Anatomy of Scholarly Information Behavior Patterns in the Wake of Social Media

by   Hamed Alhoori, et al.

As more scholarly content is being born digital or digitized, digital libraries are becoming increasingly vital to researchers leveraging scholarly big data for scientific discovery. Given the abundance of scholarly products-especially in environments created by the advent of social networking services-little is known about international scholarly information needs, information-seeking behavior, or information use. This paper aims to address these gaps by conducting an in-depth analysis of researchers in the United States and Qatar; learn about their research attitudes, practices, tactics, strategies, and expectations; and address the obstacles faced during research endeavors. Based on this analysis, the study identifies and describes new behavior patterns on the part of researchers as they engage in the information-seeking process. The analysis reveals that the use of academic social networks has remarkable effects on various scholarly activities. Further, this study identifies differences between students and faculty members in regard to their use of academic social networks, and it identifies differences between researchers according to discipline. The researchers who participated in the present study represent a range of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. However, the study reports a number of similarities in terms of the researchers' scholarly activities. Finally, the study illuminates some of the implications for the design of research platforms.


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