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How college students seek information in the digital age

How college students seek information in the digital age is a report of findings from 2318 US students, surveyed in spring 2009 that seeks to understand how students search for information and approach research-type activities.
How college students seek information in the digital age [42 page PDF]
BY ALISON J. HEAD, PH.D. AND MICHAEL B. EISENBERG, PH.D.
PROJECT INFORMATION LITERACY PROGRESS REPORT
DECEMBER 1, 2009
THE INFORMATION SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
RESEARCH SPONSORED BY A GIFT FROM PROQUEST
Abstract: A report of findings from 2,318 respondents to a survey carried out among college students on six campuses distributed across the U.S. in the spring of 2009, as part of Project Information Literacy. Respondents, while curious in the beginning stages of research, employed a consistent and predictable research strategy for finding information, whether they were conducting course-related or everyday life research. Almost all of the respondents turned to the same set of tried and true information resources in the initial stages of research, regardless of their information goals. Almost all students used course readings and Google first for course-related research and Google and Wikipedia for everyday life research. Most students used library resources, especially scholarly databases for course-related research and far fewer, in comparison, used library services that required interacting with librarians. The findings suggest that students conceptualize research, especially tasks associated with seeking information, as a competency learned by rote, rather than as an opportunity to learn, develop, or expand upon an information-gathering strategy which leverages the wide range of resources available to them in the digital age.”
This is the must-read report of the year for academic libraries.
Stephen

Posted on: December 21, 2009, 2:34 pm Category: Uncategorized