Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Information Sciences

Major Professor

Peiling Wang

Committee Members

Carol Tenopir, Kendra Albright


This study focuses on how Internet technology influences and contributes to the information-seeking process in the social sciences and humanities. The study examines the information-seeking behavior of faculty and doctoral students in these fields and observes and extends Ellis’s model of information-seeking behavior for social scientists, which includes six characteristics: starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring, and extracting.

The study was conducted at Tennessee State University. Thirty active social sciences and humanities faculty and doctoral students were interviewed about their use of Internet resources, their perception of electronic and print materials, and their opinions concerning the Ellis model and how it might be applicable to them. The research confirmed all the continuing relevance of all characteristics of the Ellis model, and theorized that an extended model could potentially include two additional characteristics: preparation and planning and information management.

Based on the interview results, the researcher provides suggestions on how current information services and products can be improved to better serve social sciences and humanities researchers, discusses the implications of these new characteristics for information-searching needs, and makes recommendations for improving library services and technologies that will meet the needs of future social sciences and humanities scholars.

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