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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 April 2018

Andrew D. Madden, Sheila Webber, Nigel Ford and Mary Crowder

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between preferred choice of school subject and student information behaviour (IB).

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between preferred choice of school subject and student information behaviour (IB).

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods were employed. In all, 152 students, teachers and librarians participated in interviews or focus groups. In total, 1,375 students, key stage 3 (11-14 years) to postgraduate, responded to a questionnaire. The research population was drawn from eight schools, two further education colleges and three universities. Insights from the literature review and the qualitative research phase led to a hypothesis which was investigated using the questionnaire: that students studying hard subjects are less likely to engage in deep IB than students studying soft subjects.

Findings

Results support the hypothesis that preferences for subjects at school affect choice of university degree. The hypothesis that a preference for hard or soft subjects affects IB is supported by results of an analysis in which like or dislike of maths/ICT is correlated with responses to the survey. Interviewees’ comments led to the proposal that academic subjects can be classified according to whether a subject helps students to acquire a “tool of the Mind” or to apply such a tool. A model suggesting how IB may differ depending on whether intellectual tools are being acquired or applied is proposed.

Practical implications

The “inner logic” of certain subjects and their pedagogies appears closely linked to IB. This should be considered when developing teaching programmes.

Originality/value

The findings offer a new perspective on subject classification and its association with IB, and a new model of the association between IB and tool acquisition or application is proposed, incorporating the perspectives of both teacher and student.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2023

Weinan Zheng, Peng Xiao and Andrew Madden

Academic contention occurs when research evidence is amenable to more than one interpretation. China has a long tradition of Shang Que (商榷), in which authors argue for their…

Abstract

Purpose

Academic contention occurs when research evidence is amenable to more than one interpretation. China has a long tradition of Shang Que (商榷), in which authors argue for their preferred interpretation. The modern form of this tradition is the Shang Que article, which often takes the form of research papers in Chinese-language journals and which tends to be question-oriented. Shang Que articles usually take the views of a particular author or article as the focus of independent and complete criticism by another, independent, academic. This paper explains the role of Shang Que articles in Chinese scholarship and their influence on international academia.

Design/methodology/approach

A bibliometric analysis was used to explore the characteristics and evolution of Chinese Shang Que articles using 30,577 articles published between 1979 and 2018. Microsoft Excel and Gephi were used for data analysis and visualization.

Findings

Findings suggest a decline in the number of Shang Que articles and an increase in the number of co-authors. Shang Que articles remained particularly prominent in Philosophy and Humanities and Social Sciences, where they focused on local issues such as classical Chinese, the Sinicization of Marxism and Chinese literature. This suggests that the number of Shang Que articles is related to the degree of internationalization of a research field.

Originality/value

Shang Que articles, which have been influenced by academic paradigms in English, are a fusion of China's Shang Que tradition and of the modern academic system. Through considering Shang Que articles, this paper explores the benefits of local academic traditions in non-English-speaking cultures.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 79 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Andrew D. Madden, Nigel J. Ford, David Miller and Philippa Levy

A common criticism of research into information seeking on the internet is that information seekers are restricted by the demands of the researcher. Another criticism is that the…

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Abstract

Purpose

A common criticism of research into information seeking on the internet is that information seekers are restricted by the demands of the researcher. Another criticism is that the search topics, are often imposed by the researcher, and; particularly when working with children, domain knowledge could be as important as information‐seeking skills. The research reported here attempts to address both these problems.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 15 children, aged 11 to 16, were each set three “think aloud” internet searches. In the first, they were asked to recall the last time they had sought information on the internet, and to repeat the search. For the second, they were given a word, asked to interpret it, then asked to search for their interpretation. For the third, they were asked to recall the last time they had been unsuccessful in a search, and to repeat the search. While performing each task, the children were encouraged to explain their actions.

Findings

The paper finds that the factors that determined a child's ability to search successfully appeared to be: the amount of experience the child had of using the internet; the amount of guidance, both from adults and from peers; and the child's ability to explore the virtual environment, and to use the tools available for so doing.

