In Their Words: Student Reflections on Information-Seeking Behaviors

Sarah P.C. Dahlen, Kathlene Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Academic librarians try to facilitate student information seeking by providing classroom instruction, creating tutorials and guides, and selecting and modifying search tools to best meet student needs and preferences. These efforts are often informed by interactions with students, and can be even better informed through analysis of student descriptions of their searching practices. In this case study, 50 upper-division students from the Social and Behavioral Sciences major completed searching tasks in a few library search tools and were then interviewed about their search behaviors, both in the experimental setting and in general. Their responses illuminate some of their tendencies, including considerations when choosing sources, strategies employed when searches fail, and adoption of their instructors' priorities.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalThe Journal of Academic Librarianship
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • Information literacy
  • Information-seeking behavior
  • Instructor influence
  • Search strategies
  • Source selection

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