Analysing humanities scholars’ data seeking behaviour patterns using Ellis' model


  • Wenqi Li Peking University
  • Pengyi Zhang Peking University
  • Jun Wang Peking University



data behaviour, information seeking, humanities scholars, Ellis' model


Introduction. Much of humanities data are existing materials. Yet there are few works examining humanities scholars’ data seeking behaviours. The study aims to address this gap building upon Ellis’ model.

Method. We recruited 27 humanities scholars with diverse academic backgrounds and conducted in-depth interviews.

Analysis. A preliminary codebook was developed from existing literature. Researchers combined deductive and inductive coding to analyse the interview transcripts.

Results. Humanities scholars’ data interactions fall into two approaches: data-driven and structure-driven, each involving three phases – exploratory seeking, focused seeking, and supplementary seeking. We identified eleven characteristics of data seeking behaviours operating at different levels and revealed their variations across research approaches and seeking phases.

Conclusion. The study contributes to the conceptual growth of Ellis' model and expands its utility beyond the original information seeking contexts, indicating its potential applicability to data seeking. It also provides practical implications for system design and humanities data curation.




How to Cite

Li, W., Zhang, P., & Wang, J. (2024). Analysing humanities scholars’ data seeking behaviour patterns using Ellis’ model. Information Research an International Electronic Journal, 29(2), 401–418.