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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: 15 January 2018

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the motivators for information seeking by comparing two cognitive psychological approaches to motivation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the motivators for information seeking by comparing two cognitive psychological approaches to motivation: self-determination theory (SDT) and expectancy-value theories (EVTs).

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on the conceptual analysis of 31 key investigations characterizing the nature of the above theories. Their potential is examined in light of an illustrative example of seeking information about job opportunities.

Findings

SDT approaches motivation by examining the degree to which one can make volitional choices while meeting the needs of autonomy and competence. Information-seeking behaviour is most volitional when it is driven by intrinsic motivation, while such behaviours driven by extrinsic motivation and amotivation are less volitional. Modern EVTs approach the motivators for information seeking by examining the individual’s beliefs related to intrinsic enjoyment, attainment value, utility value and relative cost of information seeking. Both theories provide useful alternatives to traditional concepts such as information need in the study of the motivators for information seeking.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focusses on two cognitive psychological theories, the findings cannot be generalised to all represent all categories relevant to the characterisation of triggers and drivers of information seeking.

Originality/value

Drawing on the comparison of two cognitive psychological theories, the study goes beyond the traditional research approaches of information behaviour research confined to the analysis of information needs.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 July 2019

Antti Mikael Rousi, Reijo Savolainen and Pertti Vakkari

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance by examining how modes of music information are viewed as situationally relevant at…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance by examining how modes of music information are viewed as situationally relevant at different stages of information-seeking processes among music students.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data of the present longitudinal study were collected in two phases by utilizing questionnaire and interview methods. Informants comprised of 14 university-level music students representing the fields of music performance, music education and music theory and composition. Modes of music information were approached through the information typology presented by Rousi, Savolainen and Vakkari.

Findings

The findings indicate that not only the modes of music information were seen as situationally relevant for different reasons by the three participating music student groups when at the beginning of their tasks, but also that the perceived situational relevance of the information modes underwent changes as their tasks progressed to focus formulation and post-focus stages.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the small number of participants, further research is needed to verify the results concerning the differences in information-seeking processes between diverse music student groups.

Originality/value

The paper showcases that approaching music information through frameworks that classify information sources at diverse levels of abstraction enables an accurate description of information-seeking processes and illuminates context-sensitive development of situational relevance of music information of diverse modes.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 April 2018

Antti Mikael Rousi, Reijo Savolainen, Maaria Harviainen and Pertti Vakkari

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance of music information from a performing musician’s point of view by delving into its diverse…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance of music information from a performing musician’s point of view by delving into its diverse layers within the context of Doctor of Music students’ information seeking.

Design/methodology/approach

Music-related information is approached through six modes that categorize music information sources based on their levels of abstraction. Situational relevance of the modes of music information is examined in relation to the situational requirements of accomplishing a dissertation on music task consisting of both a series of concerts and a written thesis. The empirical material was collected by interviewing Finnish doctoral students in the field of music performance.

Findings

A set of situational relevance types related to each mode of music information were identified. As a whole, the differences between the perceived importance of the modes varied a little.

Research limitations/implications

The goal of the present paper is not to create a generalizable list of situational relevance types suggested by modes of music information, but to show that the modes may suggest diverse situational relevance types of their own when evaluated by performing musicians.

Originality/value

The present paper provides a rare account on performing musicians’ vocational and school-related information seeking. For studies of music information retrieval, the present paper offers new contextual facets explaining why diverse music information could be relevant to musicians. For studies of music-related information seeking, the present study offers new insights on why performing musicians have information needs regarding certain types of music information sources.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the creation of a holistic picture of information behavior by examining the connections between information seeking and sharing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the creation of a holistic picture of information behavior by examining the connections between information seeking and sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis is used to focus on the ways in which the researchers have modeled the interplay of information seeking and sharing. The study draws on conceptual analysis of 27 key studies examining the above issue, with a focus on the scrutiny of six major models for information behavior.

Findings

Researchers have employed three main approaches to model the relationships between information seeking and sharing. The indirect approach conceptualizes information seeking and sharing as discrete activities connected by an intermediating factor, for example, information need. The sequential approach assumes that information seeking precedes information sharing. From the viewpoint of the interactive approach, information seeking and sharing appear as mutually related activities shaping each other iteratively or in a cyclical manner. The interactive approach provides the most sophisticated research perspective on the relationships of information seeking and sharing and contributes to holistic understanding of human information behavior.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focuses on information seeking and sharing, no attention is devoted to other activities constitutive of information behavior, for example, information use.

Originality/value

The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the connections of information seeking and information sharing.

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2018

Reijo Savolainen

Drawing on the ideas of conversation analysis (CA), the purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of dialogical information seeking and sharing. To this end…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the ideas of conversation analysis (CA), the purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of dialogical information seeking and sharing. To this end, information seeking and sharing are approached as interactive online talk occurring in an asynchronous discussion forum.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is based on the elaboration of Schegloff’s model for sequence organisation in spoken conversation. As a result, ten categories constitutive of asynchronous online talk were identified. It was further examined how online talk of this type is structured by expanded question – answers adjacency pairs and how such pairs are constitutive of dialogical information seeking and sharing. This question was explored by scrutinising 20 discussion threads downloaded from a do-it-yourself related online forum.

Findings

Four ideal typical patterns of asynchronous online talk were identified. Answering the question is a basic pattern of online talk, based on the provision of responses to an individual request. Specifying the answer, broadening the discussion topic and challenging the answer represent more sophisticated patterns incorporating post-expansions of diverse kind.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focusses on four patterns constitutive of online talk occurring in a particular domain, the findings cannot be generalised to depict the phenomena of dialogical information interaction as a whole. Further research is needed to scrutiny the particular features of asynchronous online talk in the context of dialogical information interaction.

