Guided Inquiry – Articles

Kuhlthau, C. C, Heinstrom, J, & Todd, R. J. (2008). The information search process revisited: is the model still useful? IR Information Research, 13(4). Available at

This paper examines the continued usefulness of Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process as a model of information behavior in new, technologically rich information environments. It presents a comprehensive review of research that has explored the model in various settings, and documents a study employing qualitative and quantitative methods undertaken in the context of an inquiry project among school students (n=574). Students were surveyed at three stages of the information search process, during which nine feelings were identified and tracked. Findings show individual patterns, but confirm the Information Search Process as a valid model in the changing information environment for describing information behavior in tasks that require knowledge construction. The findings support the progression of feelings, thoughts and actions as suggested by the search process model. The paper concludes that the information search process model remains useful for explaining students’ information behavior. The model is found to have value as a research tool as well as for practical application.

Gordon, C. (1999). “Students as Authentic Researchers: A New Prescription for the High School Research Assignment.” School Library Media Research, (2) Available at:

This study describes a qualitative action research study that investigated the effectiveness of an assignment for tenth graders that required primary research methods and an essay. Topics include authentic research; constructivist theory of learning; performance-based assessment; student journals; peer editing; teacher-librarian collaboration; and student and teacher responses. Their progress is tracked using the Information Search Process to identify higher order thinking.