The information-gathering practice of liberal professionals in a workplace setting: More than just seeking information

Yosef Solomon, Jenny Bronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Existing models of the information behaviour of various liberal professionals, especially lawyers, lack currentness. They do not adequately represent the full scope of how these professionals de facto attain information in their occupation. Without clarity about the contemporary information-gathering practice of liberal professionals in a workplace setting, scholars, technology entrepreneurs and policy makers might be relying on partial or outdated grounds, and the ability of the information specialists to provide an effective service for their patrons might also be hindered. With a focus on legal professionals, as they have experienced noteworthy changes in their occupation, purposive sampling was applied, and 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with practising lawyers in Israel. Participants were nationwide and ranged over 30 different areas of legal practice, with a fair diversity of other professionals and personal traits achieved. The content analysis revealed four distinctive forms in which lawyers in Israel gather information within the contemporary legal practice: (a) self-executed information-seeking, (b) mediated acquisition of information, (c) information discovery and (d) combined information-gathering – which in all compile 10 different habitual strategies of gathering information in their professional work. Finally, the study suggests a revised, integrative and inclusive model that provides a more accurate and profound understanding of legal professionals’ information-gathering practice. This comprehensive and current framework may serve as an insightful guide for understanding other information-rich liberal professions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Information practice
  • information behaviour
  • information encountering
  • information-gathering
  • lawyers
  • legal professionals


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