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This article reports on a study undertaken to explore the feasibility of using a participatory research approach as a method for determining information needs…
This article reports on a study undertaken to explore the feasibility of using a participatory research approach as a method for determining information needs. Dissatisfaction with the use of quantitative methods and techniques in information needs research resulted in a gradual move towards the use of qualitative methods focusing on the users themselves in determining their information needs. Participatory research is a qualitative research methodology that challenges the principles and practices of objective, detached, quantitative research approaches. The use of participatory research methods in this project resulted in the identification of reliable and relevant information needs. These results can serve as an example for the increasing use of qualitative techniques in information needs research and affirm that participatory research methods can be a valuable alternative in the area of information needs research.