I attended the intermediate level educational program put on by the Competitive Intelligence Division of SLA, presented by Lynn Strand, the Principal of Outside Knowledge LCC. In this session, Lynn presents a Quick take session entitled: "What to Do When They Say "Give Me Everything You Have on ... and Not Freak Out Because They Want it in An Hour". Below are her 9 tips in bullet form which can be helpful to both special librarians and independent information professionals.
- Don't panic. That does not help.
- Trust yourself. You can do this.
- They do not want everything. Just an overview. In fact, they really don't know what they want.
- Use "trends" in your search terms. This will retrieve information that provides an overview or that is broad in scope or focus.
- Use resources you already know. Exhaust the familiar first.
- Plan to search for 30 minutes and then give yourself time to put together your deliverable. Save some time to put together a final report on what you have found and don't spend all of it on searching for information.
- Have a flexible template. For doing research reports, you need to have a template that all you need to do is put in new content and not worry about formatting.
- Keep it to 3 pages or less. Right at the top of those pages, indicate three to four things the client must know. Hence, the most important information first.
- Do a Google file type research. Sometimes the commercial databases may not contain the information you are looking for. Hence, if this fails, use Google search for file types like pdf, ppt. or doc. in order to retrieve the information you need.