"It seemed that whenever four or more scientists got together, the most frequent topic of conversation--aside from tenure-- was what great things were being done in research with the help of computers. What we wanted to do was provide some kind of overview on how scientists in a variety of disciplines were using computer technology."

That's how anthropologist and National Academy of Sciences staffer John Clement explains the genesis of Information Technology and the Conduct of Research: The User's View, a 72-page volume describing the current state of information technology at America's research institutions. The report was researched and written by a 14-member panel consisting of both industrial and academic scientists from a wide range of disciplines, who, in the following excerpt, describe what they collectively view as the lack of an effective information technology infrastructure in the research community. This lack of infrastructure, the panel reports, has impeded researchers...

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