Information Behavior

What is Information Behavior?

Research in information behavior considers (1) what information a user group seeks, (2) how they find it, and (3) how they use it.

Our Specialties

Information Needs

An information need is the information that a user or user group desires whether consciously or unconsciously and is not always expressed. Research and identification of information needs may be used to predict information seeking and use, discover needs currently unmet in information institutions, or inform information system design.

Faculty Experts

Dr. Kendra Albright Dr. Belinda Boon Dr. Lala Hajibayova Dr. Athena Salaba Dr. Yin Zhang

Information Seeking

Research in information seeking investigates the actions involved in the process of locating information (whether successful or not).

Faculty Experts

Dr. Belinda Boon Dr. Lala Hajibayova Dr. Athena Salaba Dr. Catherine Smith Dr. Yin Zhang

Information Use

Research of information use investigates the ways in which people apply information to make sense of their lives and of situations.

Faculty Experts

Dr. Kendra Albright Dr. Belinda Boon Dr. Lala Hajibayova Dr. Athena Salaba Dr. Yin Zhang

Featured Publications

  • Albright, K. S. (2011). Psychodynamic perspectives in information behaviour. Information Research, 16(1), paper 457.
  • Albright, K. S. (2010). Multidisciplinarity in information behaviour: Expanding boundaries or fragmentation of the field? Libri, 60(2), 98-106.
  • Liu, J. J. & Albright, K. S. (2018). Exploring the roles of the unconscious in information search behaviours. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(3), 332-342.
  • Smith, C. L. (2017). Domain-independent search expertise: Gaining knowledge in query formulation through guided practice. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(6), 1462–1479.
  • Smith, C. L. (2015). Domain-independent search expertise: A description of procedural knowledge gained during guided instruction. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(7), 1388–1405.
  • Zhang, Y. & Wang, P.L. (2016). Interactions and user-perceived helpfulness in diet information questions & answers. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 33(4), 295-307.
  • Zhang, Y., Holmes, J., Robins, D., & Salaba, A. (2009). Understanding internet searching performance in a heterogeneous portal for K-12 students: Search success, search time, strategy, and effort. Journal of Web Librarianship, 3(1), 15-33.