Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 2019


This paper reviewed empirical literature on information behaviour of academic faculty across disciplinary fields with particular reference to studies whose demography included the professoriate in the context of their information needs, purposeful information seeking and use of information for teaching and research. Paucity of literature focusing on the professoriate prompted this study. Literature focusing on the professoriate will provide a rich theoretical and contextual background for researchers embarking on studies that focus specifically on the professoriate in related information context, besides filling the knowledge gap in library and information science literature. The scope of the literature review covers scholarly journals in major electronic databases and search engines such as EBSCOhost, ERIC, Social Science Citation Index, ProQuest, Google and Google Scholar. In reviewing the empirical literature, attention was given to literature with professoriate in their population. The outcome of the literature review revealed the general information needs of the professoriate are for teaching and research. Literature on purposeful information seeking revealed the professoriates’ use of print and electronic information resources varied across disciplinary fields, and is influenced by age, environmental and individual characteristics. Use of electronic information resources is context-dependent and prevailed more in research settings and in studies conducted in the West relative to those carried out in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The paper concludes that in-spite of the continued relevance of print information resources, electronic information resources usage continue to increase in academic environment that is fast embracing information technology.



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