The Big Six

  • Here are the six stages we call the BIG6. Two sub-stages are part of each main category in the Big6 model:


    1. Task Definition


    1.1 Define the information problem



    1.2 Identify information needed



    2. Information Seeking Strategies


    2.1 Determine all possible sources


    2.2 Select the best sources


    3. Location and Access


    3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)


    3.2 Find information within sources


    4. Use of Information


    4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)


    4.2 Extract relevant information



    5. Synthesis


    5.1 Organize from multiple sources


    5.2 Present the information


    6. Evaluation


    6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)


    6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)



    People go through these Big6 stages—consciously or not—when they seek or apply information to solve a problem or make a decision. It's not necessary to complete these stages in a linear order, and a given stage doesn't have to take a lot of time. We have found that almost all successful problem-solving situations address all stages.