Meeting Information Needs in Marine and Aquatic Sciences: A Case Study of the Use of the International Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts Database
Castillo, Diana J.
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Since 1971, the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) database has been an important international information resource, particularly for grey literature, on the science, technology, and management of marine and freshwater environments. Recent changes in the information landscape, however, have led to changes in information-seeking behaviour and affected use of databases. To gain an understanding of current perceptions and use of ASFA, a mixed-methods approach was implemented to study longitudinal usage data, Google Analytics tracking data, a global survey of ASFA subscribers, and interviews with marine science librarians around the world. While many information professionals value ASFA, the emergence of Google Scholar and other search engines, and adoption of integrated discovery layers, such as Summon and Primo, in library systems are influencing database subscription decisions and information searching behaviour. Closure of ASFA would negatively affect information access globally, particularly in low-income food deficit countries or at smaller institutions.