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Information Seeking Compass

Guide to help with your information searching

Stages of information seeking

Hey, are you looking for reliable information in your field? Take the compass of information seeking for your use. You are welcome to discover your possibilities.

illustration: 8 steps of information seeking process

Information seeking as a process

  1. For a start, consider what is your information need
  2. Explore your topic (think up and outline)
  3. Focus your search (familiarize and zoom in)
  4. Refine your topic (frame and set limiters)
  5. Collect information (search, locate and select)
  6. Use found information (summarize, write and  innovate)
  7. Share your knowledge (refer, upgrade and  network)
  8. Ask for more and contact the Library!

Information seeking as a task

Your topic and information need are steering when you start looking for information. Often it can be a just quick check of a familiar source if, for example, you need to check where and when is your next group meeting.

In a wide perspective, information seeking needs to be planned, for example, in order to find reliable sources for a learning assignment or a thesis. In that case, you can follow the steps described by the information seeking compass. These steps doesn't always go linearly or even in a cycle from start to end. It might be that you even need to go back in steps when you find interesting clues that you want to follow!

Whit this information seeking compass, we model the journey of the finding reliable information in the midst of various information sources. At the same time, you will learn to assessment the every step of the information seeking! Source criticism and evaluating of the reliability of information are part of this entity and therefore will be raised at the beginning.


How to start?

A quick guide to information sources

  1. Are you looking for information on books either in print or electronic?

Go to the Janet Finna database to search!

  1. Wondering how do you find a course book and check its availability?

Search Janet Finna for a book either by author, title or combination thereof. See the Holdings information to find out in which campus library the book is available, and check the Shelf where it is placed (shelf number and the word after that).

  1. Looking for scientific articles but don't know where to search?

Do a quick search with Janet Finna's International Articles Search, and then select the Source (database) from which you continue to progress. You can also find Finnish scientific articles of in Janet Finna. Narrow your search results to full-texts and use the Content type 'article'.

  1. Do you want to check if a certain journal or periodical can be found in Jamk library either in print or electronic?

Go to the Janet Finna database, search by journal's name and select 'Title' or select Browse > Journals and articles to find international journals.

  1. Looking for a specific article?

See if you can find the journal in the Jamk library (point 4) or enter the title of the article in Janet Finna's search for international articles (point 3). The article could also be online free to read > use Google Scholar search and add: Settings > Library links > Type: jamk > Select all Jamk library links > Save. This will also allow you to access texts in Jamk library databases when you are logged in to Janet Finna.


Assessment belongs to every stage of the process. This figure reminds of assessment and evaluation in the different situations.

kompassineula, jossa numerointi 1-8

About the guide

Maintenance: Jamk Library
information specialist Arja Kunnela

Library website

Ask from the specialist!

kuvituskuva: asiantuntijahahmo

Creative Commons -lisenssi
Information Seeking compass is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) -license.