Framtidas forskere. En samling sitater
I foredraget gjennomgår jeg, og kommenterer, de viktigste empiriske resultatene fra den sentrale britiske rapporten Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future. Rapporten, som ble lansert av det britiske nasjonalbibliotek i januar 2008, er et godt eksempel på kunnskapsbasert bibliotekpraksis
- are younger than the microcomputer,
- are more comfortable working on a keyboard than writing in a spiral notebook, and
- are happier reading from a computer screen than from paper in hand.
Lesing – søking – livsstil
- Constant connectivity – being in touch with friends and family at any time and from any place – is of utmost importance.
- 89 percent of college students use search engines to begin an information search (while only 2 per cent start from a library web site)
- 93 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall experience of using a search engine (compared with 84 per cent for a librarian-assisted search)
- search engines fit college students’ life styles better than physical or online libraries and that fit is `almost perfect’
- college students still use the library, but they are using it less (and reading less) since they first began using internet research tools
- books’ are still the primary library brand association for this group, despite massive investment in digital resources, of which students are largely unfamiliar
- … it would be a mistake to believe that it is only students’ information seeking that has been fundamentally shaped by massive digital choice, unbelievable (24/7) access to scholarly material, disintermediation, and hugely powerful and influential search engines.
- The same has happened to professors, lecturers and practitioners. Everyone exhibits a bouncing /flicking behaviour, which sees them searching horizontally rather than vertically. Power browsing and viewing is the norm for all.
Søking og lesing på nettet
- Horizontal information seeking. A form of skimming activity, where people view just one or two pages from an academic site and then `bounce’ out, perhaps never to return. The figures are instructive: around 60 per cent of e-journal users view no more than three pages and a majority (up to 65 per cent) never return.
- Navigation. People in virtual libraries spend a lot of time simply finding their way around: in fact they spend as much time finding their bearings as actually viewing what they find.
- Viewers. The average times that users spend on e-book and ejournal sites are very short: typically four and eight minutes respectively. It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signs that new forms of `reading’ are emerging as users `power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.
- Squirreling behaviour. Academic users have strong consumer instincts and research shows that they will squirrel away content in the
form of downloads, especially when there are free offers. In spite of this behaviour and the very short session times that we witness, there is no evidence as to the extent to which these downloads are actually read.
- Diverse information seekers. Log analysis reveals that user behaviour is very diverse:
geographical location, gender, type of university and status are all powerful consumer demographics. One size does not fit all.
- Checking information seekers. Users assess authority and trust for themselves in a matter of seconds by dipping and cross-checking across different sites and by relying on favoured brands (e.g. Google).
- Confidence level: very high
Barn og ungdom på nettet
- the information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems
- internet research shows that the speed of young people’s web searching means that little time is spent in evaluating information, either for relevance, accuracy or authority
- young people have a poor understanding of their information needs and thus find it difficult to develop effective search strategies
- as a result, they exhibit a strong preference for expressing themselves in natural language rather than analysing which key words might be more effective
- faced with a long list of search hits, young people find it difficult to assess the relevance of the materials presented and often print off pages with no more than a perfunctory glance at them
- young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers
- as a result, the search engine, be that Yahoo or Google, becomes the primary brand that they associate with the internet
- many young people do not find library-sponsored resources intuitive and therefore prefer to use Google or Yahoo instead: these offer a familiar, if simplistic solution, for their study needs
- Confidence level: very high
Alder og informasjonsatferd (diagram)
Bilder av verden (mental maps)
- Studentene forstår ikke bibliotekets struktur. Students usually approach their research without regard to the library’s structure or the way that library segments different resources into different areas of its web site.
- Bibliotekene forstår ikke brukernes verdensbilde. Library web sites often reflect an organizational view of the library … they do not do a particularly good job of aggregating content on a particular subject area.
- Children (especially) tend to make very narrow relevance judgements by considering the presence or absence of words exactly describing the search topic: as a result they miss many relevant documents and end up repeating searches. Information seeking tends to stop at
the point at which articles are found and printed, especially for younger users, with little regard to the document content.
- There is very little evidence of generational shifts in the literature: that Google generation youngsters are fundamentally `different’ from what went before. This is of course difficult to interpret: there are no longitudinal studies to show one way or the other.
Nye kulturelle klasseskiller
- the US experience is worth noting. There are two particularly powerful messages emerging from recent research.
- When the top and bottom quartiles of students – as defined by their information literacy skills – are compared, it emerges that the top quartile report a much higher incidence of exposure to basic library skills from their parents, in the school library, classroom or public library in their earlier years. It seems that a new divide is opening up in the US, with the better-equipped students taking the prizes of better grades.
- At the lower end of the information skills spectrum, the research finds that intervention at university age is too late: these students have already developed an ingrained coping behaviour: they have learned to `get by’ with Google.
Yngre enn microcomputer ….
For moro skyld har jeg også laget en norsk utgave av denne teksten – ved å bruke Google Translate. Den åpner slik: De fleste studentene inn i våre høgskoler og universiteter i dag
1. er yngre enn microcomputer,
2. er mer behagelig å jobbe på et tastatur enn å skrive i en spiral notebook, og
3. er morsommere å lese fra en dataskjerm enn papir i hånden.