Information seeking model

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Chapter 2 Literature Review


The literature review provides a discussion about the related of privacy and disclosure with the information seeking model. Literature that helped directs the development of the research interview. The definition of information seeking is presented based on theories information seeking. Also previous research focuses on the factors that influence student information seeking including experience, task and behavior, the student of academic studies made by researchers. Finally examines numerous information seeking model that will guide the development of privacy and disclosure youth academic student with information seeking.

The proposal research is information seeking behavior study. This study examines the information seeking behavior and solving the problem in Friendster utilize in the networked environment, for sharing the knowledge, and know what the information can be user use it in the social network site. The information seeking behavior it was only for library but in this research we need to know how user can use the information seeking behavior in environment social network site or the academic such as Friendster.

Information-seeking behavior remains an important research area. Libraries and other information providers strive to understand users' information needs and how they try to fulfill these needs. States that information plays a significant role in our daily professional and personal lives and we are constantly challenged to take charge of the information that we need for work, fun and everyday decisions and tasks. In the digital era, research on information-seeking behavior has taken on even more importance worldwide web. Most of the literature on information-seeking behavior comes from developed countries, while conditions in developing countries vary significantly.

Information seeking behavior.

History of information seeking behavior.

The term information seeking behavior has been used in the research literature about scientists and researchers since the 1950's. The current emphasis on user needs has prompted librarians to investigate the concept of information seeking behavior, drawing upon models from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and communication theory (Hayden, 2001).

The information seeking behavior important to search what student actually need from the researching for information may be very different from what librarians think the student doing. The popular information seeking behavior during in 1980's is presented to make the relationship between the concept of users, need, and user's behavior.

The information seeking behavior that results from recognition of some need (Wilson, 2000a, 2000b) is defined by (Krikelas, 1983). "As any activity of an individual that is undertaken to identify perceives the current state of controlled knowledge is fewer than that needed to deal with some issue (or problem)".

The information behavior can be defined by the general model of information behavior and development by Wilson (Wilson, 1997). According Wilson, a general model of information behavior needs to include there:

  • An information need and its drivers, that is, the reasons that give raise to an individual view needs.
  • The reasons that affect the individual response to the perception of need.
  • The processes or actions involved in that response.

The information seeking behavior has two separates strategies for used methods to find information, "Gross Strategies", "Search Strategies". The gross strategies in information seeking behavior include consulting one long term memory such as ask friends, colleagues, consulting personal collections of book, periodicals, life, and conducting empirical investigations and apply formal system such as "library, research firms, electronic network, social network, government agencies". Search strategies are defined by how a person expresses information needs in an information retrieval system (Bilal, 2000a).


Shenton & Dixon, 2004) state that both analytical and browsing strategies proved effective for finding relevant information by high school students searching electronic encyclopedias, yet each strategy demonstrated distinct advantages and disadvantages. The analytical strategy required less time and fewer queries. However, students experienced difficulties in learning and applying the strategy, and therefore, the demand of higher cognitive understanding was greater. The browsing strategy was easily applied and led students to a significant amount of data. However, the amount of data retrieved can lead to user fatigue if the user attempts to scan and skim all the data. Adolescents using the Web felt browsing and skimming allows them to investigate ideas (Watson, 1998).

(Todd, 2003) noted patterns in students searching strategies as they sought information on the Web for a homework assignment, Sessions began with keyword searching or entering an address in the URL bar. Patterns included students scanning sites quickly, skimming results, and use of landmarks. A landmark was defined as a "comfort zone" or home base Web site students returned to when they got lost in their search. Students used the Back command to activate their landmark. Students often repeated past experiences when beginning a search or followed the suggestion of peers, teachers, and librarians. (Bilal, 2000b, 2002) studies students using a Web search engine began search strategy formulation with an initial keyword search using multiple concepts while subsequent searches used concrete terms or concepts. Single concepts and natural language searching were also used by students. Students shifted back between browsing and keyword searches, typically preferring browsing.

The information seeking behavior it for the technique and process of researching for information, and the information seeking behavior it depends on the many types of information need, information seeking, information exchange, and information use for the people. So information seeking behavior arises when the users is able to recognize what topic of information needed for make search. The information seeking behavior it used for the research and include information search and information gathering.

