Information behaviour paradox: Understanding perceptions of risk and online behaviour

Jacobson J., Lin C. Z., McEwen R.

Library and Information Science Research, vol.44, no.4, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.lisr.2022.101205
  • Journal Name: Library and Information Science Research
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, FRANCIS, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Information Science and Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library Literature and Information Science, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), MLA - Modern Language Association Database, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Information behaviour, Online risk, Digital archiving
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2022 Elsevier Inc.Human behaviour is complex and demographics are insufficient to understand information behaviour. More nuanced analyses are required to understand the factors that drive action. Focusing on digital archiving and online protection strategies as manifestations of information behaviour, factors that influence perceptions of online risk were investigated. The relationship between perception and behaviour was analyzed by focusing on people's risk responses and their archival habits. Using Bates’ theory of Information Behaviour, information behaviour paradoxes, what people do versus what they say they would do in online situations, were analyzed. By applying a mixed-method approach to 101 semi-structured interviews, individuals’ self-perceived internet skills and having a third-party negative experience are two key factors that influence perceptions of risk online. A three-part typology of internet users (cautiously optimistic offliners, confident onliners, and utopic onliners) is introduced. Perceptions of online risk have consequences for information behaviour and informs a theoretical modification.