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Title: Interdisciplinary information seeking behaviour : a naturalistic inquiry
Author: Foster, Allen Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 4310
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2003
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The thesis begins with an introduction to the study, interdisciplinarity and information seeking behaviour. A review of the literature pertinent to information-seeking behaviour and interdisciplinarity leads to the suggestion that existing research is insufficient to address questions about the information behaviour of interdisciplinary researchers. From this review questions relating to the nature of interdisciplinary information behaviour and the shape of a model of interdisciplinary information seeking behaviour and how this relates to existing single discipline models are developed. The methodology of the study followed a naturalistic inquiry approach to the subject using interviews and inductive analysis while addressing validity within the Lincoln and Guba framework and is based around a sample of 45 academics selected using a combination of purposive and snowball sampling techniques. This thesis traces the development of the results in a sequence of chapters detailing core processes (Opening. Orientation, and Consolidation) and what may be termed "general influences" relating to Cognitive Approach, Internal Context and External Context. There are therefore three core processes and three levels of general influence, each composed of several individual activities and attributes. Further chapters discuss the relationship of the core processes and general influences and their position in a model. The behavioural patterns identified are analogous to an artist's palette in which activities remain available throughout the course of information seeking, each process iteratively leading back to a new selection from the palette. The interactivity and shifts described by the model show information seeking to be non-linear dynamic, holistic, and flowing. A non-linear model of interdisciplinary information behaviour is put forward. The resulting model presents an alternative framework for understanding interdisciplinary information seeking behaviour with wider implications based upon transferability of the findings to other contexts and plans for further research to develop the model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available