Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 51
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Sieving (1991) studied how users of scientific and technical information went
about solving their "quests" for information. They often employed one of three
strategies. The first one Sieving named the "Big Filter or Controller." Here the user
attempted to place a copy of everything found into files or they tried to build a personal
library/collection of information resources. The second strategy was called "Ask Frank."
Personal contacts served as the most efficient means of finding needed information.
Sieving called the last strategy "the Ostrich." She described the ostrich user as feeling
"The information problem is ignored, assuming: (a) I already know everything I need to
know; or (b) I will run across anything of real importance at a conference... [these
individuals] have a real tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity" (p. 79).
Two studies examined the information seeking practices of engineers. In the first
study, Pinelli (1991) synthesized previous research and concluded "These studies show,
among other things, that engineers and scientists, and aerospace engineers and scientists
in particular, devote more time, on the average, to the communication of technical
information than to any other scientific or technical activity" (p. 20). In the second study,
Holland and Powell (1995) carried out a longitudinal study of engineering students after
they graduated from the University of Michigan. During the course of their studies, these
engineering students received a special course in information resources for engineers.
Holland and Powell did a follow up after these students had been in the field for three
years to determine the impact of this course on their information seeking activities. The
authors concluded their subjects showed a greater awareness of "electronically available
sources and services, and they read a wider range of both professional society-produced
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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/m1/58/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .