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In interviews, 161 polymer scientists gave detailed accounts of their most recent experiences with each of nine different kinds of encounters with scientific information. One of these kinds was information obtained “accidentally.” Half of the messages described in the accounts were obtained while the scientist was pursuing some other information; about one-quarter were told him by a colleague with whom he was in contact for another purpose; about one-tenth were brought to his attention by a colleague who deliberately sought him out for this purpose. The circumstances that led to these information transactions will be examined together with the scientist's own assessment of the impact of the message on his work. Attention will be called to implications for current-awareness activities and services.