the report summarises the results of an interview survey carried out in the uk for the laboratory by the opinion research centre to determine users and non-users opinions of the international road research documentation (irrd) database based on the services provided by the technical information and library services of trrl. this database is produced under the auspices of the road research programme of the organisation for economic cooperation and development. it is concluded that the greatest need is for abstract of journal articles, reports, conference papers and summaries of on-going research; that material from abroad is needed, and that the irrd coverage of it is satisfactory; that irrd abstracts contain the required amount of detail. however, the survey suggests that the database could be improved if coverage was more comprehensive and if the time-lag between publication of a paper and its inclusion in the database were reduced; that there is a need to improve the availability of the full text of abstracted papers; that the keyword system is regarded as being too general, resulting in too much irrelevant information being retrieved. literature searches and selective dissemination of information (sdi) generally provide useful services. ignorance of their existence was the main reason why potential users did not use them. some people chose not to use them because the information in the database was irrelevant (or perceived to be irrelevant) to their work. those outside trrl would find an sdi service useful. information from the database is mainly used as background for a specific project or to keep abreast of developments; but it is also used, particularly by local government, to assist in policy making, and by consultants as an aid in design and development work.(a)

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