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Information Artisans: Patterns of Result Sharing by Information Searchers

O'Day, Vicki L.; Jeffries, Robin



Abstract: We studied the uses of information search results by regular clients of professional intermediaries. We found that all of the participants in our study acted as intermediaries themselves, sharing information they had received from library searches with others in their work settings. There were four basic models of sharing: updating team members, consulting, broadcasting, and putting information into a shared archive. In many sharing scenarios, the library clients acted as information artisans, creating new artifacts by transforming and enhancing their search results before passing them on. When possible, the library clients delivered their new information artifacts in collaborative settings, to ensure that recipients understood and could apply the results and to allow opportunities for follow-up search requests. These observations suggest that new functionality is needed for information search systems, in order to support the analysis, manipulation, and packaging of search results and collaborative information delivery with intertwined communication and information components.

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