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Information Tasks: Toward a User-centered Approach to Information Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-801-8

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Book part

Gary Burnett and Paul T. Jaeger

This chapter details the theory of information worlds and its relation to studies of information behaviour, providing a framework for examining information behaviour in a…

Abstract

This chapter details the theory of information worlds and its relation to studies of information behaviour, providing a framework for examining information behaviour in a variety of settings. Since information and its related technologies impact every aspect of life in advanced societies, it is of great importance to create a stronger theoretical understanding of information beahviours across social contexts. Information behaviour is simultaneously shaped by immediate influences, such as friends, family and other trusted small world sources, and by larger social influences, including public sphere institutions, media, technology and politics. Information behaviours of all sorts are situated and contextualized, given meaning by the multi-tiered contexts within which they occur. Drawing on the works of Jürgen Habermas, who studied information flow across the largest social structures, and Elfreda Chatman, who focused on the smallest social units, the theory explores information behaviour across all of the levels –– the small worlds of everyday life, mediating social institutions and technologies, the concerns of an entire society and broad political and economic forces. After detailing antecedents and exploring the theory's core concepts, the chapter investigates the theory's relevance for research on information behaviour and discusses the theory in light of other approaches to studying information behaviour, arguing that it provides a strong foundation for understanding and analysing the complex interwoven contexts within which we interact with information.

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New Directions in Information Behaviour
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-171-8

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Article

Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet and Maya Blau

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the predictive factors of information seeking behavior of smartphone users from the cross-generational perspective. Based on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the predictive factors of information seeking behavior of smartphone users from the cross-generational perspective. Based on existing literature, the two most popular types of information seeking behavior of smartphone users were determined: social information seeking behavior; and functional/cognitive information seeking behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire comprising 66 questions was administered online to 216 smartphone users of three age groups according to three generations: generation X, Y (millennials) and Z. Several predictive factors were examined for each of these information seeking behavior types: generation, gender, personality traits (the Big Five), daily usage time, period of ownership, various application utilization and the level of emotional gain from smartphones.

Findings

There is a trade-off between the two types of information seeking behavior. Also, men exhibited significantly more functional/cognitive information seeking behavior than women, and younger generations reported significantly higher emotional gain and social information seeking behavior than older generations. Interestingly, significant differences in smartphone apps’ utilization, information seeking behavior types and their predictive factors were found among users from different generations. Extraversion was positively related to social information seeking behavior only for generations X and Y, while WhatsApp usage was one of the strongest predictive factors only for generation Z.

Practical implications

This research has practical implications for information system design, education, e-commerce and libraries.

Originality/value

This is a first study that systematically examines predictive factors of the two prominent types of information seeking behavior on smartphones from the cross-generational perspective.

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Article

Muhammad Riaz, Xiwei Wang, Sherani and Yu Guo

Drawing upon the communicative ecology theory (CET), this study aims to identify the potential precursors of social media health information seeking intentions (ISI) and…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the communicative ecology theory (CET), this study aims to identify the potential precursors of social media health information seeking intentions (ISI) and examine their effects on health information re-sharing behaviors and PHH during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The data is collected through an online survey conducted in two different universities situated in highly COVID-19-affected cities – Wuhan and Zhengzhou, China. The valid data consists of 230 useful responses from WeChat users and to analyze the final data set structural equation modeling (SEM) is used.

Findings

The results indicate that perceived health information credibility (PIC), trust on the medium (TRM) and peer influence (PI) significantly affect health ISI which further affects health information re-sharing behaviors (IRB) and personal health-care habits (PHH). Besides, the results also identify that PI has a direct, positive and significant effect on health IRB via social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research limitations/implications

This study investigates the health information intentional behavior precursors and their consequences via WeChat (taken as social media platform) during COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies may conduct research by examining online information behaviors on other social media platforms – Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. – in health emergency situations.

Practical implications

The health information producers and providers have to deal with communicative ecology sentiments elegantly in emergency situations such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. They need to do collective efforts by introducing new tools or social apps which deal with valuable, reliable and accurate health content and information generated by the pandemic experts and health professionals. In such a way, the social apps and tools (Information providers) will act as mediators between the health professionals (Information producers) and general social media users (information seekers). Such initiatives will ultimately bring forth positive effect on individuals’ PHH as a whole within a network, community, environment or nations during a health emergency – COVID-19 pandemic.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first studies to examine the potential precursors of social media health ISIs and their resultant effects on individual’s health IRB and PHH during the COVID-19 pandemic. As currently it is noticed, an incredible upsurge of health information via social media has intense impacts on personal health-care research and practice, particularly during health emergency situations such as COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

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Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

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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

Jörgen Skågeby

This paper seeks to propose that the current social media surge gives rise to what can be called social information behaviour. Social information behaviour is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to propose that the current social media surge gives rise to what can be called social information behaviour. Social information behaviour is characterised, at least partly, by a tension between serendipity and disruption. While serendipity is a promoted feature of social media and social information behaviour, social disruption can be seen as its ironic counterpart. This paper goes on to explore different kinds of social disruption that emerge with the use of social media services.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a meta‐ethnographical approach and draws on results from three online ethnographic studies. User activities are conceptualised as social information behaviour and focus is put on potential social disruption.

Findings

The paper discusses five prevalent tensions relating to social disruption: market logic and social logic; public and private; work and non‐work; individual and collective; and IRL (In Real Life) or AFK (Away From Keyboard).

Research limitations/implications

The paper mainly focuses on the disruptive side of social information behaviour. Future work would include studies and comparisons of serendipitous effects.

Practical implications

The findings are relevant for library and information science academics, analysts and professionals interested in social information behaviour as it emerges over new social mediating technologies.

