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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Sanam Ebrahimzadeh, Saeed Rezaei Sharifabadi, Masoumeh Karbala Aghaie Kamran and Kimiz Dalkir

The purpose of this paper is to identify the triggers, strategies and outcomes of collaborative information-seeking behaviours of researchers on the ResearchGate social…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the triggers, strategies and outcomes of collaborative information-seeking behaviours of researchers on the ResearchGate social networking site.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from the population of researchers who use ResearchGate. The sample was limited to the Ph.D. students and assistant professors in the library and information science domain. Qualitative interviews were used for data collection.

Findings

Based on the findings of the study, informal communications and complex information needs lead to a decision to use collaborative information-seeking behaviour. Also, easy access to sources of information and finding relevant information were the major positive factors contributing to collaborative information-seeking behaviour of the ResearchGate users. Users moved from collaborative Q&A strategies to sharing information, synthesising information and networking strategies based on their needs. Analysis of information-seeking behaviour showed that ResearchGate users bridged the information gap by internalizing new knowledge, making collaborative decisions and increasing their work's visibility.

Originality/value

As one of the initial studies on the collaborative information-seeking behaviour of ResearchGate users, this study provides a holistic picture of different triggers that affect researchers' information-seeking on ResearchGate.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Paul Prekop

Much of the existing information seeking literature only considers information seeking when performed by an individual information seeker. This paper describes a study…

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Abstract

Much of the existing information seeking literature only considers information seeking when performed by an individual information seeker. This paper describes a study that explicitly considers information seeking from a collaborative perspective. The study used a grounded theory approach of a complex, real world, example of collaborative information seeking activity, drawn from the military domain.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 58 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2010

Chirag Shah

Collaboration is often required for activities that are too complex or difficult to be dealt with by a single individual. Many situations requiring information-seeking

Abstract

Collaboration is often required for activities that are too complex or difficult to be dealt with by a single individual. Many situations requiring information-seeking activities also call for people to work together. Often the methods, systems, and tools that provide access to information assume that they are used only by individuals working on their tasks alone. This review points to the need to acknowledge the importance of collaboration in information-seeking processes, to study models, and to develop systems that are specifically designed to enable collaborative information seeking (CIS) tasks. This chapter reviews the literature from various domains including library and information science, human–computer interaction, collaborative systems, and information retrieval. Focus of the review is on the extent to which people work together on information seeking tasks and the systems and tools that are available for them to be successful. Since CIS occurs in the broader context of collaboration in general, a review of literature about collaborations is first undertaken to define it and place it into context with related terms such as cooperation and communication. A more focused review of research follows relating CIS to systems that have attempted to support such interactions. Included are identification and synthesis of a number of core issues in the field and how best to evaluate systems and collaborative tools. Key lessons learned from the review are summarized, and gaps in the literature identified to spur future research and study.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-979-4

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Morten Hertzum

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast research on collaborative information seeking (CIS) and expertise seeking (EXS) to identify focal themes, blind spots…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast research on collaborative information seeking (CIS) and expertise seeking (EXS) to identify focal themes, blind spots, and possibilities for cross-fertilization.

Design/methodology/approach

Existing research was reviewed. The review consisted of a content analysis of 70 (CIS) and 72 (EXS) studies with respect to the context, scope, process, and setting of CIS and EXS, supplemented with a bibliometric analysis of the references in the reviewed studies.

Findings

In CIS, the context is a group of actors collaborating on a shared task. In EXS, the information need is held by an individual but resolved by consulting other people. While the typical scope of EXS studies is source selection, CIS studies mostly concern the consultation of the sources and the use of the obtained information. CIS and EXS studies also attend differentially to the information-seeking process. Only 4 percent of the references in the reviewed studies are cited in both CIS and EXS research. The author concludes that, at present, CIS and EXS are different discourses about similar issues.

Research limitations/implications

Increased interaction between CIS and EXS will advance research in both areas and prevent duplication of effort. Topics for future research are identified. It should be noted that the findings are limited to the 142 studies reviewed.

Originality/value

By analyzing CIS in the context of EXS, and vice versa, this study provides a fresh look at the information-seeking research that attends to collaboration.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Ina Fourie

This paper aims to explore the potential of personal information management (PIM) and reference management. The contribution focuses on collaboration: the issues that need…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the potential of personal information management (PIM) and reference management. The contribution focuses on collaboration: the issues that need to be addressed in planning, the human component in collaborative information seeking, and issues for research by librarians.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is written against the background of research from information behaviour, PIM, collaborative information seeking and collaborative work.

Findings

There is growing emphasis on collaboration in information seeking, learning and work. PIM and reference management practices and their supporting software can greatly support this. There are, however, many planning/conceptual issues as well as the human component to recon with.

Originality/value

Although much has been published on developments in PIM and reference management, there is limited coverage of collaboration and PIM and reference management.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Morten Hertzum and Preben Hansen

Information seeking is often performed in collaborative contexts. The research into such collaborative information seeking (CIS) has been proceeding since the 1990s but…

Abstract

Purpose

Information seeking is often performed in collaborative contexts. The research into such collaborative information seeking (CIS) has been proceeding since the 1990s but lacks methodological discussions. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss methodological issues in existing CIS studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors systematically review 69 empirical CIS studies.

Findings

The review shows that the most common methods of data collection are lab experiments (43 percent), observation (19 percent) and surveys (16 percent), that the most common methods of data analysis are description (33 percent), statistical testing (29 percent) and content analysis (19 percent) and that CIS studies involve a fairly even mix of novice, intermediate and specialist participants. However, the authors also find that CIS research is dominated by exploratory studies, leaves it largely unexplored in what ways the findings of a study may be specific to the particular study setting, appears to assign primacy to precision at the expense of generalizability, struggles with investigating how CIS activities extend over time and provides data about behavior to a larger extent than about reasons, experiences and especially outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The major implication of this review is its identification of the need for a shared model to which individual CIS studies can contribute in a cumulative manner. To support the development of such a model, the authors discuss a model of the core CIS process and a model of the factors that trigger CIS.

Originality/value

This study assesses the current state of CIS research, provides guidance for future CIS studies and aims to inspire further methodological discussion.

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Sulafa Badi, Hanxiao Ji and Edward G. Ochieng

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these social networks evolve throughout the project delivery stages. The study is grounded in social network theory and examines embeddedness from three perspectives: structural (network cohesion), relational (tie strength in terms of friendship and knowledge awareness) and actor prominence.

Design/methodology/approach

A social network analysis (SNA) questionnaire was administered to a team of consultants working on a management consultancy project in Shanghai, China. The SNA measures of density, degree centrality and betweenness centrality were used to analyse relationship patterns among project team members, permitting comparison between the networks. Networks were also compared across the three project delivery stages of collect, consider and create.

Findings

Structural embeddedness was observed in the active information seeking behaviour among consultancy team members. The moderate network density of the self-organising information seeking networks across the project delivery stages ensures that the team remains connected but avoids information redundancy and overload. Relational embeddedness was evident through the multiplexity of ties among team members with overlapping friendship and information seeking relationships. The knowledge awareness network's sparseness indicates a team of autonomous knowledge workers with distributed expertise. Project managers were the most prominent actors across the three project delivery stages, underlining these actors' relational leadership role.

Practical implications

The study provides a deeper understanding of collaborative decision-making behaviours in dynamic-project environments. Limited attempts have been made to visualise and analyse the relationships involved in small consulting teams. The novelty of the network approach adopted stems from its ability to offer a structural view of the relationship among consultants, thus offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Originality/value

The study validates the social network theory of embeddedness in a real-world collaborative decision-making setting and provides a deeper understanding of information seeking behaviours for decision-making in dynamic-project environments. From a project management process viewpoint, the evolving nature of the information seeking network as it changes across the project stages with associated actors' roles was also visualised graphically, offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Faraja Ndumbaro and Stephen Mutula

This paper aims to present results of a study which examined students’ collaborative information behavior (CIB) in comparison with behavioral patterns illustrated in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present results of a study which examined students’ collaborative information behavior (CIB) in comparison with behavioral patterns illustrated in Wilson’s (1996) model of information behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of six groups of undergraduate students; four from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and two from Ardhi University (ARU) were purposively selected. Data were collected using semi participant observation, critical incident interviews and focus group discussion methods.

Findings

Results indicate that students’ CIB is mainly shaped by collaborative learning environment, learning tasks objectives and requirements. Despite its wider applicability in different domains and contexts, Wilson’s (1996) model is partially appropriate in modeling students’ group-based learning information behavioral activities. Person(s) in context and active and passive information seeking are aspects of the model which are observed to be relevant in students’ CIB.

Practical implications

The study has implications on teaching and learning practices in higher learning institutions.

Originality/value

The study provides new insights on how students exhibit different information behavioral patterns during collaborative learning. The study fills a gap on how solitary models of information behavior can be used to model students’ information behavior in team-based learning.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 120 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2020

Remigiusz Sapa

The principal aim of the present study was to identify and model the subject structure of the research area on collaborative information behaviour (CIB).

Abstract

Purpose

The principal aim of the present study was to identify and model the subject structure of the research area on collaborative information behaviour (CIB).

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, inductive and exploratory approach was adopted, and the method of thematic analysis was used. This study was based on the analysis of 79 publications selected from the Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA) database in April 2019.

Findings

Collaborative and collective information behaviours were differentiated, and the subject structure of the CIB research area was identified to contain collaborative activities oriented to both information access and content, their various conditions, means of conducting, experiences of selected communities and metascientific research on the area itself.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations result primarily from relying on the research material selected from the database (LISTA) focussed mainly on the issues of library and information science.

Originality/value

This study contributes by proposing an original model of the CIB research area representing its subject structure and providing a coherent list of subjects of interest to CIB researchers. Hopefully, it will also contribute to the harmonisation of terminology related to this research area and thus facilitate communication between CIB researchers and accelerate the cumulative development of scientific knowledge on CIB.

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Kyoungsik Na and Jisu Lee

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences between collaborative and individual search techniques in a scenario-based task focussed on query behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences between collaborative and individual search techniques in a scenario-based task focussed on query behavior, cognitive load, search time, and task type about the search.

Design/methodology/approach

To help understand the influences on searching for relevant information in pairs or individual contexts, the authors conducted an exploratory user study with 30 participants, using two search tasks completed in a controlled laboratory setting.

Findings

On the basis of the analysis, the authors found that collaborative search teams resulted in more queries, more diverse query terms, and more varied query results compared to those working individually. The study results indicated that the cognitive load imposed on the participants did not differ between a collaborative search and an individual search except for the component of performance on the NASA Task Load Index. The results further showed that the total search time was a significant difference on average between the two conditions (i.e. individual information search and collaborative information search) for the second task. And there were significant differences of the mean of total search time between the two tasks for the both conditions. The authors also found that there was no significant relationship between query behavior and the total cognitive load.

Originality/value

The findings from this study have implications for a better understanding of collaborative search interface design, searchers’ cognitive load, query behavior, and general collaborative information search.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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