n Mousaion - Information needs and information-seeking behaviour of engineers : a systematic review

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The assumption is often made that engineers do not use conventional information systems or libraries. The purpose of this article is to provide a systematic review of engineers' information needs and information-seeking behaviour. Several models have been developed to study users' information needs and information-seeking behaviour. The Model of Information Seeking of Professionals, developed by Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain (1996) provided the framework for this systematic review. The discussion on engineers' information needs and their information-seeking behaviour was based on the following six components of Leckie's model: work roles, associated tasks, characteristics of information needs and factors influencing information seeking, awareness, sources, and outcomes. This review is an attempt to acquire an understanding of the different tasks in which engineers are involved and how these tasks influence their information needs and information-seeking behaviour. This systematic review confirmed the assumption that engineers have specific information needs and that they do, in fact, prefer interpersonal communications to using text-based sources of information. The text-based sources of information used by engineers are generally trade sources. The conclusion highlights issues that still need to be researched.

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