The information-seeking behaviour of Kuwaiti judges
What is it about?
The key purpose of this study is to show the information-seeking behaviour of Kuwaiti judges. Being one of the few studies about the information needs and information-seeking behaviour conducted in Arab and developing countries, this study is a pioneer one among many studies conducted in information seeking, especially with this significant group of information users. The authors tried to investigate this seeking behavior in terms of Kuwaiti judges’ thoughts, perceptions, motivations, techniques, preferences, tools and barriers met when seeking information. The authors employed a questionnaire, with a response rate of 77.2%. This study showed that most Kuwaiti judges were likely to be older, educated and with a work experience ranging from new to old. There was a statistically reliable significant difference between Kuwaiti judges’ demographic characteristics and some sources of information, such as books, encyclopedias, references and mass media. Kuwaiti judges were using information moderately to make decisions, to be in line with current events, to collect statistics and to do specific/general research. The office and home were the most frequent location from which Kuwaiti judges were accessing information. Their efficiency level in the English language was described to be moderately good, and a number of them confirmed that their efficiency level in French was not bad. The assistance provided by colleagues, followed by consultants, translators, secretaries and librarians were found to be the strongest types of assistance needed when seeking information. Mobile apps, followed by PCs, information networks (the Internet) and information databases were the highest technology tool used. Printed materials, followed by non-printed and audiovisual materials were the most preferred information formats used. The use of languages, the recency of information and the place of information, the deficit in the library’s role to deliver information were at least significant barriers to Kuwaiti judges when seeking information.
Why is it important?
This study is interested in a very significant group of information users/seekers – judges – that are largely neglected by many researchers and information professionals, especially in developing and Arab countries. Sharing Hainsworth’s (1992) view, the importance of this study is not just that it is the second one of its kind in the LIS discipline to study judges, but rather, in its potential to offer new factors to predict and understand judicial behaviour and to show some of their research processes. Thus, this study aims to shed light on issues related to judges in one of these countries, Kuwait, in terms of their thoughts, attitudes, ways, tools, preferences and barriers met by them when seeking information.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Essam Mansour and Dr Husain F Ghuloum
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