Focus Group with engineering researchers of University of Minho (Portugal)

The Focus Group methodology is applied to the focus group with 8 engineering researchers of University of Minho (levels R1, R2 and R3).

The topic is how scientists/researchers in STEM field perceive and experience scientific and technical information during their work activities.

In Topic 1 about the Perception of scientific and technical information, researchers declare that they use information to: 1) Perform a review of a scientific article 2) gather some bibliography to provide to students they are supervising 3) design innovative, disruptive concepts 4) prepare a project proposal 5) write an article 6) plan an experiment 7) patent a technological solution 8) summarize data and information 9) make a decision 10) make end-users need forecast.

In Topic 2 about the experience of issues in using information, researchers declare that they find difficult: 1) Retrieving the needed information from databases, even when optimizing the search queries 2) accessing to a great bulk of paid for information, namely scientific articles on journals with which the university has no protocol, and other technical, normative documents (e.g., ISO) 3) Strategies for managing information (which also allow for a more efficient collaborative reasearch work) include the annotated bibliographic table and the webQDA tool 4) Managing non-scientific materials such as statistical and economic reports. Many of them are available for free, but there are others that are not.

In Topic 3 about learning of information competences, researchers answer that they would prefer update and train these competences through interactive, digital platforms, including video tutorials (which allow for self-paced learning), but also scientific databases; workshops and congresses.