Use of Information Technology in Genetics

Dr. C. Hine chine at
Wed May 10 05:08:11 EST 1995

The Use of Information Technology in Genetics

I am carrying out some research on the implications of use
of information technology in genetics for organisation,
work practices, infrastructural and training needs etc. I'm 
looking for volunteers to answer some questions about their use of
IT. You don't need to be a computer-expert - I'm looking
for the full range of experience and opinion. Any answers
which you choose to make to the following questions will be
greatly appreciated. Please feel free to leave out answers to
any irrelevant questions, but also to expand on answers where
appropriate. All answers will be treated in confidence in the
research, and not linked to any named person or institution.

Are you an undergraduate, PhD student, postdoc, lecturer,
senior researcher, technician etc?
Which branch of genetics do you work in?

How did you get started using computers?
Have you any formal training in IT (college courses, specific
training courses etc.)?
How did you learn to use the main pieces of software which are
relevant to your work?
How did you find out about them?
What do you do if something goes wrong with a package you are
using i.e. it crashes, or results are uninterpretable?
Is there someone in your lab who deals with most of the IT
queries? If so, why that person? Is it you?

Does your lab have enough/fast enough computers?
How are those you have funded (i.e. departmental funds
research grants etc.)?
Do you use any commercial software? How is that funded?

When, in a project, would you use literature searching,
database searches/matching programmes, other analytic
Are there particular times when you do your computing?

Do you use email? In what circumstances? Do your colleagues
use email?
Are there work circumstances in which you prefer to use phone,
fax, face-to-face meeting?
Are you involved in any collaborative projects, and do you use
email for those? Is it adequate/helpful?
Why do you use bionet news groups?

If you have written any software for use by geneticists:
     What prompted you to write it?
     Do you distribute the software - if so, how, and do you
     provide support for it?

Thank you for answering these questions. Your help is greatly

Christine Hine
Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology
Brunel University
Tel: +44 (0)1895 203117
Fax: +44 (0)1895 213155
Email: chine at

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