A conceptual framework for understanding information seeking in open-ended information systems

  • Janette R. Hill


Technologies such as the Internet and World Wide Web are changing our conceptions of information systems, from who uses them and how they are used, to how the systems are created and who is doing the creating. Everyday users are afforded the same information retrieval opportunities as information scientists or librarians by using emerging information systems such as the Web. Yet, defining best practices for assisting users in finding the information they seek remains an unrealized goal. Discovering how users engage in information retrieval and strategy building while searching for information in open-ended systems such as the Web is an area in need of exploration if these systems are to fulfill their potential as tools for information seeking and learning. This paper describes a theoretically and empirically based framework for how users formulate and employ information-seeking strategies in open-ended information systems (OEISs). Background information and challenges related to OEISs are provided. OEIS theoretical and user perspectives are described. An example based on a recent research study is provided to illustrate use of the OEIS information-seeking framework. Implications for practice and research are offered.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janette R. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia State University in AtlantaUSA

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