Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 43
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(without going through an intermediary such as a librarian to perform an on-line database
search) at two separate universities. Despite a great interest in on-line searching by the
faculty, Homer and Thirlwall found few end-users at the University of Manitoba. Clark
and Gomez reported on end-user searching among the faculty members at Texas A&M
University. They found that only 21% of the faculty had personal accounts with
commercial on-line information vendors. Those who were end-users reported that
convenience was the main reason for being an end-user and doing one's own searches.
Lehmann and Renfro (1991) examined the attitudes of humanities faculty
members at the University of Pittsburgh toward the usage of on-line databases. They
found four determinants that influenced the use of on-line databases by these humanities
faculty members. These determinants were "content," "connectivity," "user-friendliness,"
and "cost." The humanities faculty members saw "content" as the more important
determinant. They felt that "cost" was the least important of the determinants.
Heron (1984) examined information needs among social scientists in a pre-
automated library setting. Following a familiar scenario, he concluded that social
scientists will probably choose between one's personal collection, electronic or mass
media (commercial information vendors such as Dialog), colleagues, or an institutional
provider (library) to obtain any needed information.
Hurd, Weller, and Curtis (1992) examined the use of abstracts and indexes by
scientists and engineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From their review of the
literature, Hurd and her colleagues concluded that "scientists were found to rely more on
informal communication with colleagues, attendance at conferences, and references in
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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/m1/50/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .