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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2020

Musa Dauda Hassan and Dietmar Wolfram

The purpose of this study is to examine the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the Midwest United States. The research also investigates the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the Midwest United States. The research also investigates the sources participants consulted and their satisfaction with their information seeking and the information found.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research study recruited 18 African refugees to participate in one or more data collection modes used in the study (questionnaire, interview, focus group). The data were analyzed using qualitative open, axial and selective coding approaches to identify themes.

Findings

The analysis of the data collected provides evidence that refugees had specific information needs centered on housing, health care, employment and education. They were not necessarily satisfied with the information they were able to find. Participants reported initially relying heavily on their caseworkers as sources of information when they first arrived in the United States until they were able to establish larger networks of contacts, which then expanded their information behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

The number of participants and regional focus of the study do not allow for generalization of the findings to all African refugees in the United States. Still, the findings shed light on how to better serve the information needs of African refugees to help them adjust to life in their new environment.

Practical implications

The findings of the study provide guidance for agencies that assist African refugees in adjusting to life in the United States.

Originality/value

This study represents one of the few investigations of the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the United States.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Jin Zhang and Dietmar Wolfram

The purpose of this article is to investigate obesity‐related queries from a public health portal (HealthLink) transaction log.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate obesity‐related queries from a public health portal (HealthLink) transaction log.

Design/methodology/approach

Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was applied to each of five obesity‐related focus keywords and their co‐occurring terms in submitted queries. After the transaction log data were collected and cleaned, and query terms were extracted and parsed, relationships between a focus keyword and its co‐occurring terms were established. Clustering relationships between focus keywords and their co‐occurring terms were identified and analysed in the MDS visual context.

Findings

The MDS analysis produced satisfactory outcomes for all five focus keywords. The term “placements”, in the visual configurations revealed strong grouping tendencies of three to five clusters for each focus keyword.

Originality/value

The findings of this study provide insights into health consumers' internet‐based information‐seeking behaviour on obesity‐related topics. These findings could be used to enhance online search system design and health‐related thesaurus construction.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Hope A. Olson and Dietmar Wolfram

The purpose of this article is to examine interindexer consistency on a larger scale than other studies have done to determine if group consensus is reached by larger…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine interindexer consistency on a larger scale than other studies have done to determine if group consensus is reached by larger numbers of indexers and what, if any, relationships emerge between assigned terms.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 64 MLIS students were recruited to assign up to five terms to a document. The authors applied basic data modeling and the exploratory statistical techniques of multi‐dimensional scaling (MDS) and hierarchical cluster analysis to determine whether relationships exist in indexing consistency and the coocurrence of assigned terms.

Findings

Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms to a document follows an inverse shape, although it is not strictly power law‐based unlike many other social phenomena. The exploratory techniques revealed that groups of terms clustered together. The resulting term cooccurrence relationships were largely syntagmatic.

Research limitations/implications

The results are based on the indexing of one article by non‐expert indexers and are, thus, not generalizable. Based on the study findings, along with the growing popularity of folksonomies and the apparent authority of communally developed information resources, communally developed indexes based on group consensus may have merit.

Originality/value

Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms has been studied primarily on a small scale. Few studies have examined indexing on a larger scale with more than a handful of indexers. Recognition of the differences in indexing assignment has implications for the development of public information systems, especially those that do not use a controlled vocabulary and those tagged by end‐users. In such cases, multiple access points that accommodate the different ways that users interpret content are needed so that searchers may be guided to relevant content despite using different terminology.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2012

Abstract

Details

Library and Information Science Trends and Research: Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-714-7

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2013

Abstract

Details

New Directions in Information Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-559-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Abstract

Details

Social Information Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-833-5

Book part
Publication date: 6 February 2015

Abstract

Details

Genre Theory in Information Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-255-5

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Abstract

Details

Web Search Engine Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-636-2

Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2013

Abstract

Details

Developing People’s Information Capabilities: Fostering Information Literacy in Educational, Workplace and Community Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-766-5

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2014

Abstract

Details

New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-814-3

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