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Forensic science Information seeking behaviors

NCJ Number
Sarah Bankston; Laura Sare; Samantha Sawyer; Jeffery Tomberlin
Date Published
12 pages

This study describes the findings from a survey of forensic science professionals from eleven disciplines evaluating how they search for information related to their occupation.


The study was prompted by anecdotal frustrations expressed by former forensic science students who indicated a potential need to improve education on information-seeking research strategies to better prepare students for the forensic workforce. Over 300 individuals responded to the survey, with work experience ranging from less than a year to over fifty years. Open response questions created to gain insight into information seeking behavior were coded and analyzed. While few of the forensic science professionals surveyed (14%) search for research material daily, many (80%) need to find information on a monthly or weekly basis. The results detail frustrations with the time and amount of information when accessing information and indicate an opportunity to develop tools to teach better search strategies. Librarians, forensic science educators, and forensic science professionals can form partnerships that meet forensic scientist information needs from the classroom and into the workforce. (Publisher abstract provided)