A Scoping Review of Collaborative Information Behavior

Definitions and Collaborative Tools


  • Abidemi Atolagbe-Olaoye University of North Texas
  • Hsia-Ching (Carrie) Chang




collaboration; collaborative activities; collaborative information behavior; collaborative tools; scoping review.


Many researchers have mischaracterized collaborative information behavior (CIB) with its sub-processes, including collaborative information seeking (CIS) and collaborative information retrieval (CIR). To learn about the most prominent CIB definitions, the phases involved in the CIB process, and the various collaboration tools that facilitate CIB, we sifted through a wide range of LIS research papers. Using a scoping review to correspond with the research questions, we conducted several iterations to exclude irrelevant studies while concurrently including pertinent ones. The “C5 model of collaboration” developed by Shah provides a framework for coding our data during content analysis and concept mapping. Our findings indicate that CIB has no generally adopted definition. Additionally, traditional workplace tools and technologies are the collaborative tools utilized for various collaborative activities. More CIB research is needed in the information science field to stay ahead of the rapid growth of collaborative AI technologies, particularly those that foster human-AI collaborations.


Buasuwan, N. (2021). Social Media and Collaborative Information Behaviour Intergenerational Difference in a Multinational Company Setting. PhD Thesis, University of Leeds.

Case, D. O. & Given, L. M. (2016). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behavior (4th ed.). Bingley, U.K.: Emerald. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-53772016022

Champion, C., Affleck, E., Alvarez, G. G., & Kuziemsky, C. (2017). A combined collaborative information behaviour (CIB) and continuity of care framework for modeling complexity in colorectal cancer screening access. In MEDINFO 2017: Precision Healthcare through Informatics (pp. 696-699). IOS Press.

Colquhoun, H.L., Levac, D., O'Brien, K.K., Straus, S., Tricco, A.C., Perrier, L., Kastner, M. & Moher, D. (2014). Scoping reviews: time for clarity in definition, methods, and reporting. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.03.013

Du Preez, M. (2019). Exploring contexts in consulting engineers’ collaborative information behaviour. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 51(3), 643-653. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000617742457

Du Preez, M. (2015). The role of social networks in consulting engineers' collaborative information behaviour. PhD Thesis, University of South Africa.

Far, P.K. (2020). Group cohesion and collaborative information behaviour: An exploration of student experiences of university group work. PhD Thesis, Edith Cowan University.

Far, P. K. (2019). Research together: exploring students' collaborative information behaviour in group work settings.

Fidel, R., Mark Pejtersen, A., Cleal, B., & Bruce, H. (2004). A multidimensional approach to the study of human‐information interaction: A case study of collaborative information retrieval. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 55(11), 939-953. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.20041

González‐Ibáñez, R., & Shah, C. (2011). Coagmento: A system for supporting collaborative information seeking. proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48(1), 1-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.2011.14504801336

Hansen, P., & Järvelin, K. (2005). Collaborative information retrieval in an information-intensive domain. Information Process Management 41, 1101-1119. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2004.04.016

Hernández-Pérez, O. (2017). Collaborative information behaviour in completely online groups: exploring the social dimensions of information in virtual environments. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries (QQML), 4: 775-787.

Hyldegård, J. (2006). Collaborative information behaviour––exploring Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process model in a group-based educational setting. Information processing & management, 42(1), 276-298. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2004.06.013

Irnazarow, A., Allen, D., & McKay, A. (2019, October). Investigating collaborative information behaviours in complex product development work. In 2019 SIG-USE Symposium Paper Presentations. SIG-USE.

Karamuftuoglu, M. (1998). Collaborative information retrieval: Toward a social informatics view of IR interaction. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 49(12), 1070-1080. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(1998)49:12<1070::AID-ASI3>3.0.CO;2-S

Karunakaran, A., Reddy, M. C., & Spence, P. R. (2013). Toward a model of collaborative information behavior in organizations. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(12), 2437-2451. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.22943

Krishna, B. & Paul, A. (2020). Collaborative information behaviour during epidemics: The case of Nipah outbreak in Southern India. Working papers 367, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode.

