Researching students’ “information literacy” (Part I)

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[This is a translation of a blog post on the UBiT2010 blog. The report referred to is in Norwegian.]

“Den som søker finner” [Seek and you shall find] is the title of a report from Sentio Research Norway; it describes a survey carried out in February/March 2010 at the request of Project UBiT2010. The report is open and available from NTNU Library.

The report is a qualitative analysis of how students and researchers find information and literature on the Net.
We note among other things that students who are beginning their career rely on obligatory course readings and often begin with references and concrete suggestions when they search using Google. BIBSYS (OPAC for the Norwegian collaborative LibMS) is too complicated in use and produces a lot of noise; at the same time, students see the library as standing for quality and “safe” information. Google has a “cleaner” interface. The way that Google/Google Scholar and library resources are connected together is seen as a valuable asset.

As students progress and gain more scholarly proficiency, they become more at ease in their search for information; they use technology more consciously and have more entry points to information and a greater repertoire. Google and Google Scholar are still preferred over reference and scholarly databases.

Students use the library’s books to a greater extent than PhD students and researchers, who often choose to buy key works. Use of journals follows the reverse trend. If users do not fint the full text articles they want in the library’s portfolio, they use their professional network to get the information in another way. Ordering articles takes time, and paying for them is seen as unacceptable.

The library is not the preferred place to start searching for information or a relevant portal for scholarly resources.

These are a selection of the results from the report. Read it yourself and find out more!

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