Engineers face a wide range of gaps when trying to identify, acquire, and utilize information from the Web. To be able to avoid creating such gaps, it is essential to understand them in detail. This paper reports the results of a study of the real life gaps in information usage processes of 17 engineers. Using the critical incident interviewing technique, 65 examples of information usage processes were uncovered. An inductive analysis of these data, using the constant comparison method, yields five classes of identification gaps, of acquisition gaps, and of utilization gaps. Within these fifteen gap classes, 79 types of information usage gaps are identified. The results of this study confirm and extend existing studies on information usage gaps. Future research should examine whether such gaps need to be bridged and, if so, how they could be bridged.
- Critical incident technique
- Information usage processes