Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries

Volume 3652 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 218-229

Information Seeking by Humanities Scholars

  • George BuchananAffiliated withUniversity College London
  • , Sally Jo CunninghamAffiliated withUniversity of Waikato
  • , Ann BlandfordAffiliated withUniversity College London
  • , Jon RimmerAffiliated withNo Institute Given
  • , Claire WarwickAffiliated withUniversity College London

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This paper investigates the information seeking of humanities academics and scholars using digital libraries. It furthers existing work by updating our knowledge of the information seeking techniques used by humanities scholars, where the current work predates the wide availability of the Internet. We also report some of the patterns observed in query and term usage by humanities scholars, and relate this to the patterns they report in their own information seeking and the problems that they encounter. This insight is used to reveal the current gap between the skills of information seekers and the technologies that they use. Searches for ‘discipline terms’ prove to be particularly problematic.


Digital Libraries Human-Computer Interaction Information Seeking Humanities