The Information Seeking Behavior of Private Investigators: A Study of Investigators in North Carolina and Georgia Public Deposited

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  • February 28, 2019
  • Schefcick, Patricia E.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • The information seeking behavior and skills of the private investigator are typical of many other information professionals, but the high risk information (HRI) they deal with, and the particular skills needed to work with and find this particular type of information, especially in regards to today's information privacy concerns, make this group an ideal subject for study. For this study, four private investigative agencies were observed and/or interviewed in North Carolina and Georgia. The purpose of this research is twofold: 1) to discover what information seeking strategies are used by private investigators, and 2) to understand which barriers affect their search process. Results indicate that private investigators rely heavily on fee-based databases to save time during an investigation and save the client money. They must also be excellent communicators, as a large portion of their time is spent on the phone and conducting investigative interviews. Results also show that unlike with other information professional groups, deception plays a larger role in the work of the private investigator.
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  • In Copyright
  • Gollop, Claudia
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 62 p.
  • Open access

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