[Siguse-l] Message #7: The Literature - An Information Behavior Handbook

Jenna Hartel jenna.hartel at utoronto.ca
Thu Nov 10 12:55:44 EST 2011

Dear SIG-USErs,

The whirlwind of the /ASIS&T/ annual meeting has passed. It was great to 
have SIG-USErs altogether at so many excellent sessions. This post 
forges onward through the The Literature of information behavior and 
focuses on a resource that is very special to SIG-USE.

It is the handbook///Theories of Information Behavior / 
<http://books.infotoday.com/asist/theorofinbeh.shtml>//(Fisher, Erdelez, 
& McKechnie, 2005) or /TIB/, for short. A /handbook /is a reference 
genre that places emphasis on "how to" directions. The content of a 
handbook is much more concisely written than a journal article or 
encyclopedia entry. In this case, /TIB/ contains succinct introductions 
to metatheories, theories, and models of information behavior. The 
preface states it is intended as "a researcher's guide, a practical 
overview of both well-established and newly proposed conceptual 
frameworks that one may use to study different aspects of information 
behavior" (p. xx).

/TIB/ is special because it was produced by SIG-USE in an unprecedented, 
grassroots, collaborative effort. The three editors Karen Fisher 
Sanda Erdelez 
<http://education.missouri.edu/faculty/SISLT/Erdelez_Sanda.php>, and 
Lynne E. F. McKechnie 
are /über/-dynamic scholars in the heyday of their academic careers. 
Utilizing an early version of this SIG-USE mailing list they invited 
community members to nominate and then write-up theories for inclusion. 
Submissions were peer-reviewed and the collection was published by 
Information Today. Proceeds from the sale of /TIB/ are channeled back 
into SIG-USE and its awards program.

The handbook opens with introductory statements by Marcia J. Bates, 
Brenda Dervin, and Tom Wilson. Next are entries on 72 individual 
metatheories/theories/models by an expert and/or enthusiast. Each short 
article addresses origins, propositions, methodological implications, 
use, related conceptual frameworks, and authoritative primary and 
secondary references. You will encounter oldies-but-goodies (Anomalous 
State of Knowledge, Berrypicking, Information Search Process, 
Sense-Making) as well as novel approaches (Symbolic Violence, Women's 
Ways of Knowing, Bandura's Social Cognition).

Here are illustrated instructions 
<http://www.jennahartel.com/tibinstructions.html> from an editor on how 
to use /TIB/.

This is a great handbook for scholars, teachers, students, and 
research-minded practitioners, too. When not on my shelf of information 
behavior books 
<http://www.jennahartel.com/information-behavior-bookshelf.html>, it has 
a place on my desk.

Next week's post is the last about The Literature of information 
behavior. We have reconnoitered a great encyclopedia 
<http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9780849397127>, annual literature 
review <http://www.asis.org/Publications/ARIST/>, textbook 
and handbook <http://books.infotoday.com/asist/theorofinbeh.shtml>. What 
will be covered in the last post?Stay tuned!If you think any 
literature-related resource(s) has been overlooked, this SIG-USE mailing 
list is the place to squawk 

Jenna Hartel
Faculty of Information, University of Toronto


Fisher, K. E., Erdelez S., & McKechnie, E. F. (Eds.) (2005). /Theories 
of Information Behavior/. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Jenna Hartel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Faculty of Information
University of Toronto
140 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6

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