Coping Strategies in Web Searching

My new paper entitled "Coping Strategies in Web Searching" was published in Program journal and this is its abstract:
Purpose – This paper seeks to report selective findings of a wider study to identify the mechanisms that end users employ to overcome their information seeking failure on the web. Design/methodology/approach – Data collection was conducted by semi-structured and in-depth interviews. The study adopted a qualitative approach and was carried out based on grounded theory. The biology community at the University of Sheffield was selected as the research population. Findings – Identified coping strategies are divided into active and passive categories. Active strategies such as revising and help-seeking require further actions to obtain more satisfactory results. In contrast, passive strategies entail less action to modify the situation and mainly relate to accepting the existing circumstances. Web users prioritise their coping strategies according to the importance of the search topic and their determination to fulfil the search successfully. They develop coping strategies through training courses, using trial and error, knowledge sharing and employing pre-web coping strategies. Research limitations/implications – This study was limited to a small group of web users in academia that cannot be easily considered as an acceptable representative of the heterogeneous population of web users. Moreover, the collected data was based on web users' perception of their search failure rather than an objective measure of it. Originality/value – Most studies in this area are concerned with users' information seeking behaviour and focus on how people find what they want. However, this paper addresses an aspect of this process that has received little attention up to now. The paper explores users' reaction to, and conceptualisation of, information seeking failure and their coping strategies to overcome the failure in web searching. The findings provide us with a better understanding of users' information seeking behaviour on the web.
Mansourian, Y. (2008). Coping strategies in web searching, Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 28 – 39.

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