Levels of critique in models and concepts of human information behaviour research

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To elaborate the nature of critique presented in the models and concepts of human information behaviour (HIB) research by identifying the issues to which the critique is directed and the ways in which the critique is conducted.


Conceptual analysis focusing on 58 key studies on the topic. First, the objects and ways of conducting the critique were identified. Thereafter, three levels of depth at which the critique is conducted were specified. The conceptual analysis is based on the comparison of the similarities and differences between the articulations of critique presented at these levels.


At the lowest level of depth, critique of HIB research is directed to the lack of research by identifying gaps and complaining the neglect or paucity of studies in a significant domain. At the level of critiquing the shortcomings of existing studies, the attention is focused on the identification and analysis of the inadequacies of concepts and models. Finally, constructive critiques of research approaches dig deeper in that they not only identify weaknesses of existing studies but also propose alternative in which the shortcomings can be avoided, and the conceptualizations of HIB enhanced.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focuses on critiques addressed to HIB models and concepts, the findings cannot be generalized to concern the field of Library and Information Science (LIS) as a whole. Moreover, due to the emphasis of the qualitative research approach, the findings offer only an indicative picture of the frequency of the objects critiqued in HIB research.


The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the nature of critiques presented in a LIS research domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-791
JournalAslib Journal of Information Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Critique, concepts, human information behaviour, information seeking, models

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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