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    The Information Behaviour of Social Workers: Needs, Seeking, Acquiring and Using Information in Practice


    Flanagan, Niamh (2020) The Information Behaviour of Social Workers: Needs, Seeking, Acquiring and Using Information in Practice. British Journal of Social Work, 50 (5). pp. 1588-1610. ISSN 0045-3102

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    Abstract

    In the debate about what informs social work practice, research remains the dominant discourse. However, the relationship between research and social work practice has always been an uneasy one, arguably passed from other clinical disciplines without resizing to fit social work. Even as social work research matures as a discipline it represents one element in a much broader composite which informs practice. This article takes a unique step back from the traditional research-practice discourse and examines the broader information landscape of social work practice, asking how practitioners inform their practice, rather than how research informs practice. This study explores the information needs that prompt practitioners to search for information, the strategies they employ, their acquisition of information and the uses to which the information is put. This study aims to elucidate the information behaviour with a view to improving dissemination and use. Findings demonstrate that the social work information base is substantially broader than has been suggested. Practitioners employ a pragmatic palette of strategies to navigate the breadth of information that supports practice, from research through to knowledge sharing. This article proposes that a pragmatic framework of information behaviour is required to accurately reflect the information behaviour of social workers.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Niamh Flanagan, The Information Behaviour of Social Workers: Needs, Seeking, Acquiring and Using Information in Practice, The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 50, Issue 5, July 2020, Pages 1588–1610, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz134
    Keywords: Information behaviour; information seeking; information-base; knowledgebase; social work;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Applied Social Studies
    Item ID: 13994
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz134
    Depositing User: Niamh Flanagan
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 17:07
    Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Social Work
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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