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Title: Information-seeking behaviour at Kuwait University
Author: Al-Muomen, Nujoud
ISNI:       0000 0004 2676 0454
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2009
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Information technology is constantly changing, and if academic users are to make best use of these resources, they must sustain efficient information-seeking behaviour. This study explores the information-seeking behaviour of graduate students at Kuwait University, and investigates the factors influencing that behaviour. The population also includes faculty members engaged in teaching and supervising graduate students, and academic librarians. Adopting Wilson's information-seeking model (1999) as the theoretical framework, the study identifies factors influencing graduate students' information behaviour and formulates hypotheses that illustrate the relationship between the different variables. The use of this model provides useful insights into determinants of the information-seeking behaviour patterns of students in a multidisciplinary graduate context. The research uses a mixed method approach, comprising questionnaire survey, focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Application of the Critical Incident Technique method provided in-depth data about the patterns of information-seeking behaviour of both graduate students and faculty members. Logistic regression revealed that significant factors related to library awareness, information literacy, organisational and environmental issues, source characteristics, and demographics act as determinants of the patterns of students' information-seeking behaviour. Uneasiness on the part of graduate students towards using the library and consulting its personnel reflects a broader negative perception of the role of the library in shaping students' information-searching patterns. The clearest finding that emerged from the analysis of the students' information literacy dimension was that the majority of graduate students still face difficulties in finding the appropriate information resources, particularly when using resources that need advanced search strategies. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed a heavy reliance on the information resources that require least effort (search engines, Internet websites, and personal contacts). Further, results revealed that graduate students are overwhelmed by an information overload, which leads them to become anxious about finding the appropriate information resources. Based on the results of the research, recommendations are made to further explore the information-seeking behaviour patterns of graduate students in order to enhance their information literacy skills. Improving information-seeking behaviour and enhancing the information literacy of students require interventions on various fronts: faculty members, academic librarians, the university administration, and graduate students themselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Information-seeking behaviour ; Information literacy ; Library anxiety ; Graduate students ; Electronic information resources ; Logistic regression ; Kuwait