Information seeking


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Discusses the concept of information seeking and 3 approaches to understanding it: Belkin's ASK hypothesis, Kuhlthau's Information Search Process and Dervin's Sense-Making.

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Information seeking

  1. 1. Information Seeking LIB 640 Information Sources and Services Summer 2014
  2. 2. What Is Information Seeking? • In the simplest terms, information seeking involves the search, retrieval, recognition, and application of meaningful content. This search may be explicit or implicit, the retrieval may be the result of specific strategies or serendipity, the resulting information may be embraced or rejected, the entire experience may be carried through to a logical conclusion or aborted in midstream, and there may be a million other potential results. • Kingrey, K. P. (2002, Spring). Concepts of information seeking and their presence in the practical library literature. Library Philosophy and Practice, 4, 2 2 What is information seeking?
  3. 3. Question 1: Why seek for information? What is the motivation? 3
  4. 4. 4 Why Seek? Theory 1 ASK Hypothesis developed by Nicholas Belkin (Rutgers) •“. . . Anomalous States-of-Knowledge (abbreviated to ASK). . . . Situations in which the patrons’ knowledge [is] incomplete or limited in some way, and they need further information to get on, the patrons are seen to be in an anomalous state of knowledge.” • Ammentorp, S. and Hummelshøj, M. (2001). Ask a librarian: Web- based reference question services: a model for development. Paper presented at 11th NI&D Conference. Spring for information. Reykjavik, 30 May–1 June 2001. Retrieved 22. September, 2004. Nicholas Belkin
  5. 5. 5 Why Seek? Theory 2 The Uncertainty Principle developed by Carol Kulthau, Rutgers) • Uncertainty initiates the process of information seeking • Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004, May). ISP Presentation Retrieved June 14, 2007. /loex_presentation.ppt Carol Kuhlthau
  6. 6. 6 Why Seek? Theory 3 The Gap that does not make sense (“Sense- making” hypothesis) • “. . . Dervin presents to us a picture of a man walking along a road, when he comes upon an impassable hole in the ground. In this situation, he is obviously facing a gap. What is he to do now?” • Kari, J. (1998, November). Making sense of sense-making: From metatheory to substantive theory in the context of paranormal information seeking. Paper presented at Nordis-Net workshop (Meta)theoretical stands in studying library and information institutions: individual, organizational and societal aspects, November 12–15 1998, Oslo, Norway. Retrieved September 22, 2004. See also: Savolainen, R. (2006, April 25) Information use as gap-bridging: The viewpoint of sense-making methodology. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. Retrieved June 8, 2014. Brenda Dervin
  7. 7. An illustration of Dervin’s “Gap” 7
  8. 8. Question 2: Who’s doing the seeking? Defining the seeker 8
  9. 9. 9 Who Seeks? Theory 1 Anomalous State of Knowledge (ASK) hypothesis (Belkin): • “. . . patrons in problematic situations.” • Ammentorp, S. and Hummelshøj, M. Ask a Librarian: Web-Based Reference Question Services: A Model for Development.” Marianne Hummelshøj Steen Ammentorp
  10. 10. 10 Who Seeks? Theory 2 Kulthau’s Information Search Process: • People experience the ISP [Information Search Process] holistically with an interplay of thoughts, feelings, and actions. • Kuhlthau, Carol C. “An Overview of the Information Search Process.” Retrieved June 14, 2007. Carol Kuhlthau
  11. 11. 11 Who Seeks? Theory 3 Sense-Making Hypothesis: • “. . . [a] patron [who] is seen as being locked in a situation unable to move further because of some kind of gap in his knowledge.” • Ammentorp and Hummelshøj, Ask a librarian: web-based reference question services: A model for development. Brenda Dervin
  12. 12. Question 3: How do they seek? Methods of searching 12
  13. 13. 13 How Do They Seek? Theory 1 Belkin’s ASK: • “. . . users performing some activity feel that they have a knowledge gap that cannot be filled directly, and consequently they engage into an information seeking process. . .” • Brajnik, G. (1999, June). Information seeking as explorative learning. Retrieved Sept. 7th, 2003. Giorgio Brajnik Assistant Professor in Computer Science, University of Udine, Italy
  14. 14. 14 How Do They Seek? Theory 2 Kuhlthau’s ISP: • “The critical component of the ISP is the person’s own formulation of a focus that involves gaining a personal perspective of the topic or subject while using a variety of sources of information. In other words, users are constructing their own understandings through inquiry.” • Kuhlthau, C. “Research Interests.” Last Updated January 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012. •
  15. 15. 15 How Do They Seek? Theory 3 Dervin’s Sense-Making: • “ . . . the patron is seen as being locked in a situation unable to move further because of some kind of gap in his knowledge. However the patron tries to bridge this gap by asking questions and using the answers to closing the gap, making new sense. As Belkin, Dervin sees the nature of the information need as something situational changing as the patron tries to bridge the gap.” • Ammentorp and Hummelshøj, “Ask a Librarian: Web- Based Reference Question Services: A Model for Development.”
  16. 16. 16 Who, How, Why? “person-in-context” “active search for information” “stress/coping model” • Wilson, Tom and Christina Walsh. “A revised general model of information behaviour” ch. 7 of “Information Behaviour: An Inter-Disciplinary Perspective.” British Library Research and Innovation Report 10. A report to the British Library Research & Innovation Centre on a review of the literature. Retrieved Sept. 8th, 2003. Professor Tom Wilson Biography Research Cats
  17. 17. 17 Another Motivation to Consider Self-Generated or Imposed? • internally motivated by personal context OR • thought up by one person then given to someone else to resolve • Gross, M. (2001, January). Imposed information seeking in public libraries and school library media centers: a common behaviour? Information Research, 6, 2. Retrieved Sept. 8th, 2003.
  18. 18. 18 Process of Searching Kulthau’s ISP: • Carol C. Kuhlthau, Jannica Heinström and Ross J. Todd, “The ‘information search process’ revisited: is the model still useful?” Information Research VOL. 13 NO. 4, DECEMBER, 2008.