Practical and scholarly implications of information behaviour research: A pilot study of research literature

Kyungwon Koh, Ellen Rubenstein, Kelvin White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. This pilot study examined how current information behaviour research addresses the implications and potential impacts of its findings. The goal was to understand what implications and contributions the field has made and how effectively authors communicate implications of their findings. Methods. We conducted a content analysis of 30 randomly selected refereed research papers on information behaviour published between 2008 and 2012 in the U.S. and Canada. Analysis. Analysed elements included journal, year, author affiliation, types of implications, theory, methodology, context and scope of implications, location of implications, intended audience, beneficiaries, and future research. Results. Twenty-three papers offered practical implications; seven included both practical and scholarly implications. Only eight papers referenced theory and of these, only three generated theoretical implications. Seventy percent of studies discussed practical implications for librarians and archivists. Implications were often context-bound in that they related to a particular group or environment. Conclusion. The impact of information behaviour research encompasses a range of areas. A stronger relationship between theory, practice and research must be achieved to advance the field. To facilitate generation of stronger implications, we proposed six components of implications and suggested criteria for strong, moderate and weak research implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number691
JournalInformation Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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