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The impact of access problems on the information seeking behaviour of graduate students : a process study

Jonker, J.A. (2016) The impact of access problems on the information seeking behaviour of graduate students : a process study.

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Abstract:This research is focused on the current situation where many scientific research is not being published in open access form. The results show that scholars and graduate students are deprived from information and will have to deal with access problems when searching for scientific literature. As the literature review produced no clear insight in the information seeking behaviour of graduate students, this thesis is set out on finding out what the information seeking behaviour of graduate students is, what effect access problems have on this behaviour and how graduate students can deal with these access problems. The main question of this thesis is: ‘To what extent do access problems influence the information seeking behaviour of graduate students?’ This thesis uses a qualitative, empirical research which is based on the results of 11 observations, adjacent interviews and four in-depth interviews. The information seeking behaviour of the participants have been mapped using the seven stages of the Ellis (1989) model, with the revision of Meho & Tibbo (2003). This produced eleven individually based graphs of the process of information seeking. It gave the opportunity to analyse which activities participants use when they search for information and are not faced with access problems, compared with the activities they use when the participants did encounter access problems. Also, the number of articles that are directly access without access problems, with access problems, solved and unsolved access problems are calculated and compared. The results of this research indicate that graduate students have to deviate from their normal, ideal, path when faced with access problems. Furthermore, the amount of access problems show that graduate students have to deal with access problems in 50 percent of all scientific articles. The conclusion of this thesis is, therefore, that the impact of access problems on the information seeking behaviour of graduate students is large. Furthermore, the results indicate that many graduate students have a basic level of knowledge, capabilities and skills when it comes to using scientific information sources. The literature review, combined with the results, indicate that there is a correlation between the teachings of the universities and the success of the information seeking of graduate students. Therefore, this thesis argues that the universities are in the position, have the possibilities, and the responsibility, to teach and aid graduate in becoming better researchers.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general, 81 education, teaching, 85 business administration, organizational science, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/71031
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