Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Information behavior at Highpath School of Theology: A case study
by Milas, Theodore Patrick, Jr., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2015, 151; 3705884
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored the roles of graduate theological students' religious faith and degree program affiliation in their information behaviors, particularly their degree-related research behaviors. In 2015, religious intolerance continues to stratify barriers between communities. One domain where faith significantly affects student life is in graduate studies of religion and theology. This study's purpose was to explore problems in information action inherent to the dichotomy between academic study of theology that leads to Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees and professional study of theology that leads to Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Doctor of Theology (ThD) degrees. To locate the most appropriate research subjects for qualitative inquiry, this study first investigated the content of PhD and ThD dissertation acknowledgements using bibliometric analysis. The frequency with which the PhD and ThD dissertations' acknowledgements acknowledge affiliates within their authors' own degree programs and religious faith traditions guided the research design for subsequent interviewing of MA and MDiv students about the roles of their religious faith, degree program affiliation and interpersonal information sources in their research processes. Data were collected, coded and analyzed as a lens into the relationships between authors, affiliations and acknowledgements. The qualitative component - intensive interviewing about Master's students' research processes - qualified the results of the quantitative analysis of PhD and ThD students' interpersonal information source preferences manifest in their dissertations' acknowledgements. The study found that information behavior does relate to degree program affiliations and students' religious faith, thus degree program affiliation and religious faith background should be considered in research consultations and bibliographic instruction in theological libraries.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Latham, Don
Commitee: Burnett, Gary, Goff, Matthew, Marty, Paul
School: The Florida State University
Department: Library and Information Studies
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Library science, Religious education, Information science
Keywords: Informal communication, Information behavior, Interpersonal information sources, Religious faith, Social network, Theological degree programs
Publication Number: 3705884
ISBN: 9781321792690
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