Chap13 - 13 Information-Seeking and Use Throughout this...

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13 Information-Seeking and Use Throughout this book it has been mentioned that you will necessarily have to search for information at various stages in the process of planning and writing your thesis project. In this chapter we will take a closer look at the practice of information seeking and use. The chapter employs a perspective that is grounded in the idea that the information seeking process is improved if the seeker has a general and reflective picture of what he or she is actually involved in when he or she is engaged in an information practice. Therefore some parts of this chapter are used for brief descriptions of information seeking models and theories. It should be pointed out that the term information practice is deliberately chosen since it denotes an activity that is more than a mere sequence of tasks being performed with the purpose of finding information. The term practice can be described as a conscious system for achieving certain goals, serving certain functions, producing certain results (Marton, 2000, 231). 13.1 Information Literacy for Computer Science A widely spread concept that is used to describe the competence and skills involved in information seeking and use is information literacy. It is debated whether a per- son can develop a general, or generic, information literacy. In this book the standpoint is that information literacy should be seen as a competence that is being developed in connection to a particular discipline. Research is conducted in different ways in different fields. Thus, this chapter deals with the information literate computer science student. According to this standpoint the information literate computer science student needs to develop a familiarity with the computer science domain. Another way to put it is to say that the computer science student needs to be aware of the particular conventions (unspoken or outspoken) that exist in the computer science domain. From an information-seeking perspective a domain, or a discipline, could be described by the research questions that can be asked within the domain, by the resources researchers consult to find information, and the channels they use to dis- seminate their findings and results. Developing this kind of understanding for the specific research discipline is not something that is done over night; it is something 109 M. Berndtsson et al. (eds.), Planning and Implementing your Computing Project - with Success! © Springer 2008
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110 13 Information-Seeking and Use that more or less slowly develops during frequent interaction with the computer science literature, the information sources used, and with active researchers within the discipline. 13.2 Information Searching, Seeking, and Behaviour To help us understand contextual aspects of information-related practices it might be helpful to visualize the processes of searching for and using information as in Fig. 13.1. As the figure implies one can conceptualize information-related practices as
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Chap13 - 13 Information-Seeking and Use Throughout this...

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