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Journal cover: Journal of Documentation

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Online from: 1945

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Information search process of lawyers: a call for ’just for me’ information services


Document Information:
Title:Information search process of lawyers: a call for ’just for me’ information services
Author(s):C.C. Kuhlthau, (School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08903), S.L. Tama, (School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08903)
Citation:C.C. Kuhlthau, S.L. Tama, (2001) "Information search process of lawyers: a call for ’just for me’ information services", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 57 Iss: 1, pp.25 - 43
Keywords:Information retrieval, Lawyers, Research
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/EUM0000000007076 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:The study reported in this paper is part of a programme of ongoing research based on the model of the Information Search Process (ISP) developed in a series of prior studies by Kuhlthau. This study sought to gain a better understanding of the variety of tasks that involve lawyers as a particular group of information workers, how they use information to accomplish their work, and the role mediators play in their process of information seeking and use. Findings revealed that these lawyers frequently were involved in complex tasks that required a constructive process of interpreting, learning and creating. To accomplish these complex tasks, they preferred printed texts over computer databases primarily because computer databases required well-specified requests and did not offer an option for examining a wide range of information at one time. These lawyers called for an active potential role for mediators in ‘just for me’ services. ‘Just for me’ services would encompass designing systems to provide a wider range of access more compatible with the process of construction, applying and developing principles of classification that would offer a more uniform system for organising and accessing files, and providing direction in filtering the overwhelming amount of information available on electronic resources.



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