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Beyond Google: how do students conduct academic research?
Abstract This paper reports findings from an explorThis paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting course–related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors’ expectations for quality research.essors’ expectations for quality research.
Added by wikilit team No but verified  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-sectional  +
Conclusion This study explored assumptions about how This study explored assumptions about how students, majoring in humanities and social sciences, used the Internet for course–related research. Our data revealed the student research process is more complex than a Google search and a scant perusal of a results page, as some research has suggested. A majority of students do not understand what quality research resources are and how to locate them. As a result, students seek a balanced approach to course–related research, leveraging both online and offline resources. We found students: (1) accessed convenient, vetted, and aggregated online resources from course readings and the campus library Web site, (2) to a lesser extent, used Internet sites, such as Yahoo!, Google, and Wikipedia, and (3) worked with professors or librarians one–on–one to narrow down searches and clarify expectations for assignments. Whether these findings hold with students from other campuses is unclear. Further research needs to be conducted on campuses with different study populations. Nevertheless, data presented in this paper may help inform discussion about students’ competencies for locating, selecting, evaluating and using information — competencies developed over time and essential for lifelong learning [3]. Recommendations We offer three recommendations, based on our findings, for improving the student research process in a digital age: Research assignment handouts disseminated to students should include details about expectations for conducting quality research, including the use of the Internet. Professors and librarians should recognize students’ needs for individualized coaching, so that students’ abilities to find, select, and evaluate resources may be improved. Above all, the value of “high touch” interactions (human–mediated) with students in addition to “high tech” interactions (computer–mediated) should not be–mediated) should not be underestimated.
Data source Survey responses  +
Dates 6 August +
Google scholar url  +
Has author Alison J. Head +
Has domain Education + , Library science +
Has topic Cross-domain student readership +
Issue 8  +
Month August  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in First Monday +
Research design Content analysis  + , Statistical analysis  +
Research questions We studied three primary areas of the studWe studied three primary areas of the student research process: (1) How do students define and conceptualize the research process? (2) How do students conduct research tasks (i.e., where do they look for materials, how much time do they spend, and how do they determine quality during the evaluation of resources)? (3) What barriers and obstacles do students encounter while conducting course–related research? while conducting course–related research?
Revid 10,682  +
Theories Undetermined
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?
Unit of analysis User  +
Url  +
Volume 12  +
Wikipedia coverage Other  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2007  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 May 2012 21:45:47  +
Categories Cross-domain student readership  + , Education  + , Library science  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications with references  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:20:52  +
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