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Public information needs during the COVID-19 outbreak: a qualitative study in mainland China

Public information needs during the COVID-19 outbreak: a qualitative study in mainland China The impact of COVID-19 has led to a surge in the public’s reliance on the Internet for pandemic information, and the policy of home isolation has exacerbated this. This study aimed to investigate public information needs and ways of accessing and disseminating information during COVID-19 in mainland China.Design/methodology/approachThis study used a qualitative research approach to conduct semi-structured interviews with 15 participants from 9 cities in mainland China about information needs and access behaviors during the COVID-19 outbreak. All interview recordings were converted into text and proofread, then coded and summarised in correspondence with the research questions using the grounded theory.FindingsThis study summarized the dynamics of public information needs during the 2.5-year pandemic and identified the difficulties in accessing certain information.Originality/valueAlthough information needs of public health emergencies have been a hot topic during COVID-19, scant studies focus on information needs in specific countries in Asia, especially in mainland China, the first country with a major outbreak and stringent lockdown mandates. Therefore, the current study is well enriched by focusing on information demand behavior in the context of COVID-19. Possible measures for improvement were also given to existing and potential problems, taking into account the participants’ views. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Hi Tech Emerald Publishing

Public information needs during the COVID-19 outbreak: a qualitative study in mainland China

Library Hi Tech , Volume 41 (1): 27 – Apr 18, 2023

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References (157)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0737-8831
DOI
10.1108/lht-08-2022-0398
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 has led to a surge in the public’s reliance on the Internet for pandemic information, and the policy of home isolation has exacerbated this. This study aimed to investigate public information needs and ways of accessing and disseminating information during COVID-19 in mainland China.Design/methodology/approachThis study used a qualitative research approach to conduct semi-structured interviews with 15 participants from 9 cities in mainland China about information needs and access behaviors during the COVID-19 outbreak. All interview recordings were converted into text and proofread, then coded and summarised in correspondence with the research questions using the grounded theory.FindingsThis study summarized the dynamics of public information needs during the 2.5-year pandemic and identified the difficulties in accessing certain information.Originality/valueAlthough information needs of public health emergencies have been a hot topic during COVID-19, scant studies focus on information needs in specific countries in Asia, especially in mainland China, the first country with a major outbreak and stringent lockdown mandates. Therefore, the current study is well enriched by focusing on information demand behavior in the context of COVID-19. Possible measures for improvement were also given to existing and potential problems, taking into account the participants’ views.

Journal

Library Hi TechEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 18, 2023

Keywords: information needs; Information access; COVID-19; Public health emergencies; Information behaviour; Home quarantine; Home isolation; Mainland China

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