In some situations, you need information in order to solve a problem that has occurred. In information science, user needs are often described through very specific examples rather than through a classification of situation types in which information needs occur. Furthermore, information science often describes general human needs, typically with a reference to Maslow's classification of needs (1954), instead of actual information needs. Lexicography has also focused on information needs, but has developed a more abstract classification of types of information needs, though (until more recent research into lexicographical functions) with a particular interest in linguistic uncertainties and the lack of knowledge and skills in relation to one or several languages. In this article, we suggest a classification of information needs in which a tripartition has been made according to the different types of situations: communicative needs, cognitive needs, and operative needs. This is a classification that is relevant and useful in general in our modern information society and therefore also relevant for information science, including lexicography.
Information need; User situation; Communicative situation; Cognitive situation; Operative situation; Lexicography
Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice