Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the information-seeking behavior of Egyptian parents of autistic children. Design/methodology/approach The study sample consists of 61 parents across Egypt, divided into six focus groups, as equal as possible, to represent Northern, Middle and Southern Egypt. Findings Dmographically, of the 61 parents, 32 (52.5%) were fathers, and 29 (47.5%) were mothers. A large number of parents' ages ranged from 31 to 45 years old. The highest percentage of them was holding a BA, followed by a high school/diploma, and the highest percentage was found to be married. The parents of autistic children followed many methods and channels to obtain supportive information related to their children's disease. They used many types of information, which varied between formal and informal sources. While just over a quarter of Egyptian parents prefer to use formal sources (books, newspapers, magazines, health publications, pamphlets, as well as specialized libraries), more than three-quarters of them used informal sources, such as mobile/smartphones, the Web, social media and social networking sites. The information related to the search for institutions supporting autistic people came in the first place, then that information related to searching for specialized centers in treating autistic children, then information related to rehabilitation, integration and psychological support centers for these children and then information related to the search for financial aid provided by charitable or even government agencies. Some parents were found to have limited awareness of their children's treatment mechanism, as some of them do not consider the need to treat their children in a systematic, continuous, and systematic manner. Similarly, the lack of basic services and shortage of government centers specializing in the treatment of these children. Parents also emphasized the lack of government support, as well as the lack of curative research centers. Some also pointed out that there was a shortage of workshops for the rehabilitation of their children and themselves as well. Originality/value This research is considered to be the first research of its kind at the local and Arab levels, which is also one of the few studies at the regional level that is interested in this community of information seekers. The findings of this research can raise awareness about the information behavior of Egyptian parents of autistic children among those who are interested in the role of the information and its use by specific groups of the information society, as well as decision makers. Peer review The peer review history for this article is available at:


Authors

Mansour, Essam

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  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter
    2021/04/06

    06-Apr-2021

    Dear Mansour, Essam

    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript OIR-11-2020-0494.R1, entitled "The information-seeking behaviour of Egyptian parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A descriptive study" in its current form for publication in Online Information Review. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

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    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report
    2021/03/11

    I read the additions and corrections made by the author and find it adequate and satisfactory.
    I believe the paper now is much more comprehensive and interesting
    I can fully recommend on publishing it.

    Reviewed by
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    Author Response
    2021/02/09

    Dear Dr. Browne
    I am pleased to respond to your request for necessary corrections to my research. I would like to inform you that I have made all the suggestions made by the two reviewers (in red) regarding the amendment of the title, literature, findings, discussion, and recommendations, as well as adding a 'conceptual framework' section to the study and some new references. I also added 7 graphs/illustrations to highlight the work further. I also revised the entire paper with the aim of improving it. I think the paper in its new shape is better than before.
    My greetings
    Prof. Dr. Essam Mansour

    Author response by


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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter
    2021/02/05

    &PHPSESSID05-Feb-2021;

    Dear Prof. Mansour,

    Manuscript ID OIR-11-2020-0494 entitled "The information-seeking behaviour of Egyptian parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)" which you submitted to Online Information Review has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewers have recommended that you make major revisions to your manuscript prior to it being considered for publication. The editors concur.

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    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review. I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,

    Prof. Kalpana Shankar
    kalpana.shankar@ucd.ie

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    Comments:
    Thank you for revealing such an important issue to the readers. Try to think using the demographic data to analyze the answers on Q2 3 and 4.
    Good luck

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The study makes a unique point of view on information seeking behavior. The fact that it is conducted in Egypt makes it very interesting.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The literature in the field of Autistics information behavior looks massive enough. More sources on information seeking behavior theories is needed.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The methodology seems fine but i would prefer the results should be analyzed in the light of a theoretical framework (of information seeking behavior, for example) rather then a descriptive one.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: There is no relation between the interesting demographic data to the other research questions. it would be very interesting for the readers to have demographic perspectives of the interviews. I would suggest analyze Q 2 3 and especially 4 in light of the demographic data on Q1.
    Also present the results in a more graphic / visual table aids, to make it clear and visible.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The data representation and discussion is very descriptive. The addition of the quotes makes it easier to read and understand.
    It would make it more coherent if the author could engage the literature sources in a more critically way, as of "for and against" the study results.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: The study reveals an interesting point of view from a very unique population.

    After reading the paper i am still not sure what information the parents are looking for. The author should consider specifying this fact to the reader

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: There is a need to clarify and define formal VS informal information sources. To write “such as mobile/smartphones, the Web,” is very general. One can find very accurate and formal inf sources on the Web through mobile/smartphones.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no.All peer review content displayed here will be covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Major Revision

    Comments:
    I think your choice of research topic is exciting. It helped us to understand the population of children with autism better. I hope you will persevere with this research and help children with autism better search for health information.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: The selection of topics for the study is fascinating. However, it needs further strengthening in the process of research design. The study is not based on any existing theory and lacks theoretical research contributions.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: The number of references is too small. The references contain much online literature, and the authors do not refer to high-level journal literature. The references are not in the correct format.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: The article is not based on any classical theory. The research design part of the item is not well written. The study also did not extend or add to any existing studies.

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: The data analysis methods used in the article are too simple, and only descriptive statistical analysis of the data is performed. The data analysis section is poorly written and does not elaborate on how to conduct data analysis.

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: The discussion section is well written and can be compared with existing studies to show the extensions and differences.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: This article is essential for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to better search for health information. It may help other researchers to understand better the population of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: The writer can state his or her meaning in clear terms.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no.All peer review content displayed here will be covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report
    2021/02/01

    I think your choice of research topic is exciting. It helped us to understand the population of children with autism better. I hope you will persevere with this research and help children with autism better search for health information.

    Reviewed by
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    Reviewer report
    2020/12/20

    Thank you for revealing such an important issue to the readers. Try to think using the demographic data to analyze the answers on Q2 3 and 4.
    Good luck

    Reviewed by
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