The purposes of this paper are to understand the user information seeking (IS) process under a new service system, to explore how users construct strategies and to identify the influences of the new service system on the IS process and behaviour.
A quality research study design that included questionnaires survey, observation, thinking-aloud and interviews was employed. In all, 20 participants from 12 social science disciplines at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China were observed using the proposed Discovery Service system. The user IS process characteristics and taxonomy were analysed, and the stages matrix of IS under new system was built.
Users’ IS processes under the new system proved to be very complex. The features of three process stages, i.e. searching, scanning and verifying stages, and four different behaviour patterns were identified. Moreover, characteristics of IS behaviour under the new service system were described.
User IS behaviour was addressed in a new service system context in this study, as has seldom been done in previous IS research. A comprehensive and user-centred understanding of users’ exploratory practices in a new service system context was obtained, which will inform the development of information services for digital libraries. In addition, it indicated that the uncertainty of the IS process should be addressed by considering the relationships among IS, information retrieval and user-computer interaction.
The authors are thanks the support of the financial support of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Foundation, Ministry of Education of China under Grant No. 13XJA870001, and the Central Higher Education Institution Fund from Sichuan University under Grant No. skqy201508.
Li, G. and Wu, L. (2017), "New service system as an information-seeking context: Investigation of an unfamiliar Discovery Service", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 73 No. 5, pp. 1082-1098. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-08-2016-0102Download as .RIS
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