The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of various search engines and meta search engines by Indian academics for retrieving information on the web. It also aims to know whether the academics use search strategy of various search engines for retrieval of information or not, and how the Indian academics learn the various search strategies for using search engines.
The data collection instruments used for this study were a questionnaire and follow-up interviews with students and faculty members. The questionnaire consisted of various questions which were designed to elicit the use of search engines, search strategies and method of leaning the search strategies of search engines. A total of 450 questionnaires were distributed, out of which 300 duly filled copies were returned, constituting a 66.66 percent response rate. The data thus collected were analysed with the help of the SPSS (version 19.0) statistical package to present the findings in percentage and test the formulated hypothesis.
The findings of the survey show that the majority of the respondents most frequently used Google (91.93 percent) and Yahoo (43.85 percent) while Dogpile and Ixquick (35.78 percent each) were less frequently used by the respondents. 65.26 percent of respondents used the search strategy for retrieving information. The study also shows that there is a significant relationship between the respondent's profession and use of search engines (p=0.018) as well use search strategies of search engines (p=0.028). Method of learning the search strategies of search engines is also associated with the respondent's profession (p=0.008).
The results of this study have clear implications for information literacy instruction in the context of search engines. The study recommends that there is a need to conduct intensive training for students and faculty members in order for them to acquire the essential search strategies for effective information retrieval. The findings of the study will be helpful to concerned authorities to enhance the effective and efficient use of search engines by the respondents.
Sampath Kumar, B. and Kumar, G. (2013), "Search engines and their search strategies: the effective use by Indian academics", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 437-449. https://doi.org/10.1108/PROG-03-2012-0009Download as .RIS
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