نموذج 78

نموذج 78

Kuhlthau's work[13, 18] complements that of Ellis by attaching to stages of the 'information search process' the associated feelings, thoughts and actions, and the appropriate information tasks. This association of feelings, thoughts and actions clearly identify Kuhlthau's perspective as phenomenological, rather than cognitive. The stages of Kuhlthau's model are Initiation, Selection, Exploration, Formulation, Collection and Presentation. As an example, the Initiation phase of the process is said to be characterized by feelings of uncertainty, vague and general thoughts about the problem area, and is associated with seeking bac

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نموذج 78

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Models in information behaviour researchT.D. Wilson, PhDDepartment of Information Studies University of Sheffield1. Introduction

The aim of this paper is to review the status of models of information behaviour to discover how they may relate one to another and, perhaps, propose an integration of the models into a more general framework. To this end, this paper offers a view of the existing research as a set of 'nested' models bound together by a dependency upon one another and by an increasing concern, as we move to deeper levels, with finer and finer details of human information seeking and searching behaviour. By information behaviour is meant those activities a person may engage in when identifying their own needs for information, searching for such information in any way, and using or transferring that information.

Research in information behaviour has occupied information scientists, since before the term information science was coined. We can take its origins back to the Royal Society Scientific Information Conference of 1948[1], when a number of papers on the information behaviour of scientists and technologists were presented. Of course, the term information behaviour was not used in the papers, which were generally about document and library use, but the origins are clearly there. This was seven years before Hanson (of Aslib) coined the term information science and nine years before the establishment of the Institute of Information Scientists in the U.K. the first professional society devoted to the field.

Over the intervening period since the Royal Society conference literally thousands of papers and research reports have been produced on user needs, information needs, and information-seeking behaviour (see, for example:[2-6]). Throughout the period the one constant complaint of commentators has been that researchers have not built upon prior research in such a way as to cumulate a body of theory and empirical findings that may serve as a starting point for further research.

A number of reasons can be advanced for this situation: first, in the positivist tradition, quantitative research methods were adopted that were inappropriate to the study of human behaviour. Many things were counted, from the number of visits to libraries, to the number of personal subscriptions to journals and the number of items cited in papers. Very little of this counting revealed insights of value for the development of theory or, indeed, of practice. Secondly, researchers in the field of information science seem generally to have ignored allied work in related areas that might offer more robust theoretical models of human behaviour (see Wilson [7] for a review of such research). Thirdly, general models of information behaviour have only begun to emerge, and attract much attention, in the past ten to fifteen years.

The situation is now changing (as Wilson has suggested [3]). The general adoption of qualitative methods (from the early 1970s in the UK) has resulted in work that is in the wider tradition of the investigation of human behaviour and which, therefore, is more likely to find theories and models in the social sciences that can be applied to the study of information behaviour. At the same time, the models and theories proposed by certain researchers (e.g. Dervin, Ellis, Kuhlthau, Wilson), have gained strength as they have been adopted as the basis for further research by other investigators.

2. A model of information behaviour

A model may be described as a framework for thinking about a problem and may evolve into a statement of the relationships among theoretical propositions. Most models in the general field of information behaviour are of the former variety: they are statements, often in the form of diagrams, that attempt to describe an information-seeking activity, the causes and consequences of that activity, or the relationships among stages in information-seeking behaviour. Rarely do such models advance to the stage of specifying relationships among theoretical propositions: rather, they are at a pre-theoretical stage, but may suggest relationships that might be fruitful to explore or test.

Models of information behaviour, however, appear to be fewer than those devoted to information-seeking behaviour or information searching. Figure 1 is a variation on my own model of 1981[8]:

Figure 1: Wilson's information behaviour model

The aim of this model was to outline the various areas covered by what the writer proposed as information-seeking behaviour, as an alternative to the then common information needs, but it is clear that the scope of the diagram is much greater and that it attempts to cover most of what is included here as information behaviour.

The model suggests that information-seeking behaviour arises as a consequence of a need perceived by an information user, who, in order to satisfy that need, makes demands upon formal or informal information sources or services, which result in success or failure to find relevant information. If successful, the individual then makes use of the information found and may either fully or partially satisfy the perceived need - or, indeed, fail to satisfy the need and have to reiterate the search process. The model also shows that part of the information-seeking behaviour may involve other people through information exchange and that information perceived as useful may be passed to other people, as well as being used (or instead of being used) by the person himself or herself.

One of the results of the analysis that led to the diagram was the recognition that information use had received little attention and, within information science, that statement is still relatively true today. Nor has much attention been devoted to the phenomenon of the informal transfer of information between individuals since Allen's pioneering work[9] on transferring to the research laboratory the 'two-step' flow of communication model of the 'gatekeeper'. The identification of these areas as relatively lacking in research attention demonstrates one of the functions of these models.

The limitation of this kind of model, however, is that it does little more than provide a map of the area and draw attention to gaps in research: it provides no suggestion of causative factors in information behaviour and, consequently, it does not directly suggest hypotheses to be tested.

3. Models of information-seeking behaviour

When we turn to information-seeking behaviour the models are rather more numerous: five will be discussed here: Wilson's (1981) model of information-seeking behaviour[8]; Dervin's (1983) sense-making theory[10]; Ellis's (1989 and 1993) behavioural model of information seeking strategies[11, 12]; Kuhlthau's (1991) model of the stages of information-seeking behaviour [13]; and Wilson's (1996) model [2, 7], which expands his 1981 model through an analysis of the literature in fields other than information science.

