A46. Chang, S-J. & Rice, R.E. (1993). Browsing: A multidimensional framework. In M. Williams (Ed.), Annual review of information science and technology, vol. 28 (pp. 231-271). Medford, NJ: Learned Information.


Although browsing has been observed and investigated in the general context of information seeking in the library and has increasingly assumed an important and integral part in human and machine interaction, the concept and nature of browsing have not been systematically studied and thus are not well understood.

In an attempt to make explicit and synthesize different concepts of browsing, this article first notes several outstanding problems concerning browsing. Then it summarizes various notions of browsing and relevant research from six disciplines, which then are integrated into a multidimensional concept of browsing. The tentative model suggests that several contextual factors affect other influences on browsing, the process of browsing, and the consequences of browsing. Further, aspects of the resource and of the browser’s motivation and cognition all can influence the process of browsing. The browsing process itself can be characterized by behavioral, motivational, and cognitive dimensions. Browsing can have various consequences. Finally, both process and consequences can affect subsequent contexts, influences, and processes, establishing the iterative nature of browsing.

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