PURPOSE – The purpose of this contribution is to set the scenario for pursuing options to find a balance between information communication technology (ICT), information retrieval systems (IRS)such as databases, library catalogues, repositories, Google Scholar, digital libraries, portals, searchengines and the users of these systems. Whose needs are served: the real users’ with contemporary needs or the perceived users and their research tasks whom we intensely studied in the early years of
databases and computerised information services?
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – The contribution is written against the background of research from information retrieval and information behaviour.
FINDINGS – Although developments in ICT open a wealth of opportunities to study and serve the needs of a wide spectrum of information users, IRS are often on the surface level still very traditional in the needs they service: analytical information seeking according to planned search strategies,browsing, monitoring trends and changes through alerting services and RSS, and encouragement and support for authors to publish. Some are offering a bit more, but little aimed at the under-graduate
soon to enter professional workplace.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE – Although there are many publications on databases and other IRS and their users, and numerous ones on information behaviour I am not aware of other reports on the latest services aimed at specific user groups, and which focus on the need to consider the totality of their work and everyday life worlds.