Michael S. Nilan, Patricia T. Fletcher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


This paper reports an attempt to develop a 'user-oriented' methodology for information system design that allows systems to be modeled on user criteria rather than trying to force users to become system-oriented. In response to a National Science Foundation project to change the current paper dominated proposal submission process into an electronic mail system (i. e. , EXPRESS), the authors treated the proposal submission process as a potential model for an information system. Incorporating conceptual logics from functional linguistics and Dervin's Sense-Making approach (1983), the authors describe user 'information-in-use' criteria for information system design. The synthesized methodology describes techniques for tapping aspects of the user's situational reality, the user's information seeking and information use behavior in the context of preparing a research proposal for a government funding agency. The methodology incorporates the user's dynamic perception of an information problem and generates patterns organized in temporal and spatial terms according to the user's point in the proposal submission process; the kinds of questions the user has; and the kinds of uses the user perceives s/he would put an answer to.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting
EditorsChing-chih Chen
PublisherLearned Information Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0938734199
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting
ISSN (Print)0044-7870

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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    Nilan, M. S., & Fletcher, P. T. (1987). INFORMATION BEHAVIORS IN THE PREPARATION OF RESEARCH PROPOSALS: A USER STUDY. In C. Chen (Ed.), Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting (pp. 186-192). (Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting; Vol. 24). Learned Information Inc.