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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Shahram Sedghi, Zeinab Shormeij and Iman Tahamtan

Information seeking is an interactive behaviour of the end users with information systems, which occurs in a real environment known as context. Context affects information

Abstract

Purpose

Information seeking is an interactive behaviour of the end users with information systems, which occurs in a real environment known as context. Context affects information-seeking behaviour in many different ways. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that potentially constitute the context of visual information seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a Straussian version of grounded theory, a qualitative approach, to conduct the study. Using a purposive sampling method, 28 subjects participated in the study. The data were analysed using open, axial and selective coding in MAXQDA software.

Findings

The contextual factors influencing visual information seeking were classified into seven categories, including: “user characteristics”, “general search features”, “visual search features”, “display of results”, “accessibility of results”, “task type” and “environmental factors”.

Practical/implications

This study contributes to a better understanding of how people conduct searches in and interact with visual search interfaces. Results have important implications for the designers of information retrieval systems.

Originality/value

This paper is among the pioneer studies investigating contextual factors influencing information seeking in visual information retrieval systems.

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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2005

Gloria J. Leckie and Lisa M. Given

The history of the public library is long and rich, and continues to reflect this institution's initial mission: to respond to the needs of an evolving democratic society…

Abstract

The history of the public library is long and rich, and continues to reflect this institution's initial mission: to respond to the needs of an evolving democratic society. From its early days as a subscription service for the middle-class, through its evolution to become an educational site for the lower-classes and new immigrants, the public library has served as a touch-stone for urban industrial society in North America (Lerner, 1998, p. 138; Shera, 1974). Over the past century, public libraries have evolved to respond to the growing needs of the communities they serve and continue to do so with recent advances in technologies (such as DVDs, electronic books, the Internet, etc.), and with a more global outlook on the ways that people seek and share information. Indeed, the public library's constituents today are exceedingly diverse, including children and adults from a broad range of socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds, all of whom seek information for a variety of personal and work-related purposes. The fact that public libraries have been fulfilling patrons' information needs for well over a century is a testament to their enduring success and versatility as information providers, and also points to the overall effectiveness of public librarians as intermediaries in the provision process.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-629-8

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the motivators for information behaviour by examining the nature of information need as a trigger and driver of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the motivators for information behaviour by examining the nature of information need as a trigger and driver of information seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual analysis was made by focussing on the ways in which researchers have conceptualised information need in models for human information behaviour (HIB). The study draws on conceptual analysis of 26 key studies focussing on the above topic.

Findings

Researchers have employed two main approaches to conceptualise information needs in the HIB models. First, information need is approached as a root factor which motivates people to identify and access information sources. Second, information need is approached as a secondary trigger or driver determined by more fundamental factors, for example, the information requirements of task performance. The former approach conceptualises information need as a trigger providing an initial impetus to information seeking, while the latter approach also depicts information need as a driver that keeps the information-seeking process in motion. The latter approach is particularly characteristic of models depicting information seeking as a cyclic process.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focusses on information need, no attention is devoted to related constructs such as anomalous state of knowledge and uncertainty.

Originality/value

The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the nature of information need as a trigger and driver of information seeking. The findings refine the picture of motivators for information behaviour.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Andrew Robson and Lyn Robinson

This paper aims to gain insights from existing models of information behaviour, building on them to develop a new model which, unlike most others, encompasses both…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to gain insights from existing models of information behaviour, building on them to develop a new model which, unlike most others, encompasses both information seeking and communication. By identifying key factors affecting the successful communication and use of information, it is hoped that the model will be of practical value both to information providers and to users.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature search and analysis of well‐established models of information seeking and of communication, from which a new conceptual model is constructed.

Findings

Existing models have elements in common, though most models in library and information science focus on information seeking and the information user, while those from the field of communications focus on the communicator and the communication process. A new model is proposed that includes key elements of existing models and takes into account not just the information seeker but also the communicator or information provider.

Originality/value

The model developed in this paper is the first to combine elements from both information seeking and communication models. Being built on previous research, it can be used to investigate the practical value of the model itself and the elements that it has in common with other models.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Yiwei Wang and Chirag Shah

People face barriers and failures in various kinds of information seeking experiences. These are often attributed to either the information seeker or the system/service…

Abstract

Purpose

People face barriers and failures in various kinds of information seeking experiences. These are often attributed to either the information seeker or the system/service they use. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how and why individuals fail to fulfill their information needs in all contexts and situations. It addresses the limitations of existing studies in examining the context of the task and information seeker’s strategy and seeks to gain a holistic understanding of information seeking barriers and failures.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary method used for this investigation is a qualitative survey, in which 63 participants provided 208 real life examples of failures in information seeking. After analyzing the survey data, ten semi-structured interviews with another group of participants were conducted to further examine the survey findings. Data were analyzed using various theoretical frameworks of tasks, strategies, and barriers.

Findings

A careful examination of aspects of tasks, barriers, and strategies identified from the examples revealed that a wide range of external and internal factors caused people’s failures. These factors were also caused or affected by multiple aspects of information seekers’ tasks and strategies. People’s information needs were often too contextual and specific to be fulfilled by the information retrieved. Other barriers, such as time constraint and institutional restrictions, also intensified the problem.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of considering the information seeking episodes in which individuals fail to fulfill their needs in a holistic approach by analyzing their tasks, information needs, strategies, and obstacles. The modified theoretical frameworks and the coding methods used could also be instrumental for future research.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Isto Huvila

Considering the perceived significance of librarians and information experts as professional information seekers and information seeking educators and of the institutional…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the perceived significance of librarians and information experts as professional information seekers and information seeking educators and of the institutional setting of information work, very little is known about the information practices of librarians and information professionals, their contexts and implications for libraries and their users. The aim of this study is to explore the information interactions of library professionals within and in relation to the context of the setting of the library.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a qualitative case study of a large North European city library. Material was collected using information seeking diaries, interviews and ethnographic observation in the library space.

