Collaborative information seeking and technology use: A critical examination of humanities scholars' research practicies

Lisa Given, Rebekah Willson

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite a rise in collaborative research, resulting in complex collaborative information seeking (CIS), few studies have explored the CIS experiences of academics in the humanities. This research explores the CIS activities of digital humanities scholars within the broader context of their collaborative research practices. Data from qualitative semi-structured interviews and guided interactions with digital tools are analysed using the conceptual lens of “parallel work” to best understand scholars’ engagement with CIS. The results demonstrate the complexities of research contexts and how CIS is shaped by individuals’ research needs, technology use and general information behaviours. The findings demonstrate how digital tools enable and constrain collaborative information work, and show how availability, ease of use, and other peoples’ activities often determine which tools and seeking practices are used in collaboration. Additionally, while scholars in the digital humanities work collaboratively, they continue to work as solo scholars, at times working quite independently within a collaborative project. Of particular note are results that show a lack of group-based information seeking practices within collaborative research practices. The model of Parallel Research Practice is proposed as a way to understand how digital humanities scholars engage in collaborative information activities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCollaborative information seeking
    Subtitle of host publicationbest practices, new domains and new thoughts
    EditorsPreben Hansen, Chirag Shah, Claus-Peter Klas
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319189888
    ISBN (Print)9783319185415
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameComputer supported cooperative work


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