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Faculty of Information Studies 
University of Toronto  
140 St. George Street  
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6 

Welcome to the Research Project on
Information Seeking on The World Wide Web

Funded By Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 1997-1999


The project has been completed. Findings and methodology were published in:

A very special thanks to our Research Associates Brian Detlor and Don Turbull.

An extension of this project studies Information Seeking on the Web by Women in IT Professions.


Thank you for agreeing to participate in this important research project.
We appreciate your help and remind you to please:

  • Use your Web browser's menu options instead of buttons on the button bar (for example, selecting File, Print... instead of clicking the print button).

  • Remember to print off extra copies and keep them in the provided folder.

  • Use the Web as you normally would.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, or run into problems, please contact the researchers.

Objective

The objective of this research is to investigate the information seeking behavior of individuals in organizations as they use the World Wide Web to scan for information about events and trends that occur in their business environments.

The World Wide Web is a rich, complex information medium that poses many new challenges to the information user. Although there has been enormous momentum in placing content on the Web, there has been much less activity in trying to understand how people actually use it.

Confidentiality

We respect and will protect the confidentiality of every participant. The true names of participants and their organizations will not be used. Data collected will be analyzed to produce aggregate statistics only.

Overview of the study

This research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, seeks to understand how people in organizations use the Web to scan for information about the external environment. The ultimate objective is to gain the knowledge to guide the design of Web-based information resources and services which can better satisfy the needs of real users.

The study will involve two short interviews, and a one-week period during which we will unobtrusively, and with your permission, collect basic data on how you are using a Web browser to scan for information about external developments. At the end of the study, we will be able to provide you with (1) an analysis of your Web-browsing patterns, including suggestions to enhance information seeking; (2) a list of recommended Web-based resources which could help keep you better informed.

Instructions On Your Participation

Please Print any web pages you find pertinent or useful during your week of monitoring and place them in the file folder provided. After your one week monitoring period, a post-interview will be conducted by the Research Associate at your organization. This interview will comprise a series of open-ended questions relating to your web usage over the past week of monitoring. We will ask you to hand in any printed materials off the web at that time.

For information on how browsing is being tracked, please see the Technical FAQ page.