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Dissertation Information for Mohammed Nasser Al-Suqri

- Mohammed Nasser Al-Suqri

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Emporia State University (USA) (2007)

- Linda Lillard

- Gwendolyn Alexander
- Khaled Al-Share

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Information needs and seeking behavior of social science scholars at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman: A mixed-method approach

Abstract: This study investigates information needs and information-seeking behaviors of social science scholars at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman, as an example of a developing country in the Middle East. Its ultimate objective was to produce a model that is applicable to social science scholars in developing countries in general and Oman in particular. The study addresses the questions of (a) how social science scholars at this university locate and use relevant information, particularly electronic resources and other emerging technologies for their specific research and teaching needs; and (b) whether these patterns vary in relation to gender, age, academic rank, academic department or college, or preferred search language. Formal and informal sources of information and electronic resources utilized by social science scholars, as well as barriers to information seeking, are discussed. Additionally, barriers affecting scholars' information-seeking behavior are identified.

The study is conducted within a conceptual framework based on a synthesis of existing models of information-seeking behavior of Wilson (1996), Ellis (1989), and Kuhlthau (1991), along with additional elements representing the information environment, specifically the location and format of information resources. The model describes a pattern of social scientists' information-seeking behavior that includes eight generic stages: Initiation, Exploration, Monitoring, Categorization Sifting, Selecting Resources, Collecting, and Ending. The data collected through mixed-method approach consisting of both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative method consisted of a structured survey questionnaire sent to all social science scholars based at the university during the 2006-2007 academic year, and the qualitative approach consisted of 21 e-mail interviews, 16 face-to-face interviews, and four focus groups with social science scholars selected purposively.

Similar to social scientists elsewhere, participants make increasing use of electronic resources but retain a preference for print materials and informal sources of information. The research process used by participants was generally similar to those of social scientists elsewhere. Findings also showed that social science scholars at SQU in Oman face three main types of barriers to information seeking which may be different than those faced by their counterparts in Western countries: (a) limited availability of resources, especially full text resources; (b) poor Internet connection speeds or Internet availability; and (c) a lack of sufficient Arabic language sources. In addition, information needs and information-seeking practices are found to vary with age, academic rank, and academic department or college.

Finally, the applicability of the model developed in this study was successfully tested and it was found that the information seeking practices of social science scholars could be readily matched to the stages of the model, suggesting that, in general terms, information-seeking behavior follows universally applicable stages and patterns and that a model developed on the basis of research in one region of the world can be transferred of use to other regions.

MPACT Scores for Mohammed Nasser Al-Suqri

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-07-06 21:18:13

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Students under Mohammed Nasser Al-Suqri

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