Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 3
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Through the inter-linking of scholars and students from throughout the world, the
Internet makes possible the electronic university envisioned by Rossman. As more
researchers, faculty members, students, businesses, government agencies, and the general
public gain access to the Intemrnet, all face a common problem: what is available to search
and how does one search for information on the Intemrnet? Although written some eight
years ago, Oblinger (1992) described this problem that has only gotten worse as the
Internet continues to expand at such a rapid pace. "The largest problem faced by most
newcomers to the network is understanding what such networks can provide" (p. 3).
By 2000, the growing phenomenon of the Intemrnet and the World Wide Web now
permeates higher education campuses. The Intemrnet provides scholars and students with
quick and easy access to colleagues and electronic information resources located around
the globe. Scholars can now exchange preliminary drafts of research findings with
colleagues or keep in touch by monitoring electronic bulletin boards, chat rooms, and
listservs on subjects of interest. Both students and faculty members now use the Web to
tap remote databases and full-text document resources that were previously only
available through expensive on-site research visits. Researchers and students use the Web
to watch real-time images from remote research stations and satellites or to participate in
class discussions and group projects.
DeLoughry (1994) reported on the potential of listservs and discussion groups on
the Intemrnet to serve as the "first truly worldwide seminar room" (p. A25). Mashhadi and
Han (1996) noted that "The information and communications revolutions that have
resulted in the Intemet have built a means of information exchange which has
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Fortin, Maurice G. Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment, dissertation, December 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2723/m1/10/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .