August 15, 2020

Journal Article: “Almost in the Wild: Student Search Behaviors When Librarians Aren’t Looking”

The following research article appears in the current issue of The Journal of Academic Librarianship (open access).

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Almost in the Wild: Student Search Behaviors When Librarians Aren’t Looking

Authors

Sarah P.C. Dahlen
California State University, Monterey Bay

Heather Haeger
California State University, Monterey Bay

Kathlene Hanson
California State University, Monterey Bay

Melissa Montellano
California State University, Monterey Bay

Source

The Journal of Academic Librarianship
Volume 46, Issue 1, January 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2019.102096

Abstract

Academic libraries offer a variety of tools for students to find information, including discovery systems and traditional library databases. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge on student information-seeking behaviors by comparing how upper-level students majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences use these two categories of search tools. Student search behavior and the use of search features, facets in particular, are quantified for each tool. The authors explore with statistical analyses whether these practices aid or hinder students in their search for high quality information. Qualitative data from student interviews is selectively employed to aid in explaining the results. Key findings include the differential use of search features in the discovery system versus the traditional database, and the relationships between the use of certain facets and the quality of sources chosen by students. Implications for instruction, search interface configuration, and default settings are discussed.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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