Literature Review of Information Behaviour on Social Media

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Assessment Type

Literature Review

Word Count

4000 words


Social Media marketing


7 Days

Assignment Criteria

  1. BackgroundUsing your knowledge about information resource and skills in searchingand evaluating information achieved in the first half of the semester, now you are required to choose a specfic topic in the area of information research, explore the exisiting literature within this domain and write a literatue review.Requirements

    You need to write a literature review, exploring at least 25-30 sourcesfollowed with a 500-word reflective discussion.

    Your literature review needs to include three major elements: Introduction, body and conclusion. In each section, you are required to cover certain areas.


    • Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern, thus providing an appropriate context for reviewing the literature.
    • Point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship; or a single problem or new perspective of immediate interest.
    • Establish the writer's reason (point of view) for reviewing the literature; explain the criteria to be used in analysing and comparing literature and the organisation of the review (sequence); and, when necessary, state why certain literature is or is not included (scope).
    • Outline the structure of the document.


    • Engage with different types of literature (e.g. research studies, reviews, theoretical articles, case studies and etc.) to develop themes, highlight major concerns, influential studies, etc., in relation to your topic.
    • Focus on areas of agreements, disagreements, tensions and contentious issues related to your topic.
    • Evaluate the current 'state of the art' for the body of knowledge reviewed, pointing out any gaps in research, inconsistencies in theory and findings, and areas or issues pertinent to future study.
    • Provide the reader with strong 'umbrella' sentences at the beginning of each paragraph,and brief 'so what' summary sentences at intermediate points in the review,so the reader can easily identify the theme or aspect of the theme being and understand comparisons and analyses.


    • Summarise major contributions of significant studies and articles to the body of knowledge under review, maintaining the focus established in the introduction.
    • Conclude by providing some insight into the significance of the central topic of the literature review and its relationship with a larger area of study such as a discipline, a scientific endeavour, or a profession.
    • Develop recommendation for future studies with respect to the outcome of the literature review.

    Reflections on your learning

    As a final aspect of assignment 2, you are asked to provide a 500-word reflective discussion to consider:

    • What was the most important thing you learned doing this assignment?
    • What were the overall strengths and weaknesses of your work? What was the thing you thought you did best or least well in this assignment?
    • Do you feel this piece of work is representative of your abilities?
    • What challenges or problems did you encounter?How did you handle them?
    • What did you find the hardest part of this assignment?
    • Which areas of your own professional knowledge and skills, or your personal attributes do you feel require further 
    • What would you do differently when you want to write a literature review next time?
    • Based on the overall quality of the whole piece of work,what final grade do you believe your work should be awarded? Remember to justify your grade allocation: provide the reasons why your work should be given the grade you have allocated.

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Assignment Solution


Social media is turning out to be one such major application that has encroached all the spheres of our lives , while casting major impact on the way we live, play, socialize, learn, work and even cast vote. Thus through its kinds of manifestations social media provides a golden opportunity as well as richer environment that helps in analysing the information behaviour. The main reason being hugeamount of information in varied forms like videos, images and text format are being recorded as well as stored in publically accessible repositories as well ason the personal devices of the consumers(Wilson, Boe, Sala, Puttaswamy, & Zhao, 2009). Then too there is seen to be scarcity of social media research if considered from the information behaviourperspective.

Online social networks(OSNs) are quite popular these days; rather 10% of the total time spent on internet is on the social networking along with the blogging account. OSNs are used for connecting with each other, finding right content, sharing information and thus disseminating the information. There are various sites that help in providing social links, like in case of LinkedIn, MySpace,and Facebook etc. They provide a network ofprofessionals along with various contacts, whereas platforms like Flickr andYouTube act as networks that help in sharing of content(Benevenuto, Rodrugues, Cha, & Almeida, 2009). Since the traffic on these OSNs is huge it becomes all the more imperative to understand how the users are behaving in case they connect through these platforms. Firstly studying the information behaviour of the users on social networks will allow in evaluating the performance of existing systems, thus will help in improving the site design in better manner as well as helps in developing advertisementdesigning policies. Secondly finding accurate models of userbehaviour regarding information sharing on OSNs is very vital in the field of social study and helps in viral marketing. Thirdly it will help in analysing how the social networks' workload is helping in redefining the Internet traffic as it isvaluable in helping us to create the next generation Internet infrastructure as well as content distributions systems. That is why this topic has been chosen for conducting literature review.Nicely explained

1.1What is information behaviour?

Information behaviour is the arena that covers a wider range of the behaviour of the users in connection with the information systems as well as information that also covers the areas like information need generation, resulting in creation of information, information seeking, sharing, encountering, assessment, management, giving as well as using. Thus information behaviour and its wide range of aspects are analysed in context with variedtypes of tasks at work, or in everyday life or in the play environments. All these perspectives of the information behaviour researched in relation to the social media usage. On the other hand Social media is considered to be a broad concept, that includes a wide range of internet applications, that provide strong support to social communication between people(whetherit'sso direct or indirect, of be it synchronous or non-synchronous). Thus it mainly focuses on:

  • Various types of interactions between the users ( that is a dialogue or a conversation)
  • Creating onlinerelationships and communities (Turban, King, & Lang, 2011).
  • User generated content

These social media platforms helps in various types of social interactions, that are being mediated as well as captured through Internet applications that also covers the mobile applications. The online communities that thus, come up show collaborative as well as socialinformation behaviour that is researched by scholars. Social media can also be defined as the user-generated content that arises because of the online social interaction. Some of the researchers have called it as : consumer generated media' or (CGM) (Blackshaw & Nazzaro, 2004) because it illustrates various types of new resources of online information that are being developed , initiated , circulated as well as used by consumers who mainly intend to inform and educate each other regarding the products , personalities, brands, as well as issues. The usergenerated content thus depicts informationbehaviour and also contains important information that can be searched by the users and they can browse along with consuming it. Six types of social media that has been identifiedby Kaplanand Haenlein(2010) are:

  • Social networking sites ( For example Facebook)
  • Blogs & microblogs ( for example , Twitter etc.) they support online journalism
  • Content communities ( for example YouTube , Flickr) they support content as well as virtual file sharing
  • Collaborative projects (for example Wikipedia) they support collaborate authoring.
  • Virtual game worlds ( for example the World ofwarcraft)
  • Virtual Social worlds ( for example Second Life)(Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010)

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