Undergraduate students’ information search practices

Kleopatra Nikolopoulou, Vasilis Gialamas

Abstract


This paper investigates undergraduate students’ information search practices.The subjects were 250 undergraduate students from two university departments in Greece, and a questionnaire was used to document their search practices. The results showed that the Web was the primary information system searched in order to findinformation for university assignments, while the level of database searching was verylow. In particular, the search engine Google was used very frequently either foruniversity assignments or for personal purposes. Regarding students’ practices inevaluating Web‐based information, the top criteria reported were ‘relevance ofinformation’ and ‘easy to understand’. Students’ self‐efficacy concerning Web‐searchingwas found to be high and positively related to the variables ‘frequency of Web use’ and‘years of internet use’. Implications for students’ training are discussed. Students’ search behaviour needs to be expanded beyond the Web search engines, to include a wider range of information retrieval systems.

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