1. Principal Investigator

Professor Giulio Jacucci

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT 

Department of Computer Science 

P.O. Box 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b)


+358 9 191 51153

 2. Research organizations and funding agency

Organization: University of Helsinki. 

Funding agency: European Union represented by the European Commission.

3. Purpose, objectives and significance of the study

With the emergence of electronic literature resources, researchers have begun to adopt new information-seeking practices. Even though there have been studies investigating the behavioral changes of academics with the electronic dissemination of scientific information, there is a lack of understanding in many other aspects of bibliographic search. The purpose of this research is to conduct a thorough investigation of scientific information-seeking behaviors of academics. Findings of this research can be used to propose guidelines on,

  • The most important information to be visualized for scientific searches
  • The need for different layers of information according to expertise of the searcher
  • How to support serendipitous bibliographic searches
  •  New metric for calculating the academic value of a research article

4. Method of collecting material or conducting research

This is a mixed method study involving two phases: case studies, and a web survey. You will participate in the web survey only if you have not participated in the case studies. You are eligible to participate in the web survey if you are a researcher with experience in scientific information seeking, and over 18 years old. The purpose of the survey is to generalize the findings of the case studies and the questionnaire is constructed based on the findings of the case studies. The questionnaire is promoted internationally through social media websites and university mailing lists.

5. The rights of the subjects

  • Participation in this survey is voluntary.
  • You have the right to withdraw from responding the questionnaire at any point without the need of reporting your reasons, and without facing any kind of sanction.
  • Your responses will be saved only after you have explicitly clicked the submit button at the end of the questionnaire.
  • Survey questionnaire will explicitly indicate the mandatory and optional questions.
  • There are no risks or any burden involved in participation.
  • You have the right to contact the contact person of this research at anytime and ask for additional information.  

To avoid any coerced participation, no course credits will be given for participating.

6. Purpose of the research material

Data collected through the web survey will be analyzed in the aggregate only, and individual responses will not be associated with individual participants. You are not required to reveal your identity, but if you wish to be included in the raffle draw for non-monetary gifts then you will have to provide your e-mail addresses. In any case, no association is made between your identity and responses and your email address will be stored in a separate file, which will be destroyed immediately after the raffle draw. Researchers involved commit themselves not to misuse the data collected during and after the extent of the research. In particular they commit not to use them against participants, nor to sell this information to third parties, and to use the data only in anonymous format unless specifically agreed with participants.