Masters Dissertation Project

Inform to Perform: exploring how amateur athletes use information to support sporting goals.

Despite popular participation in sport, as athletes or fans, and the diverse and growing volume of sporting information generated there is little evidence that library and information science (LIS) has given sport much consideration as an information domain. This study conducts some exploratory research in this area.

Adopting a socio-cognitive perspective on athlete information seeking and use, the study uses the information communication chain to unify information behaviour and domain analysis conceptual models in an empirical user study of serious leisure activity. This pathfinder study aims to survey amateur runners, cyclists and triathletes to collect evidence on the type of information resources used by amateur athletes to support their sporting goals.

The study will help understand information needs within this domain and demonstrate the applicability of some core LIS conceptual models by applying them within a new context. It will add to the existing information behaviour evidence base and could prompt further comparative studies. The research could also identify information science paradigms that could contribute to the interdisciplinary study of sport informatics, currently seen as a collaboration between computer and sport science. Beyond academia, the results may also be of interest to library and information centre professionals or those involved in the governance and practice of athletic training who provide services to meet the information needs of athletes.