Originality/value

The paper pioneers by examining the potential of CA in the micro-level study of dialogical information seeking and sharing structured by expanded adjacency pairs. The findings also identify the limitations of the conversation analytic methodology in the study of asynchronous online discourse.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 April 2018

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to clarify the conceptual issues of information behaviour research by reviewing the approaches to information interaction in the context of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify the conceptual issues of information behaviour research by reviewing the approaches to information interaction in the context of information seeking and retrieval (IS&R).

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the conceptual analysis focussing on four pioneering models for interactive IS&R proposed by Belkin, Ingwersen and Ingwersen and Järvelin.

Findings

A main characteristic of models for information interaction is the tripartite setting identifying information resources accessible through information systems, intermediary/interface and user. Dialogue is a fundamental constituent of information interaction. Early models proposed by Belkin and Ingwersen focussed on the dialogue occurring in user-intermediary interaction, while more recent frameworks developed by Ingwersen and Järvelin devote more attention to dialogue constitutive of user-information system interaction.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focusses on four models developed within the period of 1984-2005, the findings cannot be generalised to depict the phenomena of information interaction as a whole. Further research is needed to model the specific features of information interaction occurring in the networked information environments in particular.

Originality/value

The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the ways in which pioneering researchers have conceptualised the phenomena of interaction in the context of IS&R. The findings contribute to the elaboration of the conceptual space of information behaviour research.

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Reijo Savolainen

To specify the nature of experiential information by examining how such information is articulated and shared in online discussion.

Abstract

Purpose

To specify the nature of experiential information by examining how such information is articulated and shared in online discussion.

Design/methodology/approach

Experiential information is approached by identifying two constitutive aspects: (1) sensory information that an individual obtains from noticeable events lived through by means of human senses such as sight and touch and (2) cognitive–affective information that is indicative of how the individual interprets such events by means of cognitive operations like comparison and evaluation, as well as appraises the affective valence of such events. To examine the nature of experiential information, an empirical study was made by analysing how people articulate sensory and cognitive–affective information in online discussion about the COVID-19 epidemic. To this end, a sample of 1773 messages posted to the online forum hosted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company was scrutinized by means of descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis.

Findings

Experiential information was mainly articulated in the depiction of visual observations of lived-through events, as well as in their comparison and evaluation. Experiential information was often articulated in conjunction with information of other types, most notably topic-related opinions, neutral descriptions of COVID-19 related issues and suggestions offered to fellow participants.

Research limitations/implications

As the study concentrated on the sharing of experiential information about the COVID-19 epidemic in an online discussion forum, the findings cannot be extended to concern the exchange of experiential information in other contexts.

Originality/value

The study is among the first to characterize empirically the nature of experiential information by examining the articulations of online discussants.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2020

Reijo Savolainen

This study aims to elaborate the picture of the relationships between information and power by examining how expert power appears in the characterizations of gatekeeping…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to elaborate the picture of the relationships between information and power by examining how expert power appears in the characterizations of gatekeeping presented in the research literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses conceptual analysis for examining how expert power is constitutive of the construct of gatekeeper and how people subject to the influence of gatekeeping trust or challenge the expert power attributed to gatekeepers. The study draws on the analysis of 40 key studies on the above issues.

Findings

Researchers have mainly constructed the gatekeepers' expert power in terms of superior knowledge and skills applicable to a specific domain, coupled with an ability to control or facilitate access to information. The gatekeeper's expert power has been approached as a contextual factor that facilitates rather than controls access to information. The power relationships between the gatekeepers and those subject to gatekeeping vary contextually, depending on the extent to which the latter have access to alternative sources of information. The findings highlight the need to elaborate the construct of gatekeeping by rethinking its relevance in the networked information environments where the traditional picture of gatekeepers controlling access to information sources is eroding.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focuses on how expert power figures in gatekeeping, no attention is devoted to the role of social power of other types, for example, reward power and referent power.

Originality/value

The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the nature of expert power as a constituent of gatekeeping.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 December 2019

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to research on information sharing by drawing on the reader-response theory developed by Louise Rosenblatt. To this end…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to research on information sharing by drawing on the reader-response theory developed by Louise Rosenblatt. To this end, information sharing is approached by examining how bloggers communicate their reading experiences of fiction and non-fiction books.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is based on the differentiation between efferent and aesthetic reading stances specified by Rosenblatt. The efferent stance directs attention to what is to be extracted from reading for instrumental purposes such as task performance. The aesthetic stance focuses on what is being lived through during the reading event. Rosenblatt’s framework was elaborated by specifying eight categories of efferent reading and six categories of aesthetic reading. The ways in which bloggers communicate their responses to such readings were examined by scrutinising a sample of 300 posts from two book blogs.

Findings

The bloggers mainly articulated responses to efferent reading by sharing information about the content of the reviewed books, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Responses to aesthetic reading were mainly articulated by describing how the bloggers experienced the narrative, what kind immersive experiences they had and what kind of emotions were felt during the reading process.

Research limitations/implications

As the study is explorative in nature and focusses on a sample of blog posts, the findings cannot be generalised to depict how people share their responses to efferent and aesthetic reading in social media forums.

Originality/value

The paper pioneers by examining the potential of Rosenblatt’s theory in the study of sharing information about reading experiences in book blogs. The findings demonstrate that the categories of efferent and aesthetic reading can be elaborated further for the needs of information behaviour research.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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