3.1   Wilson, 1981

Wilson's second model of 1981 is based upon two main propositions: first, that information need is not a primary need, but a secondary need that arises out of needs of a more basic kind; and second, that in the effort to discover information to satisfy a need, the enquirer is likely to meet with barriers of different kinds. Drawing upon definitions in psychology[14], Wilson proposes that the basic needs can be defined as physiological, cognitive or affective. He goes on to note that the context of any one of these needs may be the person him- or herself, or the role demands of the person's work or life, or the environments (political, economic, technological, etc.) within which that life or work takes place. He then suggests that the barriers that impede the search for information will arise out of the same set of contexts.

This model is shown in a simplified version (which also shows the search behaviours defined by Ellis[11] in Figure 2, below. Wilson's model is clearly what may be described as a macro-model or a model of the gross information-seeking behaviour and it suggests how information needs arise and what may prevent (and, by implication, aid) the actual search for information. It also embodies, implicitly, a set of hypotheses about information behaviour that are testable: for example, the proposition that information needs in different work roles will be different, or that personal traits may inhibit or assist information seeking. Thus, the model can be regarded as a source of hypotheses, which is a general function of models of this kind.

Figure 2: Wilson's information-seeking behaviour model

The weakness of the model is that all of the hypotheses are only implicit and are not made explicit. Nor is there any indication of the processes whereby context has its effect upon the person, nor of the factors that result in the perception of barriers, nor of whether the various assumed barriers have similar or different effects upon the motivation of individuals to seek information. However, the very fact that the model is lacking in certain elements stimulates thinking about the kinds of elements that a more complete model ought to include.

3.2   Dervin, 1983, 1996

Dervin's sense-making theory has developed over a number of years, and cannot be seen simply as a model of information-seeking behaviour: it is, rather, as she says[10], '…a set of assumptions, a theoretic perspective, a methodological approach, a set of research methods, and a practice.' designed to cope with information perceived as, '…a human tool designed for making sense of a reality assumed to be both chaotic and orderly.'

However, sense-making is implemented in terms of four constituent elements - a situation in time and space, which defines the context in which information problems arise; a gap, which identifies the difference between the contextual situation and the desired situation (e.g. uncertainty); an outcome, that is, the consequences of the sense-making process, and a bridge, that is, some means of closing the gap between situation and outcome. Dervin presents these elements in terms of a triangle: situation, gap/bridge, and outcome, which can be represented as in figure 3:

Figure 3: Dervin's 'sense-making' triangle.

However, it may be preferable to use the bridge metaphor more directly and present the model as figure 4 below:

Figure 4: Dervin's 'sense-making' model re-drawn

The strength of Dervin's model lies partly in its methodological consequences, since, in relation to information behaviour, it can lead to a way of questioning that can reveal the nature of a problematic situation, the extent to which information serves to bridge the gap of uncertainty, confusion, or whatever, and the nature of the outcomes from the use of information. Applied consistently in 'micro-moment, time-line interviews' such questioning leads to genuine insights that can influence information service design and delivery (e.g., [15, 16]).

3.3   Ellis, 1989 and Ellis, Cox & Hall, 1993

Ellis's elaboration of the different behaviours involved in information seeking is not set out as a diagrammatic model and Ellis makes no claims to the effect that the different behaviours constitute a single set of stages; indeed, he uses the term 'features' rather than 'stages'. These features are named and defined below:

The strength of Ellis's model as with Kuhlthau's, is that it is based on empirical research and has been tested in subsequent studies, most recently in the context of an engineering company [17].

Of the features, Ellis notes that, '...the detailed interrelation or interaction of the features in any individual information seeking pattern will depend on the unique circumstances of the information seeking activities of the person concerned at that particular point in time' ([11, p.178]). However, it is clear that Starting must initiate a process and that Ending must end it. It also seems reasonable to suggest that Verifying is a penultimate stage in a process and that Extracting must follow on from specific search behaviour such as Browsing. Indeed, drawing attention to this fact, leads to the conclusion that Extracting is not an information behaviour of the same kind as Browsing, or Chaining or Monitoring. It further suggests that Differentiating is also a different kind of behaviour: browsing, chaining and monitoring are search procedures, whereas differentiating is a filtering process and extracting may be seen as an action performed on the information sources

The remaining behaviours do not necessarily take place in a specific sequence and may be initiated in different sequences at different times in the overall search process. Ellis's account, therefore, in terms of the different kinds of features it embodies, appears to sit between the micro-analysis of search behaviour (starting, chaining, extracting, verifying, ending) and a more macro-analysis of information behaviour generally (browsing, monitoring, differentiating).

If these points are accepted, it is then possible to suggest a diagrammatic presentation of the model, as in Figure 5:

Figure 5: A process model based on Ellis's 'characteristics'

Thus, the models of Wilson and of Ellis are intended to function at different levels of the overall process of information seeking and this fact is demonstrated by the ability to nest one within the other.

3.4   Kuhlthau, 1991

Kuhlthau's work[13, 18] complements that of Ellis by attaching to stages of the 'information search process' the associated feelings, thoughts and actions, and the appropriate information tasks. This association of feelings, thoughts and actions clearly identify Kuhlthau's perspective as phenomenological, rather than cognitive. The stages of Kuhlthau's model are Initiation, Selection, Exploration, Formulation, Collection and Presentation. As an example, the Initiation phase of the process is said to be characterized by feelings of uncertainty, vague and general thoughts about the problem area, and is associated with seeking bac

Source: http://www.informationr.net/tdw/publ/papers/1999JDoc.html


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