Information Broker

In the past couple of decades a large number of information brokers have come into existence. For an international listing see Burwell World Directory of Information Brokers (Burwell Enterprises, Houston, TX 1996, etc.). Information brokers can be of considerable use in researching the literature and retrieving information, particularly in situations where the designer or engineer does not have the time and resources to do the searching. The larger brokers have a staff of trained information specialists skilled in online and manual searching. Retrieval of needed items is usually accomplished by sending a messenger to make copies at a library.

Most information brokers are located near research libraries or are part of an information center. The larger information brokers usually cover all subjects and offer additional services, such as translating foreign language materials. Smaller brokers, and those associated with a specialized agency, frequendy offer searching in a limited number of subjects. The selection of the most appropriate information broker should receive considerable attention if a large amount of work is required or a continuing relationship is expected.

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