Findings

The information practices of librarians are contextual to the setting of the library within which the meeting of the assumptions of library users, of the use of that particular system plays a significant role. The systemic interplay of librarians, library users and other parts of the system constrains the breadth of the available information at libraries, but at the same time, keeping to a particular set of shared norms and practices of library use also facilitates the use of the system.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited by the fact that they are based on an individual case study.

Practical implications

The systemic nature of library and its reproduction in a process of structuration underlines the need to develop information services in libraries from a holistic perspective that takes into account the practical implications of the shared norms and assumptions of how a library should work.

Originality/value

There is little earlier research on the information practices of library and information professionals, particularly with specific reference to its implications for libraries and their users.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Isto Huvila

Information science research has begun to broaden its traditional focus on information seeking to cover other modes of acquiring information. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

Information science research has begun to broaden its traditional focus on information seeking to cover other modes of acquiring information. The purpose of this paper is to move forward on this trajectory and to present a framework for explicating how in addition to being sought, existing information are made useful and taken into use.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual enquiry draws on an empirical vignette based on an observation study of an archaeological teaching excavation. The conceptual perspective builds on Andersen’s genre approach and Huvila’s notion of situational appropriation.

Findings

This paper suggests that information becomes appropriable, and appropriated (i.e. taken into use), when informational and social genres intertwine with each other. This happens in a continuous process of (re)appropriation of information where existing information scaffolds new information and the on-going process of appropriation.

Originality/value

The approach is proposed as a potentially powerful conceptualisation for explicating information interactions when existing information is taken into use rather than sought that have received little attention in traditional models and theories of human information behaviour.

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Article
Publication date: 18 February 2020

Sanda Erdelez and Stephann Makri

In order to understand the totality, diversity and richness of human information behavior, increasing research attention has been paid to examining serendipity in the…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to understand the totality, diversity and richness of human information behavior, increasing research attention has been paid to examining serendipity in the context of information acquisition. However, several issues have arisen as this research subfield has tried to find its feet; we have used different, inconsistent terminology to define this phenomenon (e.g. information encountering, accidental information discovery, incidental information acquisition), the scope of the phenomenon has not been clearly defined and its nature was not fully understood or fleshed-out.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, information encountering (IE) was proposed as the preferred term for serendipity in the context of information acquisition.

Findings

A reconceptualized definition and scope of IE was presented, a temporal model of IE and a refined model of IE that integrates the IE process with contextual factors and extends previous models of IE to include additional information acquisition activities pre- and postencounter.

Originality/value

By providing a more precise definition, clearer scope and richer theoretical description of the nature of IE, there was hope to make the phenomenon of serendipity in the context of information acquisition more accessible, encouraging future research consistency and thereby promoting deeper, more unified theoretical development.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Reijo Savolainen

– The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the conceptual picture of the relationships between the affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the conceptual picture of the relationships between the affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis focusing on the ways in which the affective and cognitive factors and their interplay are approached in the Information Search Process model developed by Carol Kuhlthau, and the Social-Biological Information Technology model elaborated by Diane Nahl.

Findings

Kuhlthau’s model approaches the cognitive factors (thoughts) and affective factors (feelings) and affective-cognitive factors (mood) as integral constituents of the six-stage information search process. Thoughts determine the valence of feelings (positive or negative), while mood opens or closes the range of possibilities in a search. Nahl’s taxonomic model defines the affective and cognitive factors as components of a biologically determined process serving the ends of adaptation to information ecology. The interplay of the above factors is conceptualized by focusing on their mutual roles in the cognitive and affective appraisal of information.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on the comparison of two models only.

Originality/value

So far, information scientists have largely ignored the study of the interplay between affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use. The findings indicate that the examination of these factors together rather than separately holds a good potential to elaborate the holistic picture of information seeking and use.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2017

Devon Greyson

Despite societal investment in providing health information to young parents, little is known about the health information practices of young parents themselves. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite societal investment in providing health information to young parents, little is known about the health information practices of young parents themselves. The purpose of this paper is to explore young parents’ health information practices in context.

Design/methodology/approach

This constructivist grounded theory study investigates the health information practices of young mothers and fathers (age 16-23) in Greater Vancouver, Canada. Data were collected over 16 months via individual interviews with 39 young parents (37 mothers, 2 fathers) and observations at young parent programs. Inductive analysis was iterative with data collection.

Findings

Young parent health information practices emerged, clustering around concepts of information seeking, assessment, and use, with sharing conceptualised as a form of use. Many young parents were sophisticated information seekers, and most were highly networked using mobile technology. While access to information was rarely a barrier, assessment of the large quantity of health-related information posed challenges.

Research limitations/implications

These findings are not generalisable to all populations. Newly identified information-seeking practices such as defensive and subversive seeking should be explored further in future research.

Practical implications

Rather than focusing on quantity of information, health and information professionals trying to reach young parents should focus on fostering information literacy skills and building relationships as trusted information providers.

Social implications

Young parent experiences of social marginalisation influenced their information practices and should be taken into consideration.

Originality/value

This first investigation of young parent information practices can guide services and resources for young parents, suggests that sharing might be conceptualised as a subset of use, and highlights new information-seeking practices by marginalised individuals, such as defensive and subversive seeking.

Details

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

Keywords

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