Kuhlthau, C. C. (1991). Inside the search process: Information seeking from the user's perspective. Journal of the American society for information science, 42(5), 361-371. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(199106)42:5<361::AID-ASI6>3.0.CO;2-#

Leeder, C., & Shah, C. (2016). Collaborative information seeking in student group projects. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 68(5), 526-544. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-12-2015-0190

Morris, M. R., Lombardo, J., & Wigdor, D. (2010, February). WeSearch: supporting collaborative search and sensemaking on a tabletop display. In Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 401-410). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/1718918.1718987

Ndumbaro, F., & Mutula, S. (2019). Applicability of solitary model of information behavior in students’ collaborative learning assignments. Information and Learning Sciences, 120(3/4), 190-207. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-10-2018-0108

Ndumbaro, F., & Mutula, S. M. (2017). Collaborative information behaviour of butterfly farmers in Eastern Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 22(2), 15-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22452/mjlis.vol22no2.2

Outsell, Inc. (2023). Information seeking and consumption study report. Copyright Clearance Center. Retrieved from CCC-RD-2023-Outsell-eBook.pdf.

Poltrock, S., Grudin, J., Dumais, S., Fidel, R., Bruce, H. & Pejtersen, A. M. (2003). Information seeking and sharing in design teams. In Proceedings of the 2003 international ACM SIGGROUP conference on Supporting group work (GROUP ’03). New York, NY, USA, 239–247. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/958160.958198

Poteri, E. (2007). Collaborative information behaviour: A case study of two research groups. Licentiate Thesis, Åbo Akademi University.

Reddy, M. C., & Jansen, B. J. (2008). A model for understanding collaborative information behavior in context: A study of two healthcare teams. Information Processing & Management, 44(1), 256-273. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2006.12.010

Reddy, M. C., Jansen, B. J., & Krishnappa, R. (2008). The role of communication in collaborative information searching. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 45(1), 1-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.2008.1450450259

Riley, F. G., & Allen, D. A. (2019). Information spheres: Collaborative information behavior within project teams.

Saleh, N. (2012). Collaborative information behavior in learning tasks: A study of engineering students. PhD Thesis, McGill University, Montreal.

Saleh, N. (2011). Collaborative information behaviour of engineering students in a senior design group project: A pilot study. In 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition (pp. 22-334). DOI: https://doi.org/10.18260/1-2--17615

Saleh, N., & Large, A. (2011). Collaborative information behaviour in undergraduate group projects: A study of engineering students. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48(1), 1-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.2011.14504801035

Sapa, R. (2020). Subject structure of the research area on collaborative information behaviour. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 72(5), 813-835. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-02-2020-0033

Sapa, R. (2022). Library and information science applied studies on collaborative information behavior. Library & Information Science Research, 44(4), 101204. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2022.101204

Sarcevic, A. (2009, May). A study of collaborative information behavior in trauma resuscitation. In AMC GROUP 2009 Workshop “Collaborative Information Behavior (CIB),” Sanibel Island, Florida.

Shah, C. (2010). Collaborative information seeking: A literature review. Advances in librarianship, 32, 3-33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/S0065-2830(2010)0000032004

Shah, C. (2014). Collaborative information seeking. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(2), 215-236. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.22977

Shah, C., & Leeder, C. (2016). Exploring collaborative work among graduate students through the C5 model of collaboration: A diary study. Journal of Information Science, 42(5), 609-629. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551515603322

Talja, S., & Hansen, P. (2006). Information sharing. New directions in human information behavior, 113-134. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3670-1_7

Tao, Y., & Tombros, A. (2013). An exploratory study of sensemaking in collaborative information seeking. In Advances in Information Retrieval: 35th European Conference on IR Research, ECIR 2013, Moscow, Russia, March 24-27, 2013. Proceedings 35 (pp. 26-37). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36973-5_3

Tricco, A. C., Lillie, E., Zarin, W., O'Brien, K. K., Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., ... & Straus, S. E. (2018). PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation. Annals of internal medicine, 169(7), 467-473. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7326/M18-0850

Widén, G., & Hansen, P. (2012). Managing collaborative information sharing: bridging research on information culture and collaborative information behaviour. Information Research, 17(4). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/S1876-0562(2012)5

Wilson, T. D. (2000). Human information behavior. Informing Science, 3, 49. DOI: https://doi.org/10.28945/576

Zeinali, V., & Mahdavi, M. S. (2014). Triggers and barriers of collaborative information behavior (CIB) among physicians: a qualitative study. Human Information Interaction, 1(2), 105-117.






Juried Papers