Contextual factors influencing information seeking behavior of social scientists: A review of the literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many researchers in the area of information seeking behavior have highlighted the importance of context in influencing information-seeking behavior. However, few have elaborated on how contextual factors influence information-seeking in practice. This chapter explores the impact of disciplinary traditions of non-western, developing country external environments on patterns of information seeking and retrieval. Conditions that influence information seeking behaviors of social science scholars in nonwestern, developing countries impact research traditions, publication patterns, and subsequent formats are examined. This chapter draws on existing literature to examine the impact of contextual factors on information seeking by social science scholars as well as, on relevant findings based on research with other categories of researchers. The chapter concludes that there is substantial evidence from previous research to indicate the importance of contextual factors in influencing the information-seeking behavior of social scientists. Some of these factors are related to the nature of social science as a domain of study, while others are related to researcher's external environment, including constraints on the availability of particular types of information.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Access and Library User Needs in Developing Countries
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781466643543
ISBN (Print)9781466643536
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science(all)

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