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Dissertation Information for Maureen McCreadie

- Maureen McCreadie

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (1998)

- Ronald Rice

- Richard W. Budd
- Nicholas Belkin
- Diane H. Sonnenwald

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Access to information: A multidisciplinary theoretical framework

Abstract: This dissertation develops a theoretical framework for understanding access to information based on the access-related literature in six research areas: Library Studies, Information Science, Information Society, Mass Media, Organizational Communication, and Economics of Information. Analysis of the literature identifies common issues and concerns across the research areas, influences and constraints on access to information, and the assumptions and/or primary foci of each research area. This analysis leads to a framework for understanding access to information.

A case study approach, based on sense making methodology, tests the framework, applying a pilot study, a main case study, and a follow-up study to explore how well the framework captures participants' perceptions of access to information and whether study results suggest additional components or dimensions. The case study approach supports theory development and the follow-up case study extends theoretical variance and seeks to account for users or potential users who struggle to gain access as well as those with privileged access.

Analysis of the literature identifies five dimensions of access to information (conceptualizations of information, conceptualizations of access to information, facets of the information seeking process, interactions of mediation with access, and influences/constraints on access) and tests the two dimensions most illustrative of human behavior in seeking to gain access to information (information seeking process and influences/constraints).

Framework testing supports the categories derived from the literature and extends categories of influences and constraints to include physical, cognitive, affective, economic, social, political, and mediative. Data underscore the importance of context and outcomes facets of the information seeking process in addition to the situation and strategies facets, more commonly addressed in the literature. In addition, the data indicate a connection between seekers of information and makers of meaning as participants find voice and seek to be heard.

The framework has the potential to contribute to theoretical development, research and evaluation methods, policy issues, and information system design and use. In a time of growing reliance on interactive media and digital libraries, the theoretical and practical implications of viewing information seeking and creation as connected in the communication process are significant.

MPACT Scores for Maureen McCreadie

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:10:48

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Students under Maureen McCreadie

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