The use of online information sources in most professions is widespread, and well researched. Less understood is how the use of these sources vary across the strata within a single profession, and how question context affects search behaviour. Using the dental profession as a case of a highly stratified discipline, we examine search preferences for sources by professional strata among dentists in a practice-based network. Results show that variation exists in information search behaviour across professional strata of dental clinicians. This study highlights the importance of addressing information literacy across different levels of a profession. Findings also underscore that search behaviour and source preference vary with perceived question relevance.
Keywords: Dentistry; information literacy; information preferences; online sources; professional stratification.