May 26, 2022

Research Article: Undergraduates’ Use of Social Media as Information Sources (Preprint)

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)


Kyung-Sun Kim
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sei-Ching Joanna Sin
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

EunYoung Yoo-Lee
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.

Direct to Full Text Article (30 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.