1. Introduction



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Information Seeking: Knowledge management, including information exchange is a common motive for using online services. According to Papacharissi and Rubin (2000), information seeking is the most salient use of the Internet. This is especially true for virtual communities, with online users stating that the main reason they visit them is the opportunity to exchange information (Ridings and Gefen, 2004). A more recent study has found that information seeking is a motive for using SNS too, as users regard social relationships as useful sources for information . This is in agreement with other studies suggesting that information seeking is one of the four gratifications derived from using SNS (Ku et al., 2013). There is also evidence that when employees perceive SNS useful for knowledge exchange, their intention to seek information on SNS for work-related purposes is higher (Behringer and Sassenberg, 2015).

SNS are used for information dissemination in academia too (Lupton, 2014; Menendez et al., 2012). More specifically, many academics use SNS in order to keep in touch with new developments and events and provide access to new or unpublished articles in their research field (Lupton, 2014). Also, it is not uncommon for academics to use SNS like Academia.edu in order to provide personal and contact information (Menendez et al., 2012). Thus, SNS and online technologies in general can be used as sources for information within academic community.



H3: Academics' need to seek information positively affects their attitude towards using SNS/other online technologies for academic engagement.

Networking: Studies about the use of online communities have shown that many of the ways that people use to communicate during face-to-face interactions are replicated in online environments, with online members seeking social support or friendships by joining an online community (Maloney-Krichmar and Preece, 2005; Ridings and Gefen, 2004). Not surprisingly, one of the main uses of SNS is networking in the form of maintaining old ties and creating new ones with peers that share the same interests (Foregger, 2008; Kim et al., 2011; Ku et al., 2013). Academics also use SNS for connecting and establishing networks and sometimes they even use SNS as platforms for multi-disciplinary collaborations (Gruzd et al., 2012; Jung and Wei, 2011; Lupton, 2014). We expect that:

H4: Academics’ need to maintain old contacts positively affects their attitude towards using SNS/other online technologies for academic engagement.

H5: Academics’ need to create new contacts positively affects their attitude towards using SNS/other online technologies for academic engagement.



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