Acute vs chronic information need
Acute information need
e.g. When is the next flight from Helsinki to Barcelona?
Acute information need usually requires a quick answer to an exact question. In these cases Google can be the right tool, though sometimes you need to find the information in a book, a database etc. Finding one reliable source is often enough in the case of an acute information need.
Acute information process:
Chronic information need:
e.g. To develop my own professional competence in the ever changing working life, I need to follow the main publications in my field.
Chronic information need usually requires a broader and deeper information search and returning to the topic often. It requires the use of varied information channels – limiting yourself to Google use does not necessarily get you very far. Another example of a chronic information need is keeping up to date on your field. Both during studies and in working life, once acquired information needs to be updated and built upon.
Chronic information process:
Different needs, different information
During your studies, you are expected to find information for various needs. Finding a specific answer to a limited question is different from collecting a comprehensive selection of source material for a project or thesis. You also need to evaluate the nature and use of required information, i.e. whether you need general, professional, or scientific information. It is useful to recognize their characteristics.
Scientific research information = Research information is justifiable, objective and communicable. Research information aims at veracity by presenting as truth the most justifiable conception backed by research. Research information also has a viewpoint, and is based on a justifiable and openly stated research approach.
Professional information = Information for working life needs and provided by professional experts. Applied and practical by nature, e.g. professional magazine articles.
General information = Information based on everyday experience. General information is often used to solve practical problems in certain situations, and it is based on previous knowledge.
Ronkainen, S., Pehkonen, L., Lindblom-Ylänne, S. Paavilainen, E. (2011). Tutkimuksen voimasanat. Helsinki: WSOYpro.
When looking for background information or for deeper understanding, books often provide the most comprehensive information. For the latest information and news, turn to scientific and professional articles.