Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 5
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university's research, teaching, and service roles, university administrators will have
better arguments for reallocating existing budgets and for requesting increased funding.
In turn, information providers and system designers and researchers also need to
understand and build models to describe how users approach and use the Intemrnet to
satisfy their information needs. If information providers such as academic libraries wish
to retain their central role in the university setting, they must gain knowledge about
Internet usage and information seeking by their academic communities in order to
provide quality services and relevant information access, training, and resources.
One means of understanding this usage is to develop models of how academic
faculty and administrators search for information. During the course of his research into
better designs for information retrieval systems, Ellis developed a behavioral model
(Ellis, 1993, 1989a, & 1989b; Ellis & Haugan, 1997; & Ellis, Cox, & Hall, 1993) to
better understand the information seeking behaviors of faculty members in the social and
physical sciences. Ellis (1989a) stated his model's purpose was to describe the
information seeking patterns of his subjects (social scientists) and break the patterns
"down into their basic behavioural characteristics." When the information retrieval
system incorporates these behavioral patterns, researchers will find the retrieval systems
easier to use; and adapt the systems to each individual's preferred style of searching for
information (p. 172). In another article, Ellis and his colleagues (Ellis et al., 1993)
determined that the behavioral model could also describe the information seeking
behavior of physical scientists. The researchers concluded there were "no overriding
differences between the two groups" (p. 365).
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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/m1/12/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .