Can you feel it? The information behaviour of creative DJs

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Purpose: This paper investigates the information behaviour of creative DJs, a group previously not considered from the perspective of information studies. The practice of DJing is a musically creative process, where a performance can draw on a vast range of music to create a unique listening and dancing experience. The authors study what are the information behaviour processes involved in creative DJing and what roles embodied information play in DJing practice. Design/methodology/approach: From a set of semi-structured interviews with 12 experienced DJs in Scotland, UK, that were subjected to inductive thematic analysis, the authors present a model of how DJs undergo the process of planning, performing and evaluating a DJ performance. Findings: From this study, a model of creative DJs’ information behaviour is presented. This three-stage model describes the information behaviours and critical factors that influence DJs’ planning, decision-making and verification during the pre-performance, performance and post-performance stages, with particular emphasis on DJs’ performances as a rich site of embodied information interactions. Originality/value: This research provides insight into a new activity in information behaviour, particularly in the use of embodied information, and presents a model for the information behaviour of creative DJs. This opens the way for future studies to consider minorities within the activity, the audience as opposed to the performer, as well as other creative activities where physicality and performance are central.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-846
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number4
Early online date5 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023


  • creative industry
  • creativity
  • performance
  • DJs
  • embodied interaction
  • corporeal information
  • information behaviour


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