Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 13
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Definitions of Terms
Barriers to easy access: For the purposes of this research project, barriers to easy
access to information over the Intemrnet include the concepts of problems with browser
interfaces, search engines, and Intemrnet service providers; difficulties with search
commands and protocols; robustness of hardware; and the reliability and validity of
information on Web sites.
Choice and usefulness criteria for Web sites and homepages: For the purposes of
this research project, choice and usefulness criteria include the concepts of a Web site
containing desired information that fulfills an information need, having reliable and
authoritative information, timely updating of information, and allowing for access with
the least amount of search commands and protocols.
Information: "Include(s) objects in the world, what is transferred from people or
objects to a person's cognitive system, and as the components of internal knowledge in
people's minds." (Marchionini, 1995, p. 5)
Information needs: Begins at the earliest "hint that information may be of
interest" (Westbrook, 1999, p. 17) or needed to fill a gap in existing knowledge.
Information seeking: "The paths pursued by individuals in the attempt to resolve a
need" (Chen & Hernon, 1982, p. 6). Marchionini defined it as "a process in which
humans purposefully engage in order to change their state of knowledge" (p. 5). For
Westbrook (1999, p. 14) during the information seeking process, "Faculty members
handle information from three sources: that for which they actively research, that which
they choose to encounter, and that which they encounter involuntarily." In tum "The
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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/m1/20/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .