1 Department of Language and Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Center for Leksikografi, Department of Management - Nobelparken, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University4 unknown5 School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
Only 10 or 15 years ago, you had to spend hours, days or even weeks in libraries to find data of many kinds. Today, one has access to data at your desks at home. Therefore, the biggest problem for a real information society is not that you do not have access to the needed data, but that you cannot find it or that it takes so long to find it that you quit the search before finding the result. This is clearly shown by a Google search where you get so many results that can lead to a case of information stress or even worse information death. An easy search route and a short search time are important elements when trying to satisfy certain information needs. This topic is discussed based on two case studies: one concerning certain fixed expressions in seven Danish printed and electronic dictionaries and one concerning looking at different access attempts in six Afrikaans reference sources, including linguistic text books, books presenting the formal spelling and orthographic rules of Afrikaans as well as a monolingual dictionary. The paper argues that the applicability of the access process, as developed in lexicography, goes beyond dictionaries, illustrating the importance of a process not relevant within the field of linguistics but extremely important in the successful use of reference works.