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Graduate students’ information seeking behavior

This 21 page PDF is undated (hmmmm, Must be an oversight!) but since the references include ones in 2005 I assume it’s a fairly recent publication. I particularly liked the open-ended questions that were asked.

Scholarly use of information: Graduate students’ information seeking behavior

by Carole George, Alice Bright, Terry Hurlbert, Erika C. Linke, Gloriana St. Clair, and Joan Stein
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
Introduction. This study explored the graduate students’ information behavior as it informs their process of inquiry and scholarly activities.
Method. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with one hundred graduate students representing all disciplines and departments from Carnegie Mellon University.
Analysis. Working in pairs, we coded transcripts of interviews into meaningful categories using ATLAS.ti software. A combined use ofquantitative and qualitative analysis reduced subjectivity.
Results. Graduate students often begin with a meeting with professors who provide direction, recommend and provide resources. Other students help to shape graduate students’ research activities, and university library personnel provide guidance in finding resources. The Internet plays a heavy role; though students continue to use print resources. Convenience, lack of sophistication in finding and using resources, and course requirements affect their information behavior. Findings vary across disciplines and between programmes.
Conclusion. Libraries can influence students’ information behavior by reevaluating their instructional programmes and provision of resources and services. They can take a lead by working with academic personnel to guide students.

Posted on: August 14, 2006, 8:18 am Category: Uncategorized

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