2.0 Scope of User Study
3.0 Brief Historical Account
During 1960’s two important studies were conducted by Menzel (1966) and Line (1971) in the field of science and social science respectively which deserve special mention because of their landmark contributions for further studies. These two studies made the impact and the need to conduct such studies was well realized by the professionals. INFROSS study started during autumn of 1967 with a large sample with multiple questionnaires, which led to the design of information system in social sciences. This was the first study conducted in the field of social sciences whose objectives were achieved by implementing its findings. However, such studies had been attempted earlier in the field of science but not in the field of social science since there was more awareness and consciousness of use of information among scientists as compared to social scientists. Menzel (1966) and Line (1971) made a good beginning of user studies and set directions for further studies. During 1963-1969) the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a series of studies on users’ behaviours. During 1970s these studies became quite popular and many research projects were funded by various organizations and association. In India, the feasibility study of establishment of NISSAT (National Information System in Science and Technology was conducted by Peter Lazar in 1970 assessing the information needs of scientific community of India on behalf of UNESCO on the request of Govt. of India.
The establishment of Centre for Research on User Studies (CRUS) in 1975 in the Department of Information Studies at University of Sheffield gave more emphasis on conducting user studies (Siatri, 1999). The Department had started user studies in early 1970s as reported by Roberts and Wilson (1988). These studies were in the form of student dissertations and occasional research projects, but got further promotion under the project funded by BLRDD (British Library R. & D. Department) (Wilson, 1995). Earlier studies were limited to library surveys relating to library use, readers preferences and interests. Crawford (1978) estimated that there might have been more than1000 studies up-to 1978. More and more literature started coming up during 1980s and 1990s onwards, with broader scope of these studies. During 1990 there were only 9 papers which had appeared in Web of Science which increased to 200 by 2006 (Wilson, 2008). However, Web of Sciencedoes not cover all the journals of Library & Information Science. Therefore, some studies might have been not been covered in web of science. From 1990-1994, 588 articles were indexed in library literature under the terms ‘use studies’ and ‘information needs’ (Julian. 1998). During 1990s user studies became one of the main areas of research for PhD programmes in many universities in India and abroad. The courses on user studies were also introduced in many schools/Departments of Library & Information Science.
4.0 Why User Studies?
5.0. Research Methodology
- Belkin, Nicholas J. “Anomalous State of Knowledge,”in Fisher, Karen E.,Erdelez, Sanda and McKechnie, Lynne (E.E). New Jersey: Information Today, 2008 (Indian reprint), p.44-48
- Bernal, J.D. Preliminary analysis of pilot questionnaire on the use of scientific literature. The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference: Report and Papers. London: Royal Society. 1948. p. 589–637, in Wilson, T.D. “The information user: past, present and future.” Journal of Information Science 34 (2008): 457.
- Chandel, A.S. and Saraf, Veena. “Studies in Information Seeking Behaviour and Use.” Journal of Library & Information Science 27 no. 2 (2002): 152-174.
- Chandel, A.S., Saraf, Veena and Mezbah-ul-Islam, Muhammand. “Changing Paradigm of Information Needs and Information Seeking Behaviour,” in Knowledge management in digital era, 2011 edited by A S Chandel. Delhi: Westville, 2011. p. 275-294.
- Chang, Yu-Wei (2011). A Comparative Study of Research Literature on Information Need and Information Seeking Behavior: A Bibliometric and Social Network Analysis. Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences 48 no.3 (2011): 347-300.
- Covey, Denise Troll. Usage and Usability Assessment: Library Practices and Concern.http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub105/section2.html,
- Crawford (1978). “Information needs and uses.” Annual Review of Information Sc. & Tech 5 no.3 (1978): 61-68.
- McDiarmid, E.W. The Library Survey: Problems and Methods. Chicago: American Library Association, 1940, in
- David, R. A. and Bailey, C. A. Bibliography of User Study. Philadelphia, 1969.
- Dewe A & Deunette, J (Eds.). EURIM 3: A European conference on contribution of users to planning and policy.
- Eithel, Auster. “Organizational behavior and information seeking.” Special Libraries 73, no.3 (1981): 178.
- Evans, Edwards, Borko, Harold and Ferguson, Patricia. “Review of Criteria Used to Measure Library. Bull. Med. Libr. Assoc. 60 no.1 (1972): 104.
- Greifender, Elke. “User and Technology: Are We Doing Research Now?” Library Hi Tech 29 no. 2 (2011): 206.
- Hale, Martha L. “Administrator and Information: A Review of Methodologies Used for Diagnosing Information Use.” Advances in Librarianship 14 (1986): 75.
- Hewins, Elizabeth T. “Information need and use studies,” in Martha E. Williams (Ed.) Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST). Vol. 25. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1990. p.145-172
- Hollnagel, E. “Is information science an anomalous state of knowledge?”, Journal of Information Science, 2, (1980): 183-7
- Hood, P. D. and Blackwell, L. The Education Information Market Study. San Francisco: far West Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, in Edwards G Summers et al. “Information Needs and Uses in Education.” Canadian Journal of Education, 9 2 (1984): 134.
- Jarvelin, Kalervo, and Vakkari, Pertti. “Content Analysis of Research Articles in Library and Information Science.” Library & Information Science Research, 12 (1990):395-421.
- Julien Heidi. “A Content Analysis of Recent Information Needs and Uses Literature.” LISR, 18 (1998): 58.
