Abstract - The Information Society 10(1)

Electronic support for the practice of research

Roger Clarke

Developments in information technology services during recent decades have very significant implications for the conduct, and even the nature, of research. These changes should not be thought of as predictable, linear developments. They constitute a revolution, challenging established notions of the research process. Conventional economics is not appropriate as a means of understanding these changes. To cope with the revolution, policy developers and research managers must resort to the blunter instrumen ts of political economy, strategic and competitive theory, innovation diffusion and technology assessment, and be nimble. The various stakeholders in the research community need a permanent focal point in which to pursue these debates. A vehicle is needed for discussions of electronic messaging and data access for industry, government and the public. The US national information infrastructure initiative may provide a model for other countries. These changing patterns have implications far beyond the research community.

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