May 21, 2022

New Report From OCLC Research: “The Many Faces of Digital Visitors and Residents: Facets of Online Engagement”

From the OCLC Research Website:

oclc_r_12_4_17The Many Faces of Digital Visitors and Residents: Facets of Online Engagement continues the work of the Digital Visitors and Residents project, which included the development of a mapping tool to help participants identify which technology they use as visitors (i.e., access to complete a certain task and then leave without a digital trace) or as residents (i.e., express themselves, interact with others, and establish personas that persist beyond active engagement). Using these maps, semi-structured individual interviews, diaries, and online surveys, the researchers analyzed the technology engagement of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy at a range of educational institutions.


The Digital Visitors and Residents (V&R) project is a collaboration between OCLC and the University of Oxford, in partnership with the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, with funding from JISC.

The report was written by:

Lynn Silipigni Connaway
OCLC Research

Vanessa Kitzie
University of South Carolina

Erin M. Hood
OCLC Research

William Harvey
OCLC Research

Key Findings

  • Humans are a valued source of information.
  • Convenience is a priority when making decisions about what tools and sources to use.
  • Context and situation influence behavior and decision making.
  • Participants report extensive use of search engines, especially Google, and take them for granted.
  • Wikipedia is used by individuals in all educational stages to familiarize themselves with a subject or topic but often not cited or mentioned in references.
  • Library sources are used but not recognized or attributed to the library.

Direct to Full Text Report
78 pages; PDF.

See Also:  New infokit Details Information About Findings and Outputs from Visitors and Residents Project (March 24, 2014)

See Also:  New Research Shows Convenience Is a Key Factor Information-Seeking Behavior (March 20, 2013)

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.