Posts Tagged ‘Information overload’
“one study found that a primary care physician would have to read 341 relevant medical journals and 7,287 monthly articles, equaling more than 627 reading hours per month, just to stay current on all medical literature. But who has time when you’re treating patients?“
A nice piece at FUMSI:
“Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Linkedin, Blogger, WordPress, Google+, Pinterest - the number of sites available for individuals to create content seems infinite. And whilst adding an album to Facebook, checking in to Foursquare and posting an update on Twitter is fun, we’re all effectively contributing to digital information overload. (…)
Information overload is usually defined as a situation where an individual can have difficulties understanding an issue and making decisions, which can be caused by the presence of too much information. (…)
Some issues are identified:
- Overload decreases efficiency as individuals and organisations waste time managing it
- Information is duplicated easier because of sharing tools
- Multitasking work environments kill productivity
“The problem of information overload isn’t new, but it’s only in the digital age that more people have come to understand its impact.”
Read the full article at:
Mullan, James. Social media, information overload and careful curation. FUMSI, 4th of May 2012. Available from: http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/find/68725 [Accessed 9th of May 2012]
The Oxford English Dictionary added the term “information fatigue” to its 2009 edition. Will “information burn-out” enter in the future?
As just one example, a study a couple of years ago by market-research firm Pear Analytics (www.pearanalytics.com) found that
- only 4 percent of Twitter “tweets” consist of real news.
- In contrast, spam makes up another 4 percent,
- self-promotion 6 percent,
- messages with “pass-along value” 9 percent,
- conversation 38 percent,
- and “pointless babble” 40 percent…
Goldsborough. Reid. Information Fatigue: Don’t Burden Others With Excess Information-and Don’t Let Them Burden You. InfoToday, Online: posted on Juky 25, 2011.
, but technological and cultural change have created new challenges even while resolving others.
This paper draws on a survey of early-career researchers to examine their approach to academic literature, such as how and why they read it, how much time they dedicate to it, what informs their reading choices, and how they assess quality.
- 81% of early-career scholars and researchers say that “they feel they should read more of the literature than they have time to do”
- 25% suggest “they would need to read for more than 24 working hours a week to keep up”
- technology-oriented solutions such as social bookmarking and search engines were less influential in selecting reading material than recommendations from colleagues and peers, reference lists in other material, and the journal brand.
- Scientists feel strongly that factors and rankings relating to impact and quality should be established at the level of the article, or attached to the author, rather than the journal.
Rapple, Charlie. The Role of the Critical Review Article in Alleviating INFORMATION OVERLOAD. Annual Reviews, White paper, March 2011. 16 p.
The 2011 annual conference of the NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services), was dedicated to Information obesity, abundance, overload, tsunami, etc.
Some of the slides are freely available, including those of brilliant speakers like Rafael Sidi (Elsevier Sciverse), Victor Camlek (Springer), Dan Pollock (Nature), etc.
“Scientists are spending too much valuable time digging through content. (…)
The main problem isn’t too much information – researchers welcome the value of added content – but discoverability of the right information.
Researchers want to consume more information but don’t want to sift through irrelevant data.”
Judson Dunham (Elsevier, talking about results of the Future of Search and Discovery survey, which leads Elsevier to design SciVerse).
in Research Information, Issue 50, oct/Nov. 2010, pp. 12-13
The solution to data overload is to provide decision makers with “Intelligent Information” – better organised and structured information rapidly conveyed to the users’ preferred devices, says Thomson-Reuters experts in a new study.
In todays’ times, as info pros are overwhelmed by exploding data volumes, they do tend to employ an overly intuitive decision-making style when faced with unorganised information.
One of the longest post I ever tried to read!
Amongst bad and good things, the author tells how a scientist today tries to keep up with novelties.
“One would think that in today’s information age, scientists can easily keep up with new discoveries. However, these discoveries are buried in 24,000 journals most of which cannot be accessed by the individual scientist, because his/her institution does not subscribe to them“.
In order to keep current, here below what he has to do:
- Read Tables of contents of fifteen or so favorite journals
- Go through PubMed alerts
- Read mailing-lists digest
- Look at some important web sites, social networks, news wires, etc.
- Listen science podcasts
He estimates “that this takes about 12-14h per week just to keep on top of things“.
The rest of the post is mainly complains against STM publishers, peer-reviewed system, etc. who are partly responsible for the information overload.
Who should be in charge of how Scientists organize their workflow?
Phenomena is well-known but figures are still impressive…
- 40% of those surveyed said they had the information they needed less than 75% of the time
- 60% of respondents rated dealing with too many different types of information a bigger problem than dealing with too much information
- Nearly half of the respondents said they spend more than 25% of their time managing information overload
- Combined, the total paper and digital content in enterprises, governments, schools, and small businesses around the world will grow 67% a year
Gantz, J., Boyd, A. & Dowling, S. Cutting the Clutter: Tackling Information Overload At the Source. IDC White paper: March 2009. 12 p. Available online: http://www.xerox.com/downloads/usa/en/n/nr_IDC_White_Paper_on_Information_Overload.pdf
- A 2008 report by Basex claimed that American companies lost about $650B/year in worker productivity due to information overload
- One calculation suggests that only 8-9% of the 34GB/day of information intake is actual news.
- n fact, a 2005 article by New Scientist suggests that information overload affects concentration more than marijuana use
“Much of info overload can be managed or even eliminated by using a more efficient means of filtering information channels. Using better search techniques, suitable information discovery tools (e.g., such as YourVersion), filtering tools, web agents, and structured idea management tools (e.g., mind maps) will go a long way towards this goal. Technology has only just started to help us filter out the information we don’t want, in an easy to apply manner.”
Raj. Is Informaton overload destroying our productivity?. Posted on: http://www.yourversion.com/blog/is-information-overload-destroying-our-productivity/. 31st December 2009.