Room 316 SCILS
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Home page: http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~tefko
of the research in human information behavior, that is in
interactions between people, the various forms of information, and the situations
or contexts in which they interact. Theories, models, and methods used.
Seminal authors and works. Relation
between such behavior and information system design and relevant technologies.
Goals and Objectives
are to provide the students with:
- an understanding
of the evolution, directions, and interdisciplinary nature of scholarship
in human information behavior;
- an ability
for critical analysis of works and trends in human information behavior
- a basis for
developing their own research.
- provide a
perspective on the wide range of processes involved in human information
an overview of diverse theories and models related to human information
behavior, and the context of their evolution;
- outline the
problems and issues addressed over time and contemporarily in empirical
research, stressing the approaches and methods used;
the contemporary directions, and identify disciplinary and interdisciplinary
relationships and practical applications of such research, particularly
in design of information systems; and
- prepare to
undertake research in this area.
Information and Communication Processes.
- 16:194:610 Seminar
in information studies
Approach and Requirements
The course consists
by course instructors or guest lecturers. The topics of lectures are provided
in the course outline and schedule. A detailed description of topics covered
in each lecture can be found in the syllabus, or a description and handouts
will be provided at the lecture.
each student is expected to participate in discussions and critical observations
either during the lectures or during set discussion periods that particularly
relate to analysis or readings.
and selected readings and summaries: for each topic there will be assigned
several required readings. In addition, for each topic students shall select
one additional reading of their own choice either from the Bibliography
or from the literature in general - references in the textbook can be guide.
For each reading (required and selected) the student will prepare a short
summary and critical review. The summaries will be submitted according to
a schedule provided at the beginning of the semester. Assigned readings from
the textbook do not have to be summarized, but integrated in other summaries.
The goal of the summaries is not only for a student to reinforce learning
the content of the reading by writing, but even more so to critically evaluate
and/or relate the content (or part thereof) to own context, experiences,
other readings, or practical applications, and possibly to their own plans
for future research . Summaries are not intended to be mere abstracts.
In other words, think about the reading, assess the major theme(s), and provide
your own interpretations and thoughts beyond a mere abstract. Analyze,
don't just plain rehash! The more you incorporate your own remarks the
higher the grade! Thus, the emphasis is not on the summary by and for itself
but on critical evaluation and/or drawing of relations. Higher grades
in summaries relate to the extent to which contents are critically evaluated
or to which relations are drawn, and not to mere repetitions of contents.
The summaries must follow the prescribed format (see instructions below).
Reading summaries should be handed in on a weekly basis as indicated in the
project: Each student shall select a research topic or issue covered in
the course for an in-depth study of related works and produce a critical,
scholarly review, AND on this basis propose own research in this area - the
proposed research could be a theoretical or empirical study. Thus, the final
report must be in two related parts: critical summary of a topic and a
proposal for a specific research study on that topic. The report should
be in a form of a preliminary dissertation proposal, as if it is prepared
for a submission to the dissertation committee. Thus, by definition, the report
shall involve a thorough literature search and critical analysis (i.e. it
must NOT be relegated to a simple bibliographic essay of literature review/rehash
- who said what) and on the basis of that a proposal for conducting an own
study. The study could be an original undertaking, tests of a theory, further
theoretical extension, or a replication of an existing study for further validation.
The report should elaborate on:
examination of major points in contents of selected topics, organized
according to some common problem areas addressed, and/or theories or models
employed including relationships
between different studies, approaches, or research areas and/ or between
underlying theories or models, if applicable;
relationships between studies in the selected topic and broader studies
in other fields (for instance in: cognitive science, psychology, artificial
intelligence, computer science, management, sociology, history, gender
studies, and other fields or research areas where human information behavior
- on the
basis of the review, identification and formulation of a research problem
to be addressed, followed by specific research objectives, questions,
- for each
research objective, question, or hypothesis suggestions for methods to
be used; preliminary experiments or observations could be conducted, but
do not have to be;
- possible and expected
findings and their significance.
