INTRODUCTION: Intermediary and proxy searching, where one person searches on behalf of another, are noted in information science, health sciences and library science (e.g., reference work and early day online searching), professional workplace practices (e.g., lawyers, nurses) and everyday life contexts (e.g., caregivers). It is also observed within the competitive intelligence process, which involves collecting intelligence data from business environments on behalf of senior management and clients. Many problems occur in competitive intelligence intermediary information seeking that might be addressed by examining interdisciplinary contexts.
METHOD: Literature searches were conducted in key library and information science, health science and law databases. A total of 136 publications were manually selected and analysed for a scoping literature review.
ANALYSIS: Thematic analysis was applied.
RESULTS: Challenges emerging from the thematic analysis are disaggregated into facets of intermediary information seeking (e.g., skills in question negotiation and information needs assessment, search heuristics and knowledge of information infrastructures).
CONCLUSION: Systematised intermediary practices (e.g., application of appropriate question negotiation techniques, expanded knowledge of information infrastructures and landscapes, competitive intelligence domain knowledge and communication) can enhance intermediary information seeking, and should be investigated in competitive intelligence.