An analysis of natural disaster-related information-seeking behavior using temporal stages

Rahmi Rahmi, Hideo Joho, Tetsuya Shirai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Since natural disasters can affect many people over a vast area, studying information-seeking behavior (ISB) during disasters is of great importance. Many previous studies have relied on online social network data, providing insights into the ISB of those with Internet access. However, in a large-scale natural disaster such as the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, people in the most severely affected areas tended to have limited Internet access. Therefore, an alternative data source should be explored to investigate disaster-related ISB. This study's contributions are twofold. First, we provide a detailed description of natural disaster-related ISB of people who experienced a large-scale earthquake and tsunami, based on analysis of written testimonies published by local authorities. This provided insight into the relationship between information needs, channels, and sources of disaster-related ISB. Also, our approach facilitates the study of ISB of people without Internet access both during and after a disaster. Second, we provide empirical evidence to demonstrate that the temporal stages of a disaster can characterize people's ISB during the disaster. Therefore, we propose further consideration of the temporal aspects of events for improved understanding of disaster-related ISB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-728
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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