To read this content please select one of the options below:

What is enough? Satisficing information needs

Chandra Prabha (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, USA)
Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, USA)
Lawrence Olszewski (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, USA)
Lillie R. Jenkins (OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 23 January 2007

7997

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to understand how users know when to stop searching for more information when the information space is so saturated that there is no certainty that the relevant information has been identified.

Design/methodology/approach

Faculty, undergraduate and graduate students participated in focus group interviews to investigate what leads them to satisfice their information needs.

Findings

Academic library users describe both qualitative and quantitative criteria, which lead them to make rational choices determining when “enough” information satisfices their need. The situational context of both the participants' specific information need and their role in academic society affects every stage of their search – from the selection of the first resource, to ongoing search strategies, to decisions on how much information is enough.

Originality/value

These findings broaden the scope of earlier user research, which tends to focus on the more static views of habitual information‐seeking and ‐searching behavior, by applying theoretical frameworks for a richer understanding of the users' experiences.

Keywords

Citation

Prabha, C., Silipigni Connaway, L., Olszewski, L. and Jenkins, L.R. (2007), "What is enough? Satisficing information needs", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 63 No. 1, pp. 74-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410710723894

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Authors

Related articles