Document (#38272)

Author
Case, D.O.
Title
Looking for information : a survey on research on information seeking, needs, and behavior
Imprint
San Diego, CA : Academic Press
Year
2002
Pages
XVI, 350 S
Isbn
0-12-150381-X
Series
Library and information science
Footnote
Rez. in: JASIST 54(2003) no.7, S.695-697 (R. Savolainen): "Donald O. Case has written an ambitious book to create an overall picture of the major approaches to information needs and seeking (INS) studies. The aim to write an extensive review is reflected in the list of references containing about 700 items. The high ambitions are explained an p. 14, where Case states that he is aiming at a multidisciplinary understanding of the concept of information seeking. In the Preface, the author characterizes his book as an introduction to the topic for students at the graduate level, as well as as a review and handbook for scholars engagged in information behavior research. In my view, Looking for Information is particularly welcome as an academic textbook because the field of INS studies suffers from the lack of monographs. Along with the continuous growth of the number of journal articles and conference papers, there is a genuine need for a book that picks up the numerous pieces and puts them together. The use of the study as a textbook is facilitated by clearly delineated sections an major themes and the wealth of concrete examples of information seeking in everyday contexts. The book is lucidly written and it is accessible to novice readers, too. At first glance, the idea of providing a comprehensive review of INS studies may seem a mission impossible because the current number of articles, papers, and other contributions in this field is nearing the 10,000 range (p. 224). Donald Case is not alone in the task of coming to grips with an increasing number of studies; similar problems have been faced by those writing INS-related chapters for the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST). Case has solved the problem of "too many publications to be reviewed" by concentrating an the INS literature published during the last two decades. Secondly, studies an library use and information retrieval are discussed only to a limited extent. In addition, Case is highly selective as to studies focusing an the use of specific sources and channels such as WWW. These delineations are reasonable, even though they beg some questions. First, how should one draw the line between studies an information seeking and information retrieval? Case does not discuss this question in greater detail, although in recent years, the overlapping areas of information seeking and retrieval studies have been broadened, along with the growing importance of WWW in information seeking/retrieval. Secondly, how can one define the concept of information searching (or, more specifically, Internet or Web searching) in relation to information seeking and information retrieval? In the field of Web searching studies, there is an increasing number of contributions that are of direct relevance to information-seeking studies. Clearly, the advent of the Internet, particularly, the Web, has blurred the previous lines between INS and IR literature, making them less clear cut. The book consists of five main sections, and comprises 13 chapters. There is an Appendix serving the needs of an INS textbook (questions for discussion and application). The structure of the book is meticulously planned and, as a whole, it offers a sufficiently balanced contribution to theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues of INS. The title, Looking for Information: A Survey of Research an Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior aptly describes the main substance of the book. . . . It is easy to agree with Case about the significance of the problem of specialization and fragmentation. This problem seems to be concomitant with the broadening field of INS research. In itself, Case's book can be interpreted as a struggle against this fragmentation. His book suggests that this struggle is not hopeless and that it is still possible to draw an overall picture of the evolving research field. The major pieces of the puzzle were found and the book will provide a useful overview of INS studies for many years."
Weitere Rez. in: iwp 65(2014) H.2, S.143-144 (C. Wolff)
Theme
Informationsdienstleistungen
Semantisches Umfeld in Indexierung u. Retrieval
Suchtaktik
Literaturübersicht

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