An information behavior theory of transitions

Ruthven, Ian (2022) An information behavior theory of transitions. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 73 (4). pp. 579-593. ISSN 2330-1643 (

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This paper proposes a theory of life transitions focused on information behavior. Through a process of meta-ethnography, the paper transforms a series of influential theories and models into a theory of transitions for use in Information Science. This paper characterizes the psychological processes involved in transitions as consisting of three main stages, Understanding, Negotiating, and Resolving, each of which have qualitatively different information behaviors and which require different types of information support. The paper discusses the theoretical implications of this theory and proposes ways in which the theory can be used to provide practical support for those undergoing transitions.


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