A Meta-analysis of the factors affecting information seeking behavior in Iran and the world
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The aim of this study is to identify the components affecting information seeking behavior and to measure their impact from Persian and English articles in this field. In addition, the moderating variables affecting information seeking behavior were identified and their effect size was calculated.


The method of this study is meta-analysis. The research population included all research papers indexed in the Islamic World Science Citation Database (ISC) for national research as well as all research papers indexed in ProQuest database for international research. According to the inclusion criteria, 89 studies were selected and among them, 19 studies had dependent variables of information seeking behavior and independent variables affecting information seeking behavior to calculate the effect size, which were included in the meta-analysis. These studies were conducted by applying survey method and by using questionnaire tools in different societies and according to reliable criteria. Data were analyzed using the CMA2 software.


In the studies carried out in this field (which included in the meta-analysis), a total of 16 variables and factors affecting information seeking behavior were identified in four main subgroups of students, faculty members, medical staff and citizens. These factors include: Internet use, access to information resources, familiarity with specialized resources, Internet skills, search skills, familiarity with new technologies, basic knowledge of the field of search, lack of time, ability to recognize the validity of information, motivation to seek information occupation, English language proficiency, Internet access, information literacy level, personal factors, Internet anxiety, and personal interest. The overall results of the meta-analysis showed that the effect size or the coefficient of influence of the components and factors affecting the information seeking behavior is 0.589, which is rated as high according to Cohenchr('39')s interpretive system. In addition, the extent of the effect of variables and factors affecting information seeking behavior is different in term of the two variables of sample group (students, faculty members, medical staff and citizens) and the field of study (internal and external research), and both variables are moderating variables affecting information-seeking behavior.


Due to the fact that many studies have been conducted on variables and factors affecting information seeking behavior, there was no research dealing with their results in the form of meta-analysis. Therefore, this research has tried to fill this gap. The information seeking behavior of individuals is influenced by factors, and the 16 factors identified in this study considerably affect how individuals seek information. Furthermore, in addition to the independent factors and variables of the variable, information seeking behavior is different depending on different groups of society and their local context and language.

Research on Information Scienc & Public Libraries, Volume:26 Issue: 102, 2020
415 - 438
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