Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 6
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Combining his research on social scientists and that of his work with his
colleagues' research on physical scientists, Ellis' behavioral model consisted of eight
stages (Ellis, 1989a, pp. 178-200; & Ellis et al., 1993, pp. 364-365). The first stage was
"Starting" which Ellis described as the "initial search for information." This stage
involved finding a key citation to a paper, article, or monograph. The faculty member
then wanted to find additional information on the subject or additional articles by the
The second stage was "Chaining." Ellis described chaining as following the
footnote trail. As the faculty member followed the trail from citation to citation, the
faculty member created a chain of footnotes that led to the needed information.
"Browsing" was the third stage. Once the faculty member found a source or
"area" that had useful information, the faculty member then began to browse the area or
source for additional information on the topic of interest.
The fourth stage was "Differentiating." Here the faculty member began to sift
through the discovered resources and filtered out the undesirable resources. The faculty
member made choices on each discovered piece of information based on the quality (how
well it met the faculty member's information need) of the document or article.
Ellis called the fifth stage "Monitoring." Once the faculty member found a
number of sources that met the information need, the faculty member then continued to
monitor the field for new developments or additional information.
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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/m1/13/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .