This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior, 4th Edition

Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior, 4th Edition.


Donald O. Case, University of Kentucky, USA
Lisa M. Given, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Series Editor:

Jens-Erik Mai, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


The 4th edition of this popular and well-cited text presents a comprehensive review of more than a century of research on information behavior (IB) and related topics with over 1500 citations to relevant works. The book is intended for students and scholars in information studies, education, communication, health, and other disciplines interested in research on people's information activities. This book is used regularly in doctoral and masters-level courses examining IB, information practices, reference services, and information retrieval.

In addition to now being co-authored, this new text includes significant structural and content changes from earlier editions. The initial two chapters introduce IB as a multi-disciplinary topic that is a research focus in many disciplines, providing several scenarios in which people's information behaviors raise important research questions. The third chapter provides a brief history of research on the seeking and use of information, and how these activities have evolved over the decades. Chapter four begins with a discussion of what is meant by the terms 'information' and 'knowledge', and examines the assumptions behind the usage of such concepts.
Chapter five discusses the concept of 'need', what it means to have 'information needs', and how they are addressed. The sixth chapter identifies and describes many related concepts (such as learning, browsing, and sharing information). Twelve models of information behavior (an expanded list from earlier editions) are illustrated in chapter seven, and many others are discussed. Chapter eight reviews various paradigms and theories informing IB research.
Chapter nine examines research designs and methods invoked in IB studies, with an expanded discussion of qualitative and mixed methods approaches. The tenth chapter provides specific examples of IB studies by context, such as social or occupational situations that lead to information seeking. The final chapter summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of IB research as it has evolved, identifies recent trends, and discusses issues critical to future development. Suggestions for 'further reading' are included throughout the text, in addition to a complete reference list, glossary of key terms, and subject and author indexes.

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781785609688
ISSN: 20559377
Publication Date: 29 April 2016
Format print: Hardback
Page count: 528
Dimensions: x

Buy now

Request Inspection copy

Request Review copy

Sign up for subject alerts

About the Author(s)

Donald O. Case is Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information, a former faculty member at UCLA and a past President of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). His research interests include information behavior and the social and educational effects of information technologies. Professor Case was author of the Third Edition of Looking for Information (2012).

Lisa M. Given is Professor of Information Studies and a Research Fellow of the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education at Charles Sturt University, New South Wales. A former Director of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology in Canada, Lisa's research interests include information behavior, web usability, social media use, health informatics, information literacy and qualitative inquiry.