Study of the Brazilian literature on information behavior
Studies that analyze the set of international works on the topic of information behavior have been carried out to assess characteristics of the research and theoretical and methodological trends in the area. These assessments provide both a descriptive and a critical analysis of the research allowing scholars to direct their future work in an informed way. However, equivalent analysis of user studies conducted in Brazil are few and of limited coverage. The current work has empirically analyzed the Brazilian literature on information behavior to identify its characteristics, to verify if Brazilian literature follows trends observed in international research and to provide guidance for future works. A literature review and synthesis of international trends in this area was carried. Using the Proknow-C methodology, a bibliographic portfolio was selected containing 233 Brazilian studies on information behavior, published between 2000 to 2017. The works in this portfolio were analyzed regarding the volume of publications over the years; type of authorship, type of research, research approaches, research methods, data collection and data analysis methods, phases of the information behavior process and target user groups covered. The study shows a growing interest in the area along the 18 years analyzed, with the majority of the works concentrated in the last 6 years covered, a predominance of authors with academic background and of publications in academic journals. Results point in the direction of a majority of descriptive research, of mixed (quantitative and qualitative) research approaches, of major use of one research method, with some works using two or more methods, and of use of mostly questionnaires and interviews for data collection. Results demonstrate a focus on the information needs phase of the information behavior process. Another interesting finding was the great versatility of groups of users in the studies, including a variety of occupations, of age and interest groups, belonging to a variety of types of companies and institutions and using many different types of information and information systems. Results seem to indicate that Brazilian literature follows some of the international trends in studies on information behavior but differs in others. The study presents suggestions for Brazilian research on information behavior and for further research on the analysis of the literature.