Early in selection
of the topic the student shall obtain consent and advice from the instructor,
to insure appropriateness and fruitfulness of the chosen topic, and to avoid
unnecessary grief afterwards. At scheduled times during the semester students
shall present: (1) a short description of the preliminary selection of the topic
to be covered in the term paper, (2) a preliminary bibliography of literature
covered, a preliminary design for the study and (3) a final presentation of
the topic as if prepared for a committee and public presentation.
By the way, the
same critical review approach is required for successful completion in answering
a question in the qualifying exam, or in preparation for the dissertation proposal.
This is a general approach to any scholarly review and any preparation for research.
For suggestions on the content
and organization of a proposal see "Thesis proposal questions" on
class web site.
style of the summary is left to the student. However, each summary MUST
have as a heading (i.e. on top or the cover page):
- course number,
number from the schedule, and
- for each
reading a full citation of the reading.
be handed in per assigned schedule. Summaries that do not have headings and
citation form as prescribed will have five points deducted.
and term paper should follow the standardized format as suggested by:
Association (APA) (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: APA.
It is strongly
suggested that all students purchase this book. The Manual can be obtained
from Rutgers and other bookstores or ordered online. It serves as a manual for
other Ph.D. courses and the dissertation, thus it is a valuable tool above and
beyond this course. In addition to providing standards for formats, references
and citations, the Manual also provides useful suggestions for writing
and organizing of reports and articles.
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Graduate School and SCILS
Ph.D. program has the following grades (see SCILS Catalog at http://ruweb.rutgers.edu/catalogs/scils.shtml):
A (95), B+ (90), B (85), C+ (80), C (75), F (70). In addition, there are provisional
grades for Incomplete (IN) or Temporary (T).
We will use the numerical equivalents for grades - easier to add up and average.
The final grade will be derived as follows:
Summaries, exercises, discussion - 60% of grade. Term paper - 40% of grade.
The Rutgers Policy on Academic
Integrity is spelled out in detail at http://cat.rutgers.edu/integrity/policy.html.
In this course we will strictly adhere to this policy. Please consult it. If
you have any questions please bring them up. You may also wish to consult Student
Responsibility at http://cat.rutgers.edu/integrity/student.html
and Faculty Responsibility at http://cat.rutgers.edu/integrity/faculty.html.
don't. Turnitin, a site for prevention of plagiarism is at http://www.turnitin.com/static/home.html.
It is informative and useful.
OUTLINE OF TOPICS
Part I. PERSPECTIVES
ON HUMAN INFORMATION BEHAVIOR
1. Basic phenomena
and processes under study. The concept of information, the relationships between
information and human behavior, and the notion of human information behavior.
2. Problems addressed
over time. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary relationships through problems.
Role and impact
of technology on development of this area and relationship to information system
Part II. THEORETICAL
3. Key theoretical
concepts in library and information science research as applied to studies of
human information behavior. Notion of cognitive authority.
4. Theories on
why people seek information - cognitively based; Anomalous State of Knowledge;
sense making; classification of information needs; information poverty
5. Theories involving
broader constructs: social construction; communicative action; diffusion of
innovations; ecological theory
INFORMATION SEEKING AND SEARCHING
6. Information seeking
models; empirical studies on how people seek information.
7. Models and
empirical studies on how people search for information in the context of information
retrieval, digital libraries, and the web.
8. Studies in
human-computer interaction. Relevance related studies.
Part IV. STUDIES
OF HUMAN INFORMATION BEHAVIOR CONTEXTS
9. Human information
behavior in science and technology, medicine and health
10. Human information
behavior in professions and government.
11. Human information
behavior in arts, humanities, and education.
Part V. HUMAN
INFORMATION BEHAVIOR IN EVERYDAY LIFE AND SOCIETY
12. Use of information
resources and information in variety of social contexts. Theory of life in the
round. Information behavior of workers. Information and poverty.
and requirements of information society; global aspects and information. Emergence
of social informatics and role in studies of human information behavior.
for the course is provided separately.
the course, also provided separately, lists readings required for each topic.
Materials for this course have
been borrowed from Nick Belkin, Lilia Pavlovski, Ross Todd, and Lisa Covi.
last update 9 January
2006 Tefko Saracevic