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Keeping up to date: An academic researcher's information journey

Pontis, S; Blandford, A; Greifeneder, E; Attalla, H; Neal, D; (2015) Keeping up to date: An academic researcher's information journey. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology , 68 (1) pp. 22-35. 10.1002/asi.23623. Green open access

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Abstract

Keeping up to date with research developments is a central activity of academic researchers, but researchers face difficulties in managing the rapid growth of available scientific information. This study examined how researchers stay up to date, using the information journey model as a framework for analysis and investigating which dimensions influence information behaviors. We designed a 2-round study involving semistructured interviews and prototype testing with 61 researchers with 3 levels of seniority (PhD student to professor). Data were analyzed following a semistructured qualitative approach. Five key dimensions that influence information behaviors were identified: level of seniority, information sources, state of the project, level of familiarity, and how well defined the relevant community is. These dimensions are interrelated and their values determine the flow of the information journey. Across all levels of professional expertise, researchers used similar hard (formal) sources to access content, while soft (interpersonal) sources were used to filter information. An important “pain point” that future information tools should address is helping researchers filter information at the point of need.

Type: Article
Title: Keeping up to date: An academic researcher's information journey
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/asi.23623
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.23623
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of ASIS&T. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: information seeking; scholars; information explosion
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502194
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