Applying an Information Problem-solving Model to Academic Reference Work: Findings and Implications

Janet R. Cottrell, Michael B. Eisenberg

Abstract

The usefulness of the Eisenberg–Berkowitz Information Problem-Solving model as a useful categorization for academic reference encounters is examined. Major trends in the data include a high proportion of questions about location and access of sources, a lack of synthesis or production activities, and a consistent presence of system problems (such as hardware problems) that impede the information-seeking process. The implications of these trends for the reference process, librarian training, and campus organization are discussed.

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