ERIC Number: ED221189
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jan-18
Reference Count: N/A
Defining Information Needs of Computer Users: A Human Communication Problem.
Kimbrough, Kenneth L.
This exploratory investigation of the process of defining the information needs of computer users and the impact of that process on information retrieval focuses on communication problems. Six sites were visited that used computers to process data or to provide information, including the California Department of Transportation, the California Almond Growers Exchange, the University of California at Davis, the Systems Data Processing Corporation, and the California State Library. Interviews were conducted with managers, intermediaries, and users of services at each site and observations of the information seeking process were made. It was concluded that the process of defining information needs in bibliographic database settings is analogous to the process in data processing settings, for both involve problem identification, query negotiation, and probing. The method of charging for services, organizational/social barriers, and the shared knowledge of participants regarding each other's work were found to affect the information seeking process. Accompanying the text are 11 data tables, 14 figures, and a 39-item bibliography. A sample query negotiation session, the letter to participating organizations, interview schedules and interview forms, and a site selection list are appended. (Author/JL)
Descriptors: Communication Research, Communication (Thought Transfer), Data Processing, Databases, Information Needs, Information Retrieval, Information Seeking, Information Systems, Library Services, Models, Online Systems, Organizational Objectives, Public Agencies, Records (Forms), Reference Services, Relevance (Information Retrieval)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California