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Information Behavior in Developing Countries: Research, Issues, and Emerging Trends (SIG USE, SIG III, SIG ED)

Johannes Britz, Bharat Mehra, Kevin Rioux, Dania Bilal, Lokman Meho and Michel Menou

(Submission #37)


The field of library and information science (LIS) has historically been a leading discipline in studying human information behavior (Spink & Cole, 2006). Information seeking in industrialized nations is grounded in theories and moving towards new directions and evolutionary approaches that often challenge the established paradigms of information behavior studies (see Spink & Cole, 2006; Fisher, Erdelez, & Mckechnie, 2005; Chelton & Cool, 2004; Case, 2002). Information behavior has been conceptualized in a holistic context that draws upon theories from various disciplines such as cognitive science, communication, psychology, and computer science (Nahl & Bilal, in press; Spink & Cole, 2006). Compared to industrialized nations, most developing countries relegate towards the bottom heap of research on information behavior (Coleman, 2005; Britz, 2005).

A panel of researchers, educators, and consultants will address research in information behavior in various contexts in developing countries, particularly in India, South Africa, and the Arab world. Based on their research findings and experiences, the speakers will trace themes, map the intellectual terrain, identify emerging trends and approaches, and frame issues related to information behavior research in these countries. Moreover, they will identify significant knowledge domains, concepts, and topics of application in information behavior research where there can be mutual exchange between developing countries and the industrialized nations (including the United States) to nurture and further growth in this area of study.

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