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The Expert Searcher’s Experience of Information

Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice

ISBN: 978-1-78350-815-0, eISBN: 978-1-78350-816-7

Publication date: 12 August 2014


Expert searchers engage with information in a variety of professional settings, as information brokers, reference librarians, information architects and faculty who teach advanced searching. As my recent research shows, the expert searcher’s information experience is defined by profound discernment of critical concepts about information, and a fluid ability to apply this knowledge to their engagement with the information environment. The information experience of the expert searcher means active and intentional participation with the processes and players that created that information environment. Expert searchers become an integral and seamless part of their information environment and also play a role in facilitating the information experiences of others.

In this chapter, after discussing my understanding of the concept of information experience, I outline how I used threshold concept theory to explore the information experience of expert searchers. Through the findings, I identify four threshold concepts in the acquisition of search expertise that provide new perspectives on the information experience of the expert searcher. These new perspectives have implications for search engine design and how advanced search skills are taught. Finally, I consider how the fresh insights about the expert searcher’s experiences contribute to wider understanding about information experience.



Tucker, V.M. (2014), "The Expert Searcher’s Experience of Information", Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 239-255.



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