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How local government policy workers use information: An interview study and design recommendations

Georgiou, A. & Makri, S. (2015). How local government policy workers use information: An interview study and design recommendations. International Journal of Information Management, 35(4), pp. 472-489. doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2015.03.004


Most information behaviour research focuses on information seeking and stops short of looking at what people do with information after they have found it. Furthermore, the information behaviour of local government policy workers has not been widely studied. We conducted semi-structured interviews with local government policy workers from UK local authorities and local government organisations. This was with the aim of examining how these policy workers use information to prepare documents. During the interviews, we asked the policy workers to demonstrate how they extracted information from source documents and how they made use of it. We found that the document preparation process involved three key phases: (1) information management (storing and recording information retrieved online for later use), (2) writing and editing (extracting information from source material and using it to support the writing process), and (3) review and sign-off (managing an iterative process of obtaining feedback from multiple stakeholders and making amendments). We discuss key challenges the interviewees faced during each of these phases and make recommendations for the design of future digital information environments aimed at providing holistic support for local government policy workers’ information use behaviour.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Information use; Using information; Design; Digital information environment
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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