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SOCNET  February 2005

SOCNET February 2005

Subject:

Re: people's information-seeking-behavior -- libraries versus friends

From:

Catherine Johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Catherine Johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 17 Feb 2005 10:27:30 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (282 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Edith,

My dissertation looking at the information seeking behavior of residents
of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, found that social capital had a significant
effect on whether people chose to consult other people, organizations
(including libraries, health or government offices) or media sources to
help resolve their information problems.  People with better social
capital consulted other people or organizations, while those with poorer
social capital chose media sources (newspapers, tv, radio and some
Internet).  The media sources, that also do not have any human help
aspect, were the least useful source of information.  I also found that
when people chose other people in their search for new information they
tended to choose their weak ties over more strongly connected members of
their social networks.

See: Catherine Johnson, "Choosing people: The role of social capital in
information seeking behaviour,"  Information Research, Vol 10, no. 1.
Available online at http://informationr.net/ir/.

Cheers,

Kate

Catherine A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
email: [log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Emmanuel Lazega
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 9:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: people's information-seeking-behavior -- libraries versus
friends

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Shannon:
Advice seeking ties (and associated status games that can apparently be
avoided on the internet) are now well documented in the network
literature.
They can also be considered to be part of
"information-seeking-behavior", a
very general term.
Emmanuel Lazega


At 09:38 15/02/2005 -0500, Richard Rothenberg wrote:
>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>Shannon:
>
>As a physician, I can tell you that Googling may be used a fair bit
now,
>but the real source of information is still the people you work with.
>This is motivated by two factors: first, it is very important to
>physicians that they do (or at least know to do) that which is usual
and
>customary in their practice setting; second, the things you need to ask
>questions about are usually not stereotypic.  Google is really not good
>at either of these.  There are certainly stereotypic responses
available
>(and health care organizations would have you believe that practicing
>medicine is the gearheaded application of stereotypic responses), but
>the toughies are things that don't go according to prior experience,
and
>as good as it is, Google will not have that particular situation in its
>storehouse.  If it is outside your own field, you really want to go to
>someone in the field whom you know and trust.  (I've got someone with
X,
>but also Y and Z, and maybe Q.  What do you guys do in that
>situation?).  To survive in practice, you have to be closely connected
>to a trusted peer network, which is why breaking in as a consultant can
>be difficult.
>
>The bumper sticker: Critical information comes from a small network of
>trusted friends and coworkers, not Google.  If it's a "smaller"
question
>(dose, frequency, side effects), people now tend to use one of the many
>websites out there that they have gotten familiar with, and which they
>can use to get to the answer quickly.
>
>Let me hasten to add that this is based on personal impression, not
>formal inquiry.  I'd be delighted to know if it's right, and
>particularly if there are generational and practice-setting
differences.
>
>Rich Rothenberg
>
>Shannon Clark wrote:
>
>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>
>>An observation to consider, however, and one I think may be present in
>>current information seeking behavior is the role the Internet and
search
>>tools more generically play in modern information gathering behavior.
>>
>>>From a network perspective this is different than "asking your
friends"
>>and different as well from "asking dedicated experts" (i.e.
librarians).
>>
>>In the example of Doctors, in 1966 this wasn't a realistic or viable
>>option, but I would suspect strongly that "do a Google search"
followed
>>by "search on WebMD" (and perhaps other dedicated medical online
>>resources) would now be the first behavior for many doctors (and
>>patients) when facing uncertainty, often probably even before
consulting
>>with others and almost certainly before turning to specific point
>>resources (a given journal, specific books/literature etc)
>>
>>Also, consider the nature of inquiries into groups such as SOCNET.
These
>>are not queries to a single person - i.e. one on one relationships,
but
>>neither are they impersonal requests to a non-person resource (looking
>>up in the index of a reference work etc.) - there is a "network"
>>component - but one that is to some degree different than individuals.
>>
>>I haven't seen this in any of the literature I have read in the field,
>>but it strikes me that mailing lists and other groups - especially
when
>>the participants list is large and most "members" are unknown to each
>>other - represents an aspect of networks that should be considered, I
>>think when present groups such as SOCNET change the dynamics of the
>>network of relationships in crucial ways.
>>
>>In a similar manner, large associative relationships without prior
>>personal connection - such as an alumni network or in the business
world
>>the "McKinsey" network people who have worked for McKinsey in the past
-
>>represent active, and very real parts of the social network for their
>>members. In the specific case of information gathering, I know I have
>>met many people who described how they very pro-actively used such
>>networks when gathering information - the network relationship serving
>>as a quick path to people otherwise unconnected. With the importance
of
>>the relationship being the action taken by the other party, which
>>differed had the relationship not be mentioned and utilized.
>>
>>Fascinating topic, hope this is helpful.
>>
>>Shannon
>>
>>Shannon Clark
>>Founder, MeshForum
>>"Connecting Networks"
>>www.meshforum.org
>>Join us May 1-3, 2005 in Chicago
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On
>>Behalf Of Gad Yair
>>Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:16 AM
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: RE: people's information-seeking-behavior -- libraries versus
>>friends
>>
>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>
>>Hello Edith!
>>
>>Always start with a root. Hence, look at Medical Innovation by
Coleman,
>>Katz
>>and Menzel, 1966. Especially focus on chapter 5 (The Doctor's
Decision).
>>The
>>book shows that under conditions of uncertainty (caused by medical
>>innovation), doctors talk to the Detail Man, read Journals and
>>Drug-House
>>information.  They further show that occupied with this objective
>>information doctors then turn to their community of peers and conform
to
>>others' decision.  In Weber's terms, information is akin to conditions
>>for
>>practice; but networks constitute the switchmen who decide the
specifics
>>of
>>action and concrete decisions.
>>
>>This is the nutshell. Go for the real thing.
>>
>>Gad
>>
>>Gad Yair
>>Department of Sociology & Anthropology
>>School of Education
>>Rothberg School of Foreign Students
>>Hebrew University of Jerusalem
>>Jerusalem 91905
>>ISRAEL
>>
>>[log in to unmask]
>>voice: 972-25883333
>>fax: 972-25324339
>>cell: 0507669391
>>
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On
>>Behalf Of Bill Richards
>>Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 7:17 PM
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: people's information-seeking-behavior -- libraries versus
>>friends
>>
>>
>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>
>>Edith <[log in to unmask]> wrote to ask:
>>
>>Hello,
>>Can you recommend relevant articles regarding Social networks
analysis,
>>dealing specifically with the subject of people's
>>information-seeking-behavior as related to libraries versus turning to
>>friends for information?
>>Thanks so much,
>>Edith.
>>
>>_____________________________________________________________________
>>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
>>an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>>
>>_____________________________________________________________________
>>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
>>an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>>
>>_____________________________________________________________________
>>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
>>an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>>
>>
>>
>
>--
>Richard Rothenberg, MD
>Professor, Department of Medicine
>Division of Infectious Disease
>Emory University School of Medicine
>Editor, Annals of Epidemiology
>69 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive
>Atlanta. GA 30303
>P: 404-616-5606
>F: 404-616-6947
>E: [log in to unmask]
>
>_____________________________________________________________________
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
>an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

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