Originality/value

Many of the searches performed by participants in this paper were not related to schoolwork, and so some of the search approaches differed from those taught by teachers. Instead, they evolved through exploration and exchange of ideas. Further studies of this sort could provide insights of value to designers of web environments.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 62 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2007

Yazdan Mansourian and Andrew D. Madden

This paper seeks to review the methodologies employed by researchers working in the field of information seeking on the web. It aims to present an overall picture of the research…

2224

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to review the methodologies employed by researchers working in the field of information seeking on the web. It aims to present an overall picture of the research methods used in the area, in a way that will be of value to anyone seeking to design research‐based studies of web searching.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the past 11 years of research on information seeking on the web was carried out. The paper focuses mainly on the methodological approaches adopted by researchers, but, where relevant, studies of different aspects of user interaction with web‐based search tools are considered.

Findings

The area is growing fast and the number of studies has been increasing steadily. A variety of research methods was employed in the studies reviewed here. However, the emphasis to date has been on quantitative rather than qualitative methods. The paper argues that a better balance is needed between these two approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Web search research comprises a wide range of related studies, making it difficult for the authors to carry out a comprehensive review. Nevertheless, limiting its focus to methodological aspects of the existing research, this paper provides a useful overview.

Originality/value

The paper provides a useful starting‐point to any researcher new to web search research, enabling them quickly to achieve an overview of the methodological approaches adopted to date.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Yazdan Mansourian and Andrew D. Madden

The purpose of this paper is to report selective findings from a wider study of web‐based information‐seeking behaviour amongst biologists. It aims to describe: aspects of the…

660

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report selective findings from a wider study of web‐based information‐seeking behaviour amongst biologists. It aims to describe: aspects of the participants' interactions with web‐based search tools; their feelings associated with these interactions, and the different types of searches that they carry out on the web.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by semi‐structured interviews, and were analysed using a grounded theory approach. A qualitative approach was adopted in order to allow deep exploration of the information‐seeking processes adopted by the target group.

Findings

Participants in this study typically categorized their web searches as either work‐related or everyday life searches. They felt more confident carrying out work‐related searches and their search strategies in this category of search were more effective: generally, their work‐related searches were well‐defined and specific. Their everyday life searches covered a wider range of topics, and were occasionally very challenging. Participants carrying out everyday life searches cited as common problems, the selection of apposite search terms, and uncertainty in selecting the most suitable database.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a small sample of academic web users, and it will be useful to carry out follow‐up research using larger samples from biology or other areas of science. Despite this limitation, the findings clearly show the value of allowing users to customise web search facilities. They will also be of value to information literacy instructors developing information skills courses.

Originality/value

Biologists' information‐seeking behaviour on the web has not been investigated before and the paper contributes to the current body of knowledge about information‐seeking behaviour by providing empirical findings relating to the behaviour of this particular group of web users.

Details

New Library World, vol. 108 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Andrew D. Madden, Nigel J. Ford and David Miller

The purpose of this research is to study the information‐seeking habits of children at an English secondary school. Data from two different research exercises were collated in…

1735

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to study the information‐seeking habits of children at an English secondary school. Data from two different research exercises were collated in order to provide an insight into how students perceived and used a range of information resources.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first research exercise, groups of children from each academic year were asked to discuss a set of information resources and to rank them according to perceived usefulness. In the second, students were asked to report, throughout the school year, on the resources they used to complete homework assignments.

Findings

The findings from these two exercises are best interpreted by using them to provide the answers to three questions: Which information resources did students consider to be the most useful? Which information resources did students use the most? When an information resource was referred to, how likely was it that students found it to be useful? The rankings differed considerably, depending on which question was being asked.

Originality/value

The results gave an insight into how different information resources were used for different subjects. They also provide evidence of the fact that students' reliance on other people as an information source begins to decline as they get older, and there is a corresponding increase in their use of books and electronic information sources.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 63 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Andrew D. Madden, Nigel Ford, Genevieve Gorrell, Barry Eaglestone and Peter Holdridge

The research reported here generated a list of criteria adopted by postgraduate students when evaluating websites. The analysis presented aims to determine whether metacognition…

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Abstract

Purpose

The research reported here generated a list of criteria adopted by postgraduate students when evaluating websites. The analysis presented aims to determine whether metacognition played any part in the evaluation of websites by volunteers.

