Prof Ina Fourie, Head of Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria presented her inaugural address on 24 May 2021 with the title, Information behaviour as research lens for life.
Information behaviour as research lens for life
Abstract of the address
As a subdiscipline of information science, information behaviour is both a field of study and an umbrella concept for all human information activities. These include information seeking, sharing, use, encountering, avoidance, and identifying and expressing information needs. People engage in these activities daily in contexts ranging from work, health and studies to everyday life decision making. In this way, they make sense of situations in which they experience knowledge gaps. Information behaviour is particularly complex in the contexts of, for example, life-threatening diseases, viral infections and palliative care, where there are prospects of pain, death and bereavement. Knowledge and understanding of information behaviour-in-context in such situations can help identify the methods for providing information, design effective information systems and address information literacy needs. Research in health communication and palliative care has already generated helpful guidelines. Information behaviour, however, offers another research lens. In this lecture, I explain my academic journey, using information behaviour as a research lens. I review a range of research methods, with particular emphasis on auto-ethnography and the eclectic use of other methods according to context, insightful theories and the importance of awareness of a diagnosis. Furthermore, in an effort to advance research in information behaviour, I briefly address the concept of space, as in physical, emotional and mental space, as well as the concept of time. I also address the importance of awareness of a diagnosis and insightful theories that might deepen understanding.
Link to the recording of Prof Ina Fourie’s inaugural Address:
Prof Ina Fourie Inaugural Address.mp4