Systematic information seeking is an essential part of academic work. Research and information seeking go hand in hand, and both need planning. In the academic world you can hardly avoid the research plan, but you probably won’t hear that much about the information seeking plan. The information seeking plan guides you through the research process from the first sparks of an idea to the last dot in the bibliography from the point of view of the often invisible process of systematic information seeking.
Systematic Information Seeking Framework designed in the Jyväskylä University Library has its roots in Carol Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry Design Process. Our model, designed for more contextual adjustability, is presented in our Library Tutorial (https://koppa.jyu.fi/avoimet/kirjasto/en/library-tutorial), an open self-study material.
The process starts with “Defining the topic and finding search terms”. This stage requires extensive reading about the subject matter, understanding the basic differences between everyday knowledge and scientific knowledge and distinguishing information resources for different kinds of needs.
Analysis of concepts and understanding of their contextuality are at the core of scientific knowledge. With the information seeking plan and a mind map one can work on the search terms, discover connections and construct search statements for different resources and the search strategies they require.
The second section is about “Finding sources”, which students often understand as the starting point for systematic information seeking. Knowledge of the publication cultures in different disciplines guide the information seeker to the different types of sources needed.
Finally, “Citing and managing references”. One of the most essential skills in all academic work is the appropriate use of scientific sources, citing and managing references correctly. As academic dishonesty hurts the whole community, academic fraud, e.g. plagiarism, is taken very seriously. Sufficient skills in seeking and managing information are the key to avoiding it.
Copyright (c) 2016 Eeva Koponen, Tiia Puputti
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