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Developing a model to explore the information seeking behaviour of farmers

M.G.P.P. Mahindarathne (Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China) (Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture, Uva Wellassa University, Badulla, Sri Lanka)
Qingfei Min (Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 11 April 2018

Issue publication date: 8 May 2018

1378

Abstract

Purpose

Generating an in-depth understanding of information needs and seeking behaviour is important both for restructuring existing agricultural information systems (ISs) and for creating new ISs. Many information seeking models have been developed over the years, most are narrowly focused on a specific role or discipline. However, no such specific model has been developed in reference to agriculture or an allied discipline. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to develop a model to explore the information seeking behaviour (ISB) of farmers.

Design/methodology/approach

The model proposed in this paper is based on Wilson’s model. The theoretical insights and empirical evidences comprehended at the study were embedded into Wilson’s model to develop a model that explores the ISB of farmers. The proposed model was quantitatively evaluated using empirical data gathered through a survey of 289 farmers. Furthermore, the model was qualitatively evaluated by subject experts against criteria of simplicity, comprehensiveness, exactness, generality and clarity.

Findings

The key finding of this study is the model developed to explore the ISB of farmers. The adapted model provides theoretical and empirical bases for exploring farmers’ ISBs. Thus, the model will be useful in developing valuable design insights to apply to user-centred agricultural ISs.

Originality/value

The originality of this study relates to its demonstration of how existing models can be reconsidered and adapted based on related literature and then tested and presented as adapted models. The proposed model will be useful to promote informational studies in agriculture.

Keywords

Citation

Mahindarathne, M.G.P.P. and Min, Q. (2018), "Developing a model to explore the information seeking behaviour of farmers", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 74 No. 4, pp. 781-803. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-04-2017-0065

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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