An investigation of the search behaviour associated with Ingwersen’s three types of information needs

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Pia Borlund
  • Sabine Dreier
We report a naturalistic interactive information retrieval (IIR) study of 18 ordinary users in the age of 20–25 who carry out everyday-life information seeking (ELIS) on the Internet with respect to the three types of information needs identified by Ingwersen (1986): the verificative information need (VIN), the conscious topical information need (CIN), and the muddled topical information need (MIN). The searches took place in the private homes of the users in order to ensure as realistic searching as possible. Ingwersen (1996) associates a given search behaviour to each of the three types of information needs, which are analytically deduced, but not yet empirically tested. Thus the objective of the study is to
investigate whether empirical data does, or does not, conform to the predictions derived from the three types of information needs. The main conclusion is that the analytically deduced information search behaviour characteristics by Ingwersen are positively corroborated for this group of test participants who search the Internet as part of ELIS.
TidsskriftInformation Processing & Management
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)493-507
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2 apr. 2014


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - Information needs, User study, Interactive information retrieval, Internet searching, Ordinary users, Everyday-life information seeking

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