Students’ attitudes towards web search engines: increasing appreciation of sophisticated search strategies.
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MARTZOUKOU, K., 2008. Students’ attitudes towards web search engines: increasing appreciation of sophisticated search strategies. Libri, 58 (3), pp. 182-201.
Web search engines have developed into widely used services and essential tools for finding Web-based information. Research has found that although users typically follow ‘unsophisticated’ information-seeking patterns, they appear to be satisfied with the performance of search engines and themselves as information seekers. This paper argues that the development of information literacy skills in the context of Web search engines requires deeper understanding of the reasons underlying already established behavioural patterns. The study explored the information-seeking behaviour of sixty-six postgraduate students and examined user satisfaction through the perceptions of students about themselves as information seekers. It was found that the students were experienced Web searchers but they shared less appreciation for the value of more complex strategies in the Web environment. Although they were aware of the limitations of their information-seeking behaviour they had minimal motivation to change habitual behavioural patterns. The paper concludes that there is a need to place less emphasis on developing ‘optimal’ search skills through information literacy instruction and focus on increasing motivation and appreciation of more complex search strategies.