Profiling information behaviour of nursing students Part 2: Derivation of profiles

Peter Stokes, Christine Urquhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


– The purpose of this paper is to develop information behaviour profiles for nursing students, to help inform information literacy programmes.

– The methods include further analysis of quantitative findings (previously reported in part 1), together with qualitative research data collection and analysis. Critical incident type interviews with 11 students were transcribed and analysed using an interpretative categorisation method that used dendrograms for data display and analysis. From the regression analysis of the quantitative data, the micro-processes for information seeking were linked to learning styles, and then to personality traits to generate information seeking profiles. Integration of the qualitative findings led to development of a task-based information search model.

– The start list of seven categories for qualitative analysis (derived from a literature review) was refined (one category added, one removed, with some relabelling). The quantitative data analysis revealed seven profiles (deep adventurer, deep identifier, deep investigator, strategic all-rounder, strategic collector, surface co-ordinator, surface skimmer, each linked to a particular learning style, personality trait, and preferred information seeking micro-processes).

Research limitations/implications
– The data were collected at only one university and the profiles and the model need to be validated with data from other groups of nursing students. The findings on micro-processes consolidate and extend previous research.

Practical implications
– The profiles should inform information literacy programmes as they show that information search profiles may be more varied than assumed. The information search model extends previous task-based information search models.

– The information search profiles have not been identified previously
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-79
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2015


  • Individual behaviour
  • Information literacy
  • Information retrieval
  • Learning
  • Personality
  • Students


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