Originality/value

This paper proposes the notion of social information behaviour and provides a conceptual analytical pair in serendipity and social disruption. Theoretical discussion is conducted with reference to “ironic technics”. The paper compiles and highlights prevalent social disruptions from previous online ethnographical studies on social media usage.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article

Suraya Hamid, Sarah Bukhari, Sri Devi Ravana, Azah Anir Norman and Mohamad Taha Ijab

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the information-seeking behaviour of international students in terms of their information needs and to highlight the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the information-seeking behaviour of international students in terms of their information needs and to highlight the role of social media.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, a systematic literature survey was conducted in order to investigate information-seeking trends among international students while using social media. As a result, an exhaustive systematic literature review (SLR) was carried out in order to investigate social media as a source for the observation of the behaviours of international students. For this purpose, 71 articles were selected from various well-known sources after an intensive SLR process of searching, filtering and enforcing the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Findings

As an outcome of this study, the information-seeking behaviour of international students was highlighted with respect to social media as a source of information. In addition, this research identifies the information needs of the international students and categorizes them by the roles played by the social media in fulfilling the information needs.

Practical implications

A comparative study that highlighted the dearth of studies which merge the social media and information-seeking behaviour of international students as well as identify the future direction for the researchers and for benefits of international students.

Originality/value

A detail SLR which highlights the need of shifting the information seeking behaviour from libraries to social media in regard to the new environment for international students.

Details

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

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Article

Juan Shi, Ping Hu, Kin Keung Lai and Gang Chen

As a new communication paradigm, social networking sites (SNS) have boosted information diffusion and viral marketing. Prior researchers have identified various factors…

Abstract

Purpose

As a new communication paradigm, social networking sites (SNS) have boosted information diffusion and viral marketing. Prior researchers have identified various factors affecting information dissemination on SNS. However, they often focus on limited factors and there is a lack of an integrated theoretical framework that explains aspects of relevant factors. Besides, the research on the impacts of relationships on individual retweeting behavior is still controversial. The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework to systematically investigate the determinants of individual dissemination behavior on SNS based on the elaboration likelihood model (ELM). Moreover, the authors also examine the relative importance of those relevant factors.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors randomly selected 1,250 members of Twitter and crawled posts published by each member since he/she created the Twitter account using Twitter API. The authors processed the data to create panel data and tested hypotheses with the panel logit model.

Findings

Factors both on the central route and on the peripheral route of ELM have positive impacts on individual dissemination behavior. Among them, information receiver-related factor and relationships-related factors are the most influential. Contrastingly, source-related factors are the least influential. Furthermore, the authors find that social tie strength mediates almost 50 percent of the effect of value homophily on individual dissemination behavior.

Originality/value

The authors are the first to directly apply ELM to examine individual dissemination behavior on SNS. By integrating factors into the two information processing routes, They incorporate relevant factors into the model and systematically analyze their impacts on individual retweeting behavior on SNS. The research offers at least one explanation for the contradictory findings about the effect of homophily on individual sharing behavior in previous research. The authors propose new variables that gauge topical relevance and interpersonal value homophily on SNS.

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Article

Steven Buchanan and Lauren Tuckerman

The purpose of this paper is to evidence and better understand adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances, and explore issues of social

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evidence and better understand adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances, and explore issues of social integration.

Design/methodology/approach

Interdisciplinary theoretical framework bringing together theories of information behaviour with theories of social capital. Mixed method design incorporating observation, interviews, and focus group conducted in areas of multiple deprivations. Participants’ young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment or training (NEET); and their support workers.

Findings

Heightened access and internalised behavioural barriers found beyond those common to the general adolescent population, the former influenced by technology and literacy issues, the latter by social structures and norms. There is evidence suggestive of deception, risk-taking, secrecy, and situational relevance in information behaviours, and a reliance on bonding social capital characteristically exclusive and inward facing. Low levels of literacy and self-efficacy are significant interrelated issues, with NEET youth dependent upon support workers when seeking and processing information, and demonstrating passive non-motivated information behaviours often abandoned.

Research limitations/implications

Highlights the need for further interdisciplinary research to explore complex relations between social and affective factors, and that seeks to both understand and influence information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances.

Practical implications

Remedial literacy education recommended as an immediate priority for public and third sector agencies.

Originality/value

First study of adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances. Novel interdisciplinary theoretical framework evidences and draws attention to understudied and enduring information poverty issues of significant societal concern, potentially consigning a significant proportion of the youth population to a stratified existence within an impoverished (small) information world. Sets a focused interdisciplinary research agenda.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Barbara Schultz‐Jones

The purpose of this paper is to review the post‐1996 literature of information science and other disciplines for the application of social network theory and social

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the post‐1996 literature of information science and other disciplines for the application of social network theory and social network analysis to research that provides an understanding of information environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review involved a content analysis of 373 articles retrieved from five electronic journal databases offering broad disciplinary coverage, and a selection of nine peer‐reviewed electronic access journals in information science. Each database was limited to academic or peer reviewed journals and searched using two query phrases: social network theory (SNT) and social network analysis (SNA).

Findings

The paper demonstrates the growth of interest by information science and other disciplines in research that applies social network theory and utilizes social network analysis, indicating what research approaches and major focus trends differentiate the disciplines.

Research limitations/implications

The search phrases overlook articles using social networks as the only key phrase for indexing. However, the intention was to examine the application of a theoretical concept and specific methodology, so the terms used were appropriate for this purpose.

Practical implications

The paper identifies opportunities to apply social network theory and social network analysis to the study of the exchange of information resources.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that information science could advance valuable contributions to an understanding of information behavior using social network theory and social network analysis as a vehicle to connect with a significant body of existing research in other disciplines.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 65 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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