.

The full text of the Survey is available to download from the Sage website.