Exploring information experiences through phenomenography

Christine Yates, Helen Partridge, Christine Bruce


Phenomenography is a qualitative research approach that seeks to explore variation in how people experience various aspects of their world. Phenomenography has been used in numerous information research studies that have explored various phenomena of interest in the library and information sphere. This paper provides an overview of the phenomenographic method and discusses key assumptions that underlie this approach to research. Aspects including data collection, data analysis and the outcomes of phenomenographic research are also detailed. The paper concludes with an illustration of how phenomenography was used in research to investigate students’ experiences of web-based information searching. The results of this research demonstrate how the phenomenographic approach yields insights into variation, making it possible to develop greater understanding of the phenomenon as it was experienced, and to draw upon these experiences to improve and enhance current practice.


phenomenography; qualitative research;

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