Modeling Information Seeking Behavior of Scholarly Community.

Author:Rather, Mudasir Khazer


Information Seeking Behavior of students in higher academic institutions is an exhaustive and complex process. The theoretical representation of such process is very difficult to comprehend, thus the graphical or pictorial representation will make things easier to understand and the same principle forms the base of Information Seeking Models. A model may be defined as a structure for thinking about a perceived problem and may evolve into a statement of the relationships among theoretical propositions. Information seeking models diagrammatically represent the complex tasks of information seeking process. These help in better understanding of demographics, tasks, activities, available services, infrastructure of universities and Information Seeking Behavior of users thereby help administrators and higher authorities to take right decisions, offer best services, implement tech savvy infrastructure and satisfy the information needs of users especially the students and scholars in more systematic and sophisticated way. Most Information Seeking Behavior models are generally the statements, often in the form of diagrams that attempt to explicate an information-seeking activity, the causes and consequences of that activity, or the relations among stages in information Seeking Behavior. Hardly ever do such models progress to the phase of specifying relationships among theoretical propositions rather they are at a pre-theoretical phase, but may propose relationships that might be productive to scrutinize or to test (Wilson, 1999). Information seeking models aim to describe the process that a user follows to satisfy his information need and while fulfilling that need, he approaches towards formal and informal information sources or available services which finally results in success or failure to retrieve desired information. Some models also highlight major as well as minor factors that may directly or indirectly influence the Information Seeking Behavior of users.

Brief profile of University of Kashmir

The University of Jammu and Kashmir (UOK) was founded in the year 1948. In the year 1969 it was bifurcated into two full-fledged Universities: University of Kashmir at Srinagar and University of Jammu at Jammu. The University of Kashmir is situated at Hazratbal in Srinagar. Over the Years University of Kashmir has expanded substantially. It has established Satellite Campuses at Anantnag (South Campus) and Baramulla (North Campus) and three more Satellite Campuses at Kupwara, Kargil and Leh are being established to make higher education more accessible to people living in remote areas of Kashmir valley. The University is committed to provide an intellectually stimulating environment for productive learning to enhance the educational, economic, scientific, business and cultural environment of the region. The University offers programmes in all the major faculties; Arts, Business & Management Studies, Education, Law, Applied Sciences & Technology, Biological Sciences, Physical & Material Sciences, Social Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Oriental Learning and Music & Fine Arts. It has been constantly introducing innovative/ new programmes to cater to the needs and demands of the students and the society. Over the years, the University has marked towards excellence in its programmes and activities. It has been re-accredited as Grade-A University by the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) of India in the year 2011. This is recognition and reflection of the high standard of quality in teaching and research at the University of Kashmir.

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Review of Literature

Robson and Robinson (2015), "information seeking behavior is a highly subjective process, one in which students progress with previous knowledge, strongly held opinions and differing levels of psychological development." However, Pohjanen, Anna and Kortelainen (2016) are of the view that information seeking behavior is the general way through which people deal with information. User seek information to satisfy information needs related to various purposes including General awareness, course completion, Research work, and to keep themselves updated with latest developments, writing assignments/research and study etc. Markwei (2013) conducted a study on Information seeking behavior of students in University of British Columbia and finds that students face a number of barriers while seeking information including high cost of qualitative information sources, lack of time and information literacy, lack of availability of precise information, educational infrastructure, lack of confidence in searching information etc. Al-ansari (2006) observed that the major problems that researchers face in Kuwait University includes slow speed of internet, lack of time and lack of off campus accessibility of information. Sahu, Patra and Mahapatra (2013) finds in their study on 'use of e-resource by the research scholar of Utkal University and Sambalpur University, Odisha a comparative study' that use of e-resource on weekly, monthly and occasionally basis is very meagre. Das and Maharana (2013) while analyzing the seeking behavior of research scholars of Berhampur University revealed that majority of research scholars use...

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