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Web users' information retrieval methods and skills

Carol S. Bond (Senior Lecturer at Informatics for Health and Social Care, Institute of Health and Community Studies, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



When trying to locate information on the Web people are faced with a variety of options. This research reviewed how a group of health related professionals approached the task of finding a named document. Most were eventually successful, but the majority encountered problems in their search techniques. Even experienced Web users had problems when working with a different interface to normal, and without access to their favourites. No relationship was found between the number of years' experience Web users had and the efficiency of their searching strategy. The research concludes that if people are to be able to use the Web quickly and efficiently as an effective information retrieval tool, as opposed to a recreational tool to surf the Internet, they need to have both an understanding of the medium and the tools, and the skills to use them effectively, both of which were lacking in the majority of participants in this study.



Bond, C.S. (2004), "Web users' information retrieval methods and skills", Online Information Review, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 254-259.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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