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Information-seeking behavior of social sciences scholars: A Nigerian case study

Oluyomi Folorunso


This article examines the information-seeking behavior of scholars in the social sciences, based on the premise that information-seeking behavior follows universally applicable stages and patterns worldwide. The study was conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER). Fifty eight active social sciences scholars were interviewed via a questionnaire about their information sources for research and consultancy purposes, their preference for electronic or printed formats, their use of electronic or Internet resources, and how they meet or satisfy their information needs, among others.

Results show that journals and books were the most preferred information sources, and a large majority of scholars “regularly” used electronic information resources for their research and consultancy needs. The findings of the study also demonstrate diverse usage patterns for electronic information resources among users of different academic ranks and age range.

Based on the research findings, the author provides suggestions on how current information services and products can be improved to better serve the users. The author also makes recommendations for improving library services and technologies to better meet the information needs of social sciences scholars in general.

Keywords: Information-seeking behavior, social sciences scholars, information sources, electronic information resources, library, NISER

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