Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 28
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Hjorland (1997) also noted this dichotomy of studying users' information seeking
behavior or the information retrieval system. He felt that Information Science was
studying these two areas in isolation from each other (p. 3). Unfortunately there has been
little research to tie these two areas together. Ellis (1992) referred to the dichotomy in
the literature as finding "references to the 'Cranfield paradigm' or to the 'cognitive
paradigm'" (p. 45).
Ellis' effort to build a behavioral model of the information search process was an
attempt to give system designers better information on how individuals searched for
information. Another example of research that attempts to tie the two areas together was
the research of Chen and Dhar (1991) to link research on cognitive processing to retrieval
of on-line documents.
In an effort to link the study of systems and users' behaviors, some researchers
now seek to understand how the user interacts with a retrieval system. Hert (1995)
described the new paradigm as "a user of an information retrieval system is seen as
engaged in a process of interpretation and adaptation, actively seeking to make sense out
of system responses as presented by the system interface, and charting a course based on
that sense" (p. 7). As Hert understood the new paradigm, it emphasized the user, dynamic
interaction, and the understanding by the user. All of which was time- and context-
specific (p. 8).
In addition to the two major paradigms of studying the system or the user's
behavior, a third area of study was an off- shoot of studying the user's behavior and
involved sense-making theory. This line of inquiry looked not at systems or behavioral
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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/m1/35/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .