Standing on the shoulders of giants: a review of literature reviews on information behaviour


Information behaviour research has the potential to improve the design of information systems, the implementation of social initiatives, and the quality of everyday human lives. Many reviews on information behaviour scholarship have been published to date, which have provided scholars comprehensive overviews and new insights into the field. Although the importance of literature reviews in information behaviour is widely accepted, little research has been done to understand these reviews. To fill this gap, this research summarized 97 literature reviews in the field of information behaviour. This paper found (1) there were two transformations in the history of information behaviour; (2) current research focuses on specialized areas of information behaviour; (3) the quality of information and social contributions of the research are two issues discussed among literature reviews; (4) the boom of models and theories happened in the 1990s and the early 2000s, but new models and theories are needed in digital environments. By studying information behaviour in a general and comprehensive way, this paper contributes to tracing the development and identifying key issues of information behaviour. Moreover, this paper also aims to inspire research in other fields; it provides an innovative perspective to understanding a research field with a considerable body of research: a review of literature reviews.

Apr 28, 2021 9:30 AM
Xiaoqian Zhang
Xiaoqian Zhang
McGill University, Quebec, Canada

I am a doctoral candidate at the School of Information Studies, McGill University. My doctoral research explores the health information behaviour of older adults. As the current Chair of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) McGill Student Chapter, I am pleased to organize the 14th EBSI-SIS symposium and help students to share their knowledge.
Je suis candidate au doctorat à l’École des sciences de l’information de l’Université McGill. Ma recherche doctorale explore le comportement des personnes âgées en matière d’information sur la santé. En tant que présidente actuelle du chapitre étudiant de McGill de l’Association pour les sciences et technologies de l’information (ASIS&T), je suis heureuse d’organiser le 14e symposium EBSI-SIS et d’aider les étudiants à partager leurs connaissances.