Determining information needs of science and technology policy makers in Iran

Majid Nabavi, Hamid R. Jamali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Information needs of policymakers have different aspects including type of needed information, information sources, information providers, and information formats. This study uses a qualitative approach to identify information needs of science and technology (S&T) policymakers in Iran. For achieving this goal, a task-based approach was adopted and preliminary exploratory interviews with three experts in the field of S&T were done to design the interview protocol. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 Iranian S&T policymakers. Interviews were transcribed and then thematic analysis was done. The results showed that S&T policymakers need aggregated, integrated, quantitative/statistical, analytical, and up-to-date information on different entities in the S&T area. The entities are mainly persons, organizations, research projects, research publications, indicators, products, patents, services, funds, and research facilities and equipment. To have clear and accurate information all of these entities should be clearly defined semantically. Information sources such as databases and consultancy service organizations and experts can be considered to provide policymakers’ needed information. The results of this study can be used by different groups. Librarians, information system developers, and consultant researchers that develop and provide information services for policymakers can use the results to determine the types and format of information about each entity that should be presented to policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-396
Number of pages15
JournalInformation Development
Issue number4
Early online dateApr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2018


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