Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 18
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Electronic, refereed journals have become important sources of scholarly research. In her
paper, Butler (1994) argued that electronic journals could be structured to provide the
same academic scrutiny as more traditional printed journals. Rieber, Wilkinson, Bennett,
and Al-Ghafry (1998) traced the development and use of the "ITForum." This on-line
resource served as an Intemrnet site where scholars could discuss "theories, research, new
paradigms, and practices in the field of instructional technology" (p. 17). Unlike printed
sources, this new on-line forum offered "direct access to authors" (p. 18). Readers could
"pose questions and make comments for the author to respond to during the discussion
week" (p. 18). Finholt and Brooks (1997) studied the effect of the availability of
electronic journal collections ("JSTOR") on social sciences faculty members in higher
education institutions in Michigan. One notable finding was that faculty members from
the smaller institutions had a tendency to use the electronic collections more frequently
than their colleagues at the resource rich University of Michigan.
With the increasing emphasis on using technology to access information, there
was a great potential for faculty members to become more reliant on both librarians and
information technology specialists. Graziadei and McCombs (1996) advocated that
faculty members and librarians work together to build skills in searching strategies,
understanding the search process, and presenting a united front in developing a
university's information policies. In their research on information seeking by faculty at
the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hurd, Weller, and Curtis (1992) concluded that
"Those earlier studies, as well as the results of this research, suggest opportunities for
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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/m1/25/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .