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The information-seeking behavior of aquatic science librarians in response to a query

November 2020

Published onNov 30, 2020
The information-seeking behavior of aquatic science librarians in response to a query

Information-seeking behavior studies, for both library professionals and library users, have been categorized into several sub-study areas, including subject matter type (engineering, physical sciences, etc.) or by end-users (librarians, patrons, etc.). However, to date, no study existed for aquatic sciences librarians.

Superio et al. carried out a study in 2017 of the information-seeking behaviors of aquatic sciences librarians by inviting the members of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) community to complete a survey to determine if aquatic librarians have similar characteristics as their counterparts in other subject areas and demographics. For the study, a group of sixty-five participants was asked to rank preferred sources of information; this would be tabulated against factors such as demographics and listings of preferred sources in response to queries.

Findings concluded that participants, despite demographic profiles, preferred consulting their own library's OPAC (74%) first, followed by the Internet (23%), followed by enlisting assistance from the aquatic science library community. Given that IAMSLIC's resource sharing greatly benefits its members, reaching out to fellow libraries for information gathering was not surprising. IAMSLIC averages 3,200 interlibrary loans per year, and its open access repository, Aquatic Commons, has over 22,000 resources. The Internet was seen as a supplemental tool when the information was not easily obtainable in their own libraries. Demographic profiles did not come into play as strongly as other subject area-specific libraries. However, wider studies are required since the number of participants for this survey was low. - AA

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