Dissertation Information for Scott Anthony Lucas
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: The information seeking processes of genealogists
Abstract: This study investigated how genealogists search for and gather information in contexts rich in genealogical information. It assumed a constructionist paradigm, acknowledging that all knowledge is created through language, which is bounded by social, cultural, and historical contexts. It used a grounded-theory methodology consistent with both the research aim and theoretical framework presented. To provide the data that supported the research aim, interviews, observations, and talk-in-action were employed. These methods were chosen to capture and focus on the experiences and descriptions of information seeking by genealogists. Data was collected from three sites frequently visited by genealogists including a public library, a proprietary library, and a historical/genealogical society library. Taylor's (1991) information use environment (ME) was used to define and compare the group of genealogists, the setting in which they were researching, their information problems, and ultimately how they approached and resolved their information needs. A result was the defined IUE of genealogists. With regard to the resolution of problems, participants were found to follow two distinct information seeking processes. The first process centered on locating and selecting sources in the library. The second process was the information selection process participants utilized to search for information in sources. The other framework used in this study employed archival intelligence to examine how genealogists approach information seeking using primary resources (Yakel and Tones, 2003). This study contributes to the development of how genealogists seek information by supporting many of the archival intelligence principles. It also analyzed the potential segments of genealogical researchers based on their information seeking processes and strategies. Following the three categories proposed by Mills (2003), participants were segmented based on their research methodology and concerns for gathering evidence to validate their information. Participants' emphasis on the principles of proof was also included as an indicator. A six-stage model of information of seeking specific to genealogists is proposed. This model suggests that genealogists deliberately approach their research armed with information problems using the two processes uncovered in this study. However, the process does not end at the library; genealogy is an iterative process that continues to new research and problems.
MPACT Scores for Scott Anthony Lucas
Advisors and Advisees Graph
Students under Scott Anthony Lucas