The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of user demographic characteristics on the impact of usage of search engines, particularly Google, with special regard to OPAC in the context of an Indian university setting.
This study is based on a survey where the tool of investigation was a close‐ended questionnaire that was distributed among respondents, was self‐filled and returned. The data, thus collected, were processed on MS‐Excel and subsequently on the SPSS statistical package which was used specifically for the analysis of results and also for producing cross‐tables. The Chi‐square test was applied to determine the comparability or the existence of any relationship between the impact of web searching on OPAC use and demographic characteristics of individual searchers.
The study found significant differences between OPAC usage patterns and demographic characteristics of user categories and age groups. Significant variations were noticed among user age groups for awareness about differences between the inner‐workings of the OPAC and web search engines. A significant relationship was found between male and female users vis‐à‐vis their viewpoint after unsuccessful searches. Certain variations were also observed among academic majors with regard to perceptions of users after failed searches. Interestingly, no significant differences were observed between actions of users after unsuccessful searches and the parameters pertaining to their age groups, categories, academic majors and gender.
This is in all probability one of the first empirical studies to be published on the influence of demographic characteristics of users on the impact of web searching with respect to OPAC use. These characteristics have been observed to definitively impact upon the influence of web searching in some limited activities.
Kumar, S. (2012), "The impact of demographic characteristics of users on patterns of usage on search engines and OPAC", Library Review, Vol. 61 No. 3, pp. 172-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531211259300Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited