Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 16
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There has been a long history of studying user needs in all types of libraries. The
most common explanation for studying user needs has been to improve services and to be
more responsive to users' needs (Varlejs, 1987, p. 67). Over the last forty years, there has
been a close link between information retrieval research and information seeking
behavior research. Lancaster and Warner (1993) felt that information retrieval was
"synonymous with 'literature searching;' it is a process of searching some collection of
documents (using the term document in its widest sense) to identify those that deal with a
particular subject. Any system that is designed to facilitate this literature searching
activity may legitimately be called an information retrieval system" (p. 11).
Development of the Intemrnet and Its Importance to Higher Education
Beginning in the early 1970s in a United States Department of Defense project
called ARPAnet (Ellis & Vasconcelos, 1999), the Intemrnet grew from a project to
facilitate transfer of intelligence information to the present World Wide Web of the 21st
Century. Lawrence and Giles (1999) estimated that in early 1999 there were
approximately 800 million homepages on the Intemrnet comprising around six terabytes of
textual data. Access to the Intemrnet was provided from approximately three million
servers which made for over four billion IP addresses available for use on the Intemrnet.
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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/m1/23/: accessed February 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .