The Internet’s ubiquitous nature has brought about a change in the way students look for information. Gone are the days of needing to physically step into a library to do research. It is common for students to use a computer to access the Internet for information needs. According to Jones (2002), “One-fifth (20%) of today’s college students began using computers between the ages of 5 to 8. By the time they were 16 to 18 years old, all of today’s current college students had begun using computers – and the Internet was a commonplace in the world in which they lived” (p. 2).
Our researchseeks to confirm ESU graduate students’ preference for using Google over library databases when performing scholarly research on the Internet. And, also we explore why graduate students are turning to Google for their Internet seeking needs.
Students have grown accustomed to having immediate information available by accessing the Internet. Students use search engines to navigate the Internet and find relevant information. Google is one such search engine. Google is known for its simple search box and ease of use. Students can enter a search term and get immediate results
Libraries also use the Internet for information retrieval; although, the environment is different than Google. Students accessing the library for information have to search a database, worry about whether or not a source will be available in full text, and wonder if they have time to request the item through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) if it is not available. Library databases are complicated to search, requiring the user to read a manual or help section, find a term in a thesaurus, and often know Boolean terms or other search specifics
Google is often the first place for students to begin searching for information on the Internet. In 2002, a study entitled, “How Students Search: Information Seeking and Electronic Resource Use”, important issues regarding students searching for information were raised. Students were given a questionnaire about where their first choice was to look for information. The results confirmed: sixty-four percent of those questioned used a search engine, forty-five percent specifically used Google, and only ten percent used the University OPAC (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2002). The issue presented by the results is, “students prefer to locate information or resources via a search engine above all other options, and Google is the search engine of choice” (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2002).
Google is the search engine of choice, but students may be unaware of other search engines. Cavus and Alpan (2010) revealed in their research that students can be unaware of other search engines, “In Near East University, Google is the most used search engine and Yahoo is the rarely used one but students generally have never heard of the rest of the search engines including Yahoo” (Results, Search Engine Usage of Students).
Connaway (2009) confirms that students will tend to use Google because they are part of the Net Gen who has grown up with technology and using the Google search engine as their information seeking tool (p. 2).
Google is preferred over library databases for its ease of use. Library databases are seen as complicated to use. Haglund and Olsson (2008) found that researchers tended to rely on Google because it was easy and the library was viewed as difficult to use. (p. 52) Students use Google because it provides information that is immediately available. Google provides information that is a click away. Students have been raised in a digital environment and are used to immediate access to information. Haglund and Olsson (2008) went on to expose disadvantages of library databases. They revealed a reliance on Google because of time and money: Several of the researchers describe themselves as "lazy," alluding to the fact that they do not bother to get a journal article if it is unavailable in electronic form. This is primarily because they have become so used to information being just "a click away," not because it takes too long to get the printed version (by going to the library to make a photocopy, or order a photocopy from the library, or as interlibrary loan), even though this is sometimes considered complicated. Some researchers claim that they avoid interlibrary requests of journal articles from "obscure" journals, since it is seldom worth the cost. (p. 56)
Students like the results provided by Google. Cavus and Alpan (2010) sought to explain students’ preference for Google over other search engines: “Most important criterion for users is number of retrieved correct results and also number of results is another important criterion, because user interface is another important criterion, homepage style and result page style is important as well” (Conclusion and Discussion).
This study demonstrates graduate student characteristics in the research process: they want search tools to find relevant results easily and efficiently, they do not take advantage of the extensive potential of library databases, and they do not use the library web site extensively or explore new resources.The authors stressed the importance that “librarians must understand how and if graduate students use library resources, as well as determine how they conduct research from idea conception to publication”
Most graduate students were inexperienced in using the library’s web site and databases; and also, they were indeterminate in how to select appropriate databases. His participants/OSU (Oregon State University) graduate students described their problems with conducting library research as “frustrations about library resources and frustrations about the process of using the library”
We did find an article that was similar to our research concept. It was posted in 2006, and it addressed the topic, “How do graduate students seek and obtain information, and what are the related issues?”The sample for this study was drawn from a population of graduate students. The data collection was 100 face to face interviews. Data analysis did prove that participants use the Internet for information seeking due to its availability and speed and currency. 73 percent of internet users use Google for their information seeking purposes, according to George, Bright, Hurlbert, Linke, St. Clair, and Stein; the researchers for this publication.
Our literature review examined students use or reliance on Google to find articles for classes when researching the Internet. We will likewise question why students use Google. We will determine if Google is used more or less than library database when searching the Internet. And then, we will briefly examine if Google is beneficial or detrimental to graduate student work, according to the graduate students.
The research questions led to a quantitative research paradigm. Bryman (2008) describes quantitative research as, “entailing the collection of numerical data, as exhibiting a view of the relationship between theory and research as deductive and predilection for a natural science approach (and of positivism in particular), and as having an objectivist conception of social reality” (p. 140).
Quantitative research is deductive because the theory or literature findings are hypothesized at the onset and then tested. “Theory and the hypothesis deduced from it come first and drive the process of gathering data” (Bryman, 2008, p. 9). In our study, we are setting forth to quantify how many and why graduate students at ESU prefer Google over library databases.
Our concept defined is preference of Google over library databases. Our indicators are time, ease of use, interface design, availability of full text documents, and generation age. Our quantitative research is concerned with causality. “Quantitative researchers are rarely concerned merely to describe how things are, but are keen to say why things are the way they are” (Bryman, 2008, p. 156).
Quantitative research takes a positivism epistemological position. “A particularly central issue in this context is the question of whether the social world can and should be studied according to the same principles, procedures, and ethos as the natural sciences” (Bryman, 2008, p. 13). Positivism asserts that methods of research which apply to the natural world are considered applicable to the social world
The social ontology of quantitative research is objectivism. Bryman (2008) defines objectivism as an, “ontological position that implies that social phenomena confront us as external facts that are beyond our reach or influence” (p. 18). We construct our quantitative research free of bias or control. Our survey will be administered by e-mail and without interaction between the researchers and graduate students.
Our study uses a quantitative framework because it hypothesizes that graduate students will answer a questionnaire stating that they use the Google search engine when researching for school assignments. We hope to determine a reliable and valid sample from graduate students at Emporia State University (ESU).Our research identifies the unit of analysis as the academic institution Emporia State University. More specifically, it is the population of graduate students attending a graduate program through ESU. The graduate students comprise all graduate departments.The sample procedure is a random sample because we are analyzing data from the amount of responses returned, and we have no way of knowing who will return the survey, and who will not. It is also improbable that we will receive survey responses from every student. This random sample is considered a probability sample, because it provides every graduate student equal opportunity to participate.
- Our study uses a quantitative framework, because it hypothesizes that graduate students will answer a questionnaire that they use the Google search engine when researching for school assignment. -We hope to determine a reliable and valid sample form graduate students at the ESU.
Our data will be collected from the population of 1600 graduate students. The survey will be sent to the students school e-mail account on March 3, 2012, and they will be asked to fill it out within a certain period of time. We will hope to have 300 responses in a three week timeframe, and will continue to collect data by extending the due date and sending reminder notices until at least 300 surveys have been returned. This self-administered web questionnaire will be created in the website http://app.fluidsurveys.com/account/ and will be attached as a link to the e-mail that is sent to the population. This approach is used to address the population in a format that they are comfortable using. By researching graduate students, it is assumed that they have an e-mail account and are comfortable with computers. This population may respond to an e-mail more readily than a postal questionnaire. This website has been used by the Student Chapter of the American Library Association, therefore it has been field tested by another organization. This website not only administers the data collection process, it also analyzes data into comprehensive results. Therefore this is a data collection and coding instrument to aid in the analysis procedure. This method of data collection is very unobtrusive, cost effective, and punctual. If this system were not in place, we would use a coding system that pre code the questionnaire, making it easier to analyze.
This is a screen shot of Fluidsurveys.com. Meike Carreira, who is the president of SCALA, stated, “I've also used surveymonkey in the past, but this Fluid Surveys site is even better. It makes absolutely every aspect easy. It also compiles my data in an easy-to-read and understand format. “ The website itself also boasts, “Generate beautiful charts and graphs, drill down for specific data and export everything into Excel, SPSS, Word, PowerPoint, or PDF!” Benjamin Howard creates the surveys for SCALA, and he prefers Fluidsurveys as well. He stated, “I looked at SurveyMonkey and decided to go with Fluid Surveys because it's free account allows me to ask more questions per survey and get more results than SurveyMonkey does. I've used Survey Monkey in the past and find the two options to be comparable in terms of ease of use, but prefer FluidSurveys because of the greater flexibility.”So, this screen shot shows what our imaginary results would look like.
In our research, there are several ethical issues that must be taken into consideration as an integral part of our research planning and implementation. We will use the graduate students at the Emporia State University (ESU) as participants. These ESU graduate students will answer a questionnaire. In order to do this following Howard’s guidance, we will seek approval from the MLS Program Director and the graduate department. We will also consider the guideline provided by the Institutional Review Board for Treatment of Human Subjects for our survey.The ethical issues in social research include 4 major principals: Cause harm to participants, Give participants enough data that they may be able to give informed consent, Refuse to invade participants’ privacy, Object to deception.
Applying these 4 principals, we will address,
Considering the field of quantitative approach, the size of sample in our research will be designed appropriately. We will collect at least 300 surveys which could be needed for the purpose of our study. Because, for example, if the sample is too large, a large number of participants may waste time, and it could cause harm to them. Some participants may experience stress because of the unnecessary survey. On the other hand, if the sample is too small, our study may not able to collect effective data.And, also, we will:….
Factors that may undermine the reliability, validity and objectivity of the data collection include the possibility of not having a large enough sample. We anticipate having 300 returned surveys. If there are less than 100 responses, and/or missing data in responses, there may not be enough data to generalize the findings. Another factor is reliability. If the self-administered questionnaire is given to a different college, and different results are found, the reliability of this study could be questioned. Thereforeour research is generalized to only ESU. Another factor is if the survey is Valid. Does the Survey represent the concept we are trying to research? The questionnaire is limited in its ability to express the populations’ attitude in the set responses for students to pick from. Therefore we used a Likert scale survey. The questionnaire uses multiple-indicator measures to express the populations’ attitudes in the set responses. In order to attempt to keep the survey objective, we opted for closed questions in a quantitative survey. We are also addressing objectivity by keeping human error of data coding and analyzing to a minimum by using a survey program that completes the work for us. External permission from the Emporia State University will be addressed, although seeking permission may be exempt if it is determined that the survey of public behavior is recorded in a fashion that does not identify subjects. We will need approval by the program director in order to send out the questionnaire. We will acquire permission from the MLS program director.
Our study will benefit librarians, information technology specialists, and database vendors by illuminating the trends that students are exhibiting when searching the Internet. And furthermore, it will be important to consider tools that students are familiar with and customize interfaces to match those preferences.
As our digital environment develops with bewildering rapidity, students’ information seeking behavior and their interests have changed. Students who approach the research process prefer to use Google rather than to employ library databases, mainly because of Google’s function: it is an easy and convenient information search tool. We will conduct quantitative research to: answer why questions through the quantification of relationships between concepts and indicators, allow generalization of our hypothesis to the population of graduate students at Emporia State University, and provide numerical data for replication.We will ensure the reliability, validity, objectivity, and replicability of our research findings by implementing several approaches: a field test; a large sample; Likert Scale questions; and allowance for human error. Our research methodology will provide facts which are vital to the development of information service in libraries.
Team 3 research proposal presentation
July 9, 2011 Emporia State University LI 810ATeam 3:Crystal Hutchinson, Kelli Doubledee, and Yumi Ohira
Why graduate students prefer Google over library databases when performing scholarly research on the Internet? Why graduates students are turning to Google for their Internet seeking needs?
1. Provides immediate access to Internet information.2. Used to navigate the Internet and find relevant information.3. Known for its simple search box and ease of use.
1. Viewed as difficult to use.2. Often have to search a database and worry if source will be available in full text or available through Interlibrary Loan.3. Often requires a user to read a manual or help section to know how to search.
Students prefer to locate information or resources via a search engine above all other options, and Google is the search engine of choice” (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2002). Results of 2002 study, “How Students Search: Information Seeking and Electronic Resource Use”: 64% used a search engine, 45% used Google, and only 10% used the University OPAC.
Google is search engine of choice and students may be unaware of other choices. Cavus and Alpan (2010) revealed in their research that students can be unaware of other search engines, “In Near East University, Google is the most used search engine and Yahoo is the rarely used one but students generally have never heard of the rest of the search engines including Yahoo” (Results, Search Engine Usage of Students).
Connaway (2009) confirms that students will tend to use Google because they are part of the Net Gen who has grown up with technology and using the Google search engine as their information seeking tool (p. 2).
Haglund and Olsson (2008) found that researchers tended to rely on Google because it was easy and the library was viewed as difficult to use. (p. 52) Students use Google because it provides information that is immediately available. Google provides information that is a click away. Students have been raised in a digital environment and are used to immediate access to information. Haglund and Olsson (2008) went on to expose disadvantages of library databases. They revealed a reliance on Google because of time and money.
Cavus and Alpan (2010) sought to explain students’ preference for Google over other search engines: “Most important criterion for users is number of retrieved correct results and also number of results because user interface is another important criterion, homepage style and result page style is important as well” (Conclusion and Discussion).
Blanton-Kent, B., Pappert, R., Smith, T. & Weimer, K. (2010, Oct.). Understanding the graduate research process: From concept to product. Paper presented at Library Assessment Conference on Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, Baltimore, MD.Graduate Student Characteristics in the Research Process - They want to find relevant results easily & efficiently. - They do not want to take advantage of the extensivepotential of library databases. -They do not use the library web site extensively orexplore new resources.
Rempel, H. G., (2010, Nov.). A longitudinal assessment of graduate student research behavior and the impact of attending a library literature review workshop. College & Research Libraries“RESEARCH SKILLS”How to use the library’s web site & databases?
“Scholarly Use of Information: GraduateStudents’ Information Seeking Behavior” 2006 study of graduate students Similar to our research five years later 73% of Internet users use Google for information seeking purposes (George, 2006)
Libraries are searching to come up with discovery tools that will satisfy users’ Google expectations.Saffro (1994) predicted this change in information access, “The future belongs to neither the conduit or content players, but those who control the filtering, searching, and sense-making tools we will rely on to navigate through the expanses of cyberspace” (para. 5).
The ACRL Research, Planning and Review Committee noted the following trend for academic libraries in 2010:Technology will continue to change services and requiredskills. Cloud computing, augmented and virtual reality,discovery tools, open content, open source software, andnew social networking tools are some of the mostimportant technological changes affecting academiclibraries. As with mobile applications, thesedevelopments will affect nearly all library operations. Twoexciting developments are OCLC’s new cooperative Web-scale library management services and discovery tools,which provide a single interface to multiple resourcesusing a centralized consolidated index that promisesfaster and better search results than federated searching.(p. 289)A single interface noted above is a silentreference to the power of the Google searchbox.
The goal of this research is to confirm graduate students’ preference for using Google over a library database when performing scholarly research on the Internet, and also explore why graduate students are turning to Google for their Internet information seeking needs.
Do graduate students use Google as an information seeking tool when performing scholarly searches? Is Google a primary search tool or a complementary search option to using library databases and course reserves? Why do graduate students choose Google over library databases and course reserves? In what semester are the graduate students who claim to use Google for research?
At what point do graduate students use Google to find articles for their graduate school projects? (First? Last? After trying library databases?) - What is the cause of this behavior? - Which results are they satisfied with? - Do they see a difference between Google results and Library Database results? Do the graduate students see a difference between Google results and Library Database results?
Research Paradigm Sampling Data Collection Methods & Analysis Procedure Ethical Considerations Limitations of the Research
Bryman (2008) describes quantitative research as, “entailing the collection of numerical data, as exhibiting a view of the relationship between theory and research as deductive and predilection for a natural science approach (and of positivism in particular), and as having an objectivist conception of social reality” (p. 140).
“Theory and the hypothesis deduced from it come first and drive the process of gathering data” (Bryman, 2008, p. 9). In our study, we are setting forth to quantify how many and why graduate students at ESU prefer Google over library databases.
Quantitative researchers are rarely concerned merely to describe how things are, but are keen to say why things are the way they are” (Bryman, 2008, p. 156). Our concept defined is preference of Google over library databases as a means of searching for scholarly information. Our indicators are time, ease of use, interface design, availability of full text documents, and generation age.
Positivism asserts that methods of research which apply to the natural world are considered applicable to the social world. “A particularly central issue in this context is the question of whether the social world can and should be studied according to the same principles, procedures, and ethos as the natural sciences” (Bryman, 2008, p. 13).
Bryman (2008) defines objectivism as an, “ontological position that implies that social phenomena confront us as external facts that are beyond our reach or influence” (p. 18). We construct our quantitative research free of bias or control. Our survey will be administered by email and without interaction between the researchers and graduate students.
Quantitative Data Collection: ◦ Unit of Analysis- Emporia State University Graduate Students All Graduate School Departments ◦ Field Test- Twenty-five students ◦ Random Sample More specifically, Probability Sample
Our Study ◦ Quantitative Framework Questionnaire state: “Graduate students use Google when researching for scholarly research” ◦ “Reliable & Valid Sample” from ESU graduate students
Email all 1600 Graduate Students at Emporia State University. ◦ Goal of 300 responses-will send reminder notices to graduates every week for 3 weeks for largest response goal. If there is less than 300 responses, will consider extending the data collection period. ◦ Email will include link to a survey through http://app.fluidsurveys.com/ ◦ Actual survey can be viewed at URL: http://app.fluidsurveys.com/surveys/crystal-R/team-3- research-survey/ ◦ This website will also perform data analysis, which will help in the data collection and analysis.
Human Participants Participant ----- ESU Graduate Students Approval from the MLS Program Director and the graduate department The Institutional Review Board for Treatment of Human Subjectshttp://www.emporia.edu/research/irb.htm Major Principals ◦ Harm ◦ Informed Consent ◦ Privacy ◦ Deception
The participants will be fully knowledgeable about the purpose of our research; its process involving these participants; and the values of our research. The participants will be informed that participation is voluntary; they can refuse to answer any of the questions; they can discontinue the survey at any time without penalty or risks; and they can withdraw their data from the survey within a certain period of time. The expected duration of the survey participation will be described to the participants. The participants will be able to implement the survey at anytime and anywhere via an email. The survey should not disturb their daily lives.
The questionnaires should not include questions that offend the participants. Any possibility of injury should not be allowed on the survey questionnaires. The participants’ data will be collected with confidentiality. The participants will remain anonymous. Because the participants’ data will be collected through an online survey tool, FluidSurveys, the participants do not need to provide any personal information. The survey will be designed so as to acquire only personal information essential to our research. Researchers’ contact information will be provided to the participants. The participants may ask the researchers about any issues related to the research.
As quantitative researchers, we also… ◦ consider various types of data implementing the survey. ◦ protect all data against misuse by the participants. ◦ do not overstate the accuracy of the data. ◦ inform potential users of our results of the limits of reliability, validity, and objectivity of the data collection.
Anticipate 300 returned surveys Not obtrusive data No follow up Factors include ◦ Reliability-Are the results of this research repeatable? ◦ Validity-Does the survey represent the concept we are trying to research? ◦ Objectivity- Is there as little personal bias as possible during this research? External permission from program director
Benefit of Our Research ◦ Libraries ◦ Information Technology Specialists ◦ Database Vendors
“Why do graduate students who approach the researchprocess prefer to use Google rather than to employlibrary databases?”Our Quantitative Research (Field Test, LargeSample, Likert Scale Questions, Allowance for HumanError) - Reliability - Validity - Objectivity - ReplicabilitySupport the development of library informationservices.
ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee. (2010). 2010 top ten trendsin academic libraries. College & Research Libraries News, 71(6), 286-292.Blanton-Kent, B., Pappert, R., Smith, T. & Weimer, K. (2010, Oct.).Understanding the graduate research process: From concept to product.Paper presented at Library Assessment Conference on Building Effective,Sustainable, Practical Assessment, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved fromhttp://libraryassessment.org/bm~doc/blanton-kent_beth.pdfBryman, A. (2008). Social research methods. (3rd ed.). New York, New York:Oxford University Press.Cavus, N., & Alpan, K. (2010, Oct.). Which search engine is the most usedone among university students? Paper presented at the International Scienceand Technology Conference, Famaqusta, Cyprus. Retrieved fromhttp://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED517972.pdf
Connaway, L. S., Radford, M. L., & Williams, J. D. (2009). Engaging Net Genstudents in virtual reference: Reinventing services to meet their informationbehaviors and communication preferences. In D. M. Mueller (Ed.), Pushingthe edge: Explore, extend, engage: Proceedings of the Fourteenth NationalConference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, March 12-15, 2009, Seattle, Washington, 10-27. Chicago: Association of College andResearch Libraries. Retrieved fromhttp://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2009/connaway-acrl-2009.pdf]ESU Research and Grants Center. (n.d.). Guidelines for research,demonstration and related activities involving human subjects anduniversity policy statement. [Web page]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.emporia.edu/research/irb.htmFluidSurveys [Online survey tool]. Retrieved from http://fluidsurveys.com/George, C. A., Bright, A., Hurlbert, T, Linke, E. C., St. Clair, G., &Stein, J.(2006). Scholarly use of information: Graduate students informationseeking behavior. Library Research and Publications. Paper 21. Retrievedfrom http://repository.cmu.edu/lib_science/21
Haglund, L., & Olsson, P. (2008). The impact on university libraries ofchanges in information behavior among academic researchers: A multiplecase study. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(1), 52-59.doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2007.11.010Jones, K. (2000). A regrettable oversight or a significant omission? Ethicalconsiderations in quantitative research in education. In: H. Simons and R.Usher (Eds.), Situated Ethics in Educational Research. London: Routledge.(pp. 147-61). Retrieved fromhttp://eprints.soton.ac.uk/26792/1/Jones_ethics_in_quant_methods_2000.pdfJones, S. (2002). The internet goes to college: How students are living in thefuture with today’s technology. Retrieved from Pew Internet & American LifeProject Website:http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2002/PIP_College_Report.pdf
Manchester Metropolitan University. (2002). How students search:Information seeking and electronic resource use (Research Report No.EDNER-8). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED470057.pdfRempel, H. G., (2010, Nov.). A longitudinal assessment of graduate studentresearch behavior and the impact of attending a library literature reviewworkshop. College & Research Libraries, 71(6), 532-547. Retrieved fromhttp://crl.acrl.org/content/71/6/532.full.pdf+htmlSaffro, P. (1994, March). Its the context, stupid. Wired, (2.03). Retrievedfrom http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/context.html