PURPOSE – A previous contribution (Fourie 2013) 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, search engines and the users of these systems. This contribution pursues
the issues by asking how information service providers can target their users. The emphasis
is on making a difference, and to move beyond merely targeting researchers, post-graduate
students and professionals such as doctors, chemists, and lawyers.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – The contribution will be written against the background of
research from information behaviour, user studies and marketing.
FINDINGS – Information services and database producers mostly focus on post-graduate
students, researchers and professionals. There is little support for under-graduate students
and novices to a profession. Acknowledging preferences for Google and social media, more
effort is required to gain the interest and loyalty of upcoming professionals – starting with
ORIGINALITY/VALUE – Although there are many publications on user studies and marketing in
the Library and Information Science literature, this contribution aims to draw on new ways of
targeting users, and to note new potential user groups.