The following article (preprint) was accepted for publication on February 1, 2013. It is currently scheduled for publication in the July 2014 issue of College and Research Libraries.
Undergraduates’ Use of Social Media as Information Sources (Preprint)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sei-Ching Joanna Sin
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
North Carolina State University
College and Research Libraries
Social media have become increasingly popular among different user groups. Although used for social purposes, some social media platforms (e.g., Wikipedia) have been emerging as important information sources. Focusing on undergraduate students, a survey was conducted to investigate the following: (1) which social media platforms are used as information sources, (2) what are the main reasons for using these social media platforms for information seeking, and (3) what kinds of actions are taken to evaluate the quality of the information gained from such sources. The study provides a snapshot of current trends in terms of the use of social media as information sources. It also sheds lights on the actions that the undergraduate students took to evaluate information from social media, including social networking and video sharing sites that have rarely been studied previously. Based on the findings, suggestions are made for information literacy programs and roles of librarians and educators.
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