Forensic Science Information Seeking Behaviors



forensic science, information literacy, lifelong learning, open access to information, scholarly information


Anecdotal frustrations expressed by former forensic science students indicated a potential need to improve education on information seeking research strategies to better prepare students for the workforce. This study describes the findings from a survey of forensic science professionals from eleven disciplines evaluating how they search for information related to their occupation. Over 300 individuals responded to the survey, with work experience ranging from less than a year to over fifty years. Open response questions created to gain insight into information seeking behavior were coded and analyzed. While few of the forensic science professionals surveyed (14%) search for research material daily, many (80%) need to find information on a monthly or weekly basis. The results detail frustrations with the time and amount of information when accessing information and indicate an opportunity to develop tools to teach better search strategies. Librarians, forensic science educators, and forensic science professionals can form partnerships that meet forensic scientist information needs from the classroom and into the workforce.