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Title: Using the World Wide Web as a source of research information : experience and perceptions of the web amongst re-searchers in the social sciences
Author: Robinson, Michael Robert Owen
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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This study examines researchers' behaviour, experience and perceptions concerning - their use of the Web as a source of research information. The study focuses on the extent to which researchers make use of the Web for finding research information, the way in which they approach the search task, and their perceptions of the reliability, trustworthiness and legitimacy of material retrieved from the Web, through in-depth interviews with a number of active social science researchers from Hong Kong's higher education institutions. The study concludes that researchers have incorporated reference to the Web into their typical information seeking behaviour, alongside the use of other resources such as electronic journals and full-text databases. However, the Web has not displaced library sponsored electronic resources to any significant degree, with researchers still depending on their availability for the compilation of literature reviews and other information gathering tasks. Researchers often adopt simplistic and somewhat spontaneous strategies to searching for information on the Web, and most researchers settle for a quick scan of only the highest ranked results from a search. Despite the relatively casual approach to searching for information, researchers nonetheless applied quite rigorous standards of critical evaluation to material which they discovered on the Web. Lacking the supposedly built-in assurances of quality of published peer reviewed literature, researchers sought other cues to determine the value of otherwise un cited material, and were to some extent hyper-critical in their attitudes towards the use of material from the Web, when compared with other sources. This study suggests that a number of opportunities exist for academic libraries to engage in the research process, in terms of training, product familiarization, and the organization and quality assurance of Web resources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available