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Dissertation Information for Lokman I. Meho

- Lokman I. Meho

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) (2001)

- Helen R. Tibbo

- Gary Marchionini
- Paul Solomon
- Barbara B. Moran
- Stephanie Haas
- James L. Peacock

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The information-seeking behavior of social science faculty studying stateless nations

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze the information needs and information-seeking behavior of social science faculty studying stateless nations (e.g., the Basques, Chechens, Kurds, and Tibetans) and to examine the feasibility and value of electronic mail interviewing for conducting qualitative research. The study focuses on developing a model that best describes the information-seeking behavior of this user group. This model builds on David Ellis's model of information-seeking behavior of social scientists.

Of the 106 faculty members invited, 60 from 18 different countries participated, making a response rate of 57%, In order to provide a "reality check" on the study findings, the investigator conducted in-depth semi-structured face-to-face (FTF) interviews with additional five faculty members located within practical geographical distance. Using content analysis, the interview data and memos resulted in the identification of several concepts, categories, and themes common to the participants.

Results of the study revealed that there were some clear and unique patterns of information used by social science faculty studying stateless nations. For example, fieldwork data, archival materials, and grey literature were among the most frequently used and relied on sources of information. Informal sources of information (e.g., colleagues, librarians, and friends) were found to be important as well. Government restrictions are considered the most significant barriers to information gathering. Nine other factors that influence the information-seeking behavior of the faculty were also identified.

This study shows that in addition to starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring, and extracting--the six categories identified by David Ellis as sufficient to describe the information-seeking activities of social science faculty--four features should be added to the model: accessing, networking, verifying, and information managing.

Results indicated that many of the difficulties inherent in face-to-face interviews can be overcome in the electronic medium. Both the researchers and the interviewees were able to take the time to be thoughtful and careful in their responses to each other. Neither the researchers nor the interviewees had to schedule appointments. Although some caution remains regarding the reliability of responses collected in this way, general advantages of interviewing using electronic mail include: reduced cost; convenience; unimportance of geographic location and the possibility for more sampling diversity; the potential for large amount of data to be accumulated; the allowance for thorough and thoughtful follow-up and clarification; the generation of transcribed data; and the ability to continue the interview process until the researcher is satisfied that a saturation point has been reached. A list of guidelines are included for researchers who are considering conducting research via electronic mail using interviews. Implications on library services and suggestions for future research are presented.

MPACT Scores for Lokman I. Meho

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2017-05-11 16:48:25

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Students under Lokman I. Meho

- None

- Seungmin Lee - Indiana University (2010)
- Laura Sheble - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2014)