Introduction. The study investigated the source preference criteria of library and information science students for their academic and personal information needs. Method. The empirical study was based on two methods of data collection. Eighteen participants wrote a personal diary for four months in which they recorded search episodes and answered an open-ended questionnaire. Analysis. First, data were collected concerning the participants' preferences for information sources and the types of issues that brought them to look for information. Secondly, data from participants' answers to the open ended questionnaire were analysed using the content analysis method. The third phase of the process identified the sequences or pathways of information sources used by participants. Results. The main preference criterion for networked sources was accessibility which was perceived as easiness of use, time saving, language and physical proximity. The main preference criterion for human sources was the quality and reliability of the information provided by the source. Conclusions. Diaries proved to be a valuable tool for getting a glimpse into the participants' thought processes and decision making, while the researchers with an overall view of source preferences. The concept of information pathways further clarified source preferences.
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2010|