- Julien, H. and Duggan, L.J. “A longitudinal analysis of the information needs and uses literature”, Library and Information Science Research. 22 ((2000) p. 291-309, in Greifender, Elke. “User and Technology: Are We Doing Research Now?” Library Hi Tech 29 2 (2011): 206.
- Julien H., Pecoski, J. and Reed K. “Trends in Information Behavior Research, 1999-2008: A Content Analysis.” Library and Information Science Research 33 (2011):19-24, in Greifender, Elke. “User and Technology: Are We Doing Research Now?” Library Hi Tech 29 2 (2011): 206
- Krikelas, James. ‘‘Information Seeking Behavior: Patterns and Concepts,’’ Drexel Library Quarterly 19 (2) (1983): 5–20.
- Landau, Herbert B. “An Information Transfer Model to Define Information Users and Outputs with Specific Application to Environmental Technology.”Journal of the American Society for Information Science 33, no.2 (1982): 82-91.
- Line, Maurice B. “The Information Uses and Needs of Social Scientists: An Overview of INFROSS.” Aslib Proceedings 23 (1971): 412-34.
- Lyons, R. “Statistical Corrections.” Library and Information Science Research.” 33 (2011): 92-95, in Greifender, Elke. “User and Technology: Are We Doing Research Now.” Library Hi Tech 29 2 (2011): 206.
- Martyn, John. “Information needs and uses.” Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 9 (1974): 3-23.
- Menzel, Herbert. “Information Needs and Uses in Science and Technology.” Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 1 (1966): 41-69.
- Nicholas, David and Herman, E. A. Assessing Information Needs in the age of Digital Consumer. London: Routledge, 2009.
- Ranganathan, S R. The Five Laws of Library Science. 2nd ed. Asia: Bombay, 1963.
- Roberts, N. and Wilson, T.D. “The Development of User Studies at Sheffield University, 1973-88. Journal of Librarianship, 20 (1988): 270-290.
- Siatri, R. “The Evolution of User Studies.” Libri 48 3 (1999): 132-41.
- Stuart, C. ARL learning space pre-planning tool kit. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, (2008). http://www.arl.org/rtl/space/, in Lippincott, John K. Information Common: Meeting Millennials’ Need. Journal of Library Administration 50, no. 1(2010): 29
- Summers, Edward G, et al. “Information Needs and Uses in Education.” Canadian Journal of Education 9, no. 2 (1984): 134.
- Tenopir, Carol. “Information Metrics and User Studies.” Aslib Proceedngs: New Information Perspectives 55, no. ½ (2003): 13-17.
- Urquhart, D. J. “The Distribution and Use of Scientific and Technical Information.” Journal of Documentation 3 (1948): 222-23, in Wilson, T.D. “Information Needs and Uses: Fifty Years of Progress, Journal of Documentation Review, (pp. 15- 51) London: Aslib. 1994.http://informationr.net/tdw/publ/papers/1994FiftyYears.html].
- Wersing, Gernot. Information user studies, in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, vol. 44, supplement 6, edited by Allen Kent, et al. p. 144-46.
- Wilson, T.D. “Human Information Behavior.” Information Science 3, no.2 (2006): 49-56
- Wilson, T.D. “Information Needs and Uses: Fifty Years of Progress?”http://informationr.net/tdw/publ/papers/1994FiftyYears
- Wilson, T.D. “The Information User: Past, Present and Future.” Journal of Information Science 34 (2008): 457 (Originally published online 13 June 2008).
- Wilson, T. D. “On User Studies and Information Needs. Journal of Librarianship 37, no. 1 (1981): 3-15, in Summers, Edward G, et al. Information Needs and Uses in Education, Canadian Journal of Education 9, no. 2 (1984): 134. http://informationr.net/tdw/publ/papers/1981 infoneeds.html
- Zweizig, D. L. “Measuring library use.” Drexel Library Quarterly 13 (2001): 3-13.
Did you know?
“…Within information science, the terms "user studies", "information needs" and "information-seeking behaviour" are associated with a diverse range of problem areas, from studies that provide a basis for systems development or improvement, through bibliometrics, user education, readability of texts, studies of reading and readership, to information retrieval design and evaluation.
NFORMATION NEEDS AND USES: FIFTY YEARS OF PROGRESS?
"Apart from information retrieval there is virtually no other area of information science that has occasioned as much research effort and writing as user studies."
Wilson, T. D. “On User Studies and Information Needs. Journal of Librarianship37, no. 1 (1981)
Much research in information science entails the study of human perceptions and behaviour. Often, data concerning behaviour are sought using questionnaires in which respondents are asked to report their perceptions, preferences, attitudes or behaviour. Users don’t provide factual data. Users’ behaviour is unpredictable and ever changing. Survey method of data collection is neither reliable nor authentic but not easily replicable with.
Most of the information user remain in the state of Anomalous State of Knowledge (ASK) and need staff assistance to process their queries to remove their anomalies and ambiguities encountered during analyzing their information needs.
“Research methodology that is ultimately tautological to the extent that, as a perspective, it may constitute a priori assumption that is not tested within the research. That is, it is not explicitly challenged; indeed, it may not be formulated in terms of a challengeable proposition within the research design.”
"... a knowledge of the requirements of the different users of scientific information and the uses to which they wish to put the information they secure should be the ultimate determining factor in the designing of methods of storage and retrieval of scientific information."
Points of ponder
Points of ponder
‘The concept of information use is too broad, elusive, amorphous and variant in its nature, 'it is less definable but definitely palpable.'
Information seeking behavior can be defined as to how information user, search and retrieve and use information, systematically as well as unsystematically