Design/methodology/approach

Forty‐eight students participated in the study. They carried out a series of searches designed to bring them into contact with a range of websites, from forums to electronic books. The students were encouraged to “think aloud” as they searched, and to explain their actions and strategies. Search sessions were recorded, transcribed, and subjected to ethnographic content analysis.

Findings

A range of evaluation criteria is presented. The criteria were applied at different stages of the search process and demonstrate varying degrees of metacognition. Observations on evaluation processes are also presented. Factors affecting evaluation included the purpose of the search, advice received from lecturers, and the perceived nature of the website.

Practical implications

Some volunteers encountered difficulties because of an overly simplistic approach to evaluation. Any training in information literacy skills should aim at equipping students with guidelines to help them assess the credibility of websites, while encouraging them to reflect on the nature of their search task and to apply the guidelines accordingly.

Originality/value

The evaluation criteria and processes described in this paper are induced from detailed observations of a large cohort of students. The qualitative nature of the study meant that these observations could be put into the context of the students' own reflections on their choice of website.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

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Abstract

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Daifeng Li, Andrew Madden, Chaochun Liu, Ying Ding, Liwei Qian and Enguo Zhou

Internet technology allows millions of people to find high quality medical resources online, with the result that personal healthcare and medical services have become one of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet technology allows millions of people to find high quality medical resources online, with the result that personal healthcare and medical services have become one of the fastest growing markets in China. Data relating to healthcare search behavior may provide insights that could lead to better provision of healthcare services. However, discrepancies often arise between terminologies derived from professional medical domain knowledge and the more colloquial terms that users adopt when searching for information about ailments. This can make it difficult to match healthcare queries with doctors’ keywords in online medical searches. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To help address this problem, the authors propose a transfer learning using latent factor graph (TLLFG), which can learn the descriptions of ailments used in internet searches and match them to the most appropriate formal medical keywords.

Findings

Experiments show that the TLLFG outperforms competing algorithms in incorporating both medical domain knowledge and patient-doctor Q&A data from online services into a unified latent layer capable of bridging the gap between lay enquiries and professionally expressed information sources, and make more accurate analysis of online users’ symptom descriptions. The authors conclude with a brief discussion of some of the ways in which the model may support online applications and connect offline medical services.

Practical implications

The authors used an online medical searching application to verify the proposed model. The model can bridge users’ long-tailed description with doctors’ formal medical keywords. Online experiments show that TLLFG can significantly improve the searching experience of both users and medical service providers compared with traditional machine learning methods. The research provides a helpful example of the use of domain knowledge to optimize searching or recommendation experiences.

Originality/value

The authors use transfer learning to map online users’ long-tail queries onto medical domain knowledge, significantly improving the relevance of queries and keywords in a search system reliant on sponsored links.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1929

WE publish this issue on the eve of the Brighton Conference and our hope is that this number of The Library World will assist the objects of that meeting. Everything connected…

Abstract

WE publish this issue on the eve of the Brighton Conference and our hope is that this number of The Library World will assist the objects of that meeting. Everything connected with the Conference appears to have been well thought out. It is an excellent thing that an attempt has been made to get readers of papers to write them early in order that they might be printed beforehand. Their authors will speak to the subject of these papers and not read them. Only a highly‐trained speaker can “get over” a written paper—witness some of the fiascos we hear from the microphone, for which all papers that are broadcast have to be written. But an indifferent reader, when he is really master of his subject, can make likeable and intelligible remarks extemporarily about it. As we write somewhat before the Conference papers are out we do not know if the plan to preprint the papers has succeeded. We are sure that it ought to have done so. It is the only way in which adequate time for discussion can be secured.

Details

New Library World, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

1 – 10 of 153