Information seeking models.

Wilson information seeking behavior.

On 1999 T. Wilson has developed information behavior model. The model suggests that information-seeking behavior 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 behavior 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 (TD Wilson, 1999).

Ellis' information behavior.

(Ellis, 1989) Proposed and elaborated on a general model information seeking behavior based on studies of information seeking patterns. Ellis's elaboration of the different behaviours involved in information seeking consists of six features. 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:

  • Starting: comprising those activities characteristic of the initial search for information such as identifying references that could serve as starting points of the research cycle. These references often include sources that have been used before as well as sources that are expected to provide relevant information. Asking colleagues or consulting literature reviews, online catalogs, and indexes and abstracts often initiate starting activities.
  • Chaining: following chains of citations or other forms of referential connection between materials or sources identified during "starting" activities. Chaining can be backward or forward. Backward chaining takes place when references from an initial source are followed. In the reverse direction, forward chaining identifies, and follows up on, other sources that refer to an original source.
  • Browsing: "semi-directed or semi-structured searching;" Casually looking for information in areas of potential interest. It not only includes scanning of published journals and tables of contents but also of references and abstracts of printouts from retrospective literature searches.
  • Differentiating: using known differences in information sources as a way of filtering the amount of information obtained. Using known differences (e.g., author and journal hierarchies or nature and quality of information) between sources as a way of filtering the amount of information obtained.
  • Monitoring: keeping up-to-date or current awareness searching. Keeping abreast of developments in an area by regularly following particular sources (e.g., core journals, newspapers, conferences, magazines, books, and catalogs).
  • Extracting: selectively identifying relevant material in an information source. Activities associated with going through a particular source or sources and selectively identifying relevant material from those sources (e.g., sets of journals, series of monographs, collections of indexes, abstracts or bibliographies, and computer databases).

Verifying: checking the accuracy of information;

Ending: which may be defined as "tying up loose ends" through a final search.

(Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007) 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'.

Evolved a process stage model of information seeking behavior based, initially, on a study of high school students. The stages of the model are Initiation, Selection, Exploration, Formulation, Collection and Presentation and each stage is said to be associated with certain feelings and with specific activities(Wilson, 2000a).

(Ellis, 1989) model can be applied in the context of electronic hyper linked systems such as the World Wide Web. An individual could possibly begin his or her search from one of a few favorite starting pages or sites (starting); follow hyper textual links to navigate backwards and forwards through the WebPages (chaining); scan the contents of the Web pages of the sources (browsing); bookmark useful sources for the purpose of future visits (differentiating); subscribe to services that alert users through emails of new information or developments (monitoring); and search to extract meaningful information from a particular site (extracting).

Marchionini's information process model.

(Marchionini, 1997) employed a problem solving approach to understanding information seeking process in the electronic environment. He perceives information seeking as a focused activity driven by an information problem (e.g., a task). The information problem may be simple or complex but must begin a recognition activity to move near a goal. While the problem initiates recognition activity to move near a goal, the solution may or may not be found. Information seeking begins with recognition and acceptance of the problem and continues until the problem is resolved or abandoned. Marchionini identifies eight processes of information seeking framework:

  1. Recognizing and accepting an information problem: the information seeking must assess that there is problem to kick start the process of information search.
  2. Defining and understanding problem: selecting the resource(s) for search, articulating the problem in terms of search strategy to understanding problem, to understand and define a problem, it must be limited, labeled and a form of frame for the answer determined.
  3. Choosing a research system: Search systems can be chosen by users based upon their past experience with information problems, their general cognitive abilities and experience with particular systems. Normally information seekers map the search task onto one or more search systems.
  4. Formulating a query: Query formulation involves an understanding of the match between the task and the system selected. The first query formulation identifies an entry point to the system followed by browsing or query reformulations.
  5. Executing a search: Executing the physical actions to query an information source is driven by the information seeker's mental model of the system.
  6. Examining the results of this articulated problem: Examination of the response from the search system is dependent on the quantity, type and format of the response and involves judgment about the relevance of information contained in the response.
  7. Extracting the desired information in useful forms: An information seeker extracts information by applying skills such as reading, scanning, listening, understanding, copying and storing information to manipulate and integrate into the information seeker's knowledge of the domain.
  8. Reflecting on the problem and stopping and iterating the process of inquiry: Seldom is an information seeker satisfied with a single query but the initial retrieved set serves as feedback for further query formulations and executions.

The information seeking process is both systematic and opportunistic. The degree in which a search takes place depends on the strategic decisions that the information seeker makes and how the information seeking factors (the seeker, the problem, the search system, the domain, the setting, and the outcomes) interact as the search progresses. Marchionini's model emphasizes the nonlinear, evolving, iterative, and opportunistic nature of the information seeking process.

Information seeking behavior process.

Information seeking behavior it important for research can be learning single ways student approach with the social network to solve their information problem. The information-seeking process is both systematic and opportunistic. The degree to which a search exhibits algorithms, heuristics, and serendipity is dependent on the strategic decisions the information seeker makes and how the information-seeking factors interact as search progresses. The information-seeking process is composed of a set of subprocesses as depicted. Information seeking begins with the recognition and acceptance of the problem and continues until the problem is resolved or abandoned. In the figure, the likelihood of a subprocess calling another subprocess is represented crudely by three types of arcs. Bold, solid arcs represent the most likely (default) transitions from one subprocess to another, dashed arcs represent high-probability transitions, and solid arcs represent low-transition probabilities. These subprocesses may default to phases or steps in a sequential algorithm, but they are better considered as functions or activity modules that may be called into action recursively at any time, that may be continuously active (types of sentinels or demons), that are temporarily frozen while others proceed, and that may make calls to other subprocess. Thus, the information seeking process can proceed along parallel lines of progress and take advantage of opportunities arising from intermediate or random results. The degree to which the information-seeking process deviates from a top-down, sequential default provides a basis for characterizing browsing and analytical search, and the number of iterations (cycles) per unit time serves as a gross measure of interactivity.


Developing studies examining information seeking behaviors is important so researchers can learn the unique ways students approach the social networked site to solve their information problems. While studies have examined students' cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors exhibited in their information seeking process, the focus has primarily been placed on the "searching" behaviors and problems that occur from student's use of such behaviors. The studies have not investigated the overall process students use in their information seeking and at what point their behaviors and problem solving techniques utilized within the social networked site affect the solving of an information need. An exception to this is (Branch, 2001) examination of information seeking processes that newcomer high students employed using CD-ROM encyclopedias. Similar to previous studies discussed above, Branch found the factors that influenced the information seeking process include search strategy selection, skimming and scanning skills, computer experience, reading ability, seeking assistance, patience, persistence and system knowledge. The researcher also observed students using a diversity of techniques to complete 12 different search tasks. Students in the study tended to use the same strategies during searching. Users of simple searches applied that technique on all of the tasks. Branch found that students developed a pattern completing the tasks that included the students entering a search term, reviewing results lists, skimming the list for a relevant topic, reviewing selected article by skimming or reading, and finding answers within the chosen article. At times students' search process was interrupted when no results happened after entering a search term. This caused frustration or confusion for the students leading them to seek assistance with search term selection. The researcher notes that affective states of uncertainty, doubt, clarity, relief, and satisfaction, also influenced students' seeking process; however, she did not explore in detail at which point or to what degree these states influenced the process.

Theoretical framework of information seeking behavior.

Information Needs.

The information needs understood in information science as developing from an unclear awareness of something missing and culminating in location information that contributes to understanding meaning Kuhlthau (1999). Information needs is described as an anomalous state knowledge or a gap in individual knowledge in sense making situations(Choo, Detlor, & Turnbull, 2000). Wilson points out that there must be an attendant motive when a personal experiences an information need(Wilson, 1997).

One of the difficulties faced in information seeking behavior for researching in the field of users student, is the distinction between information need demands, wants, and use. As result a number of user studies which have seemed to be information needs have actually been of information use.(Roberts, 1975), defined information need as