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Use of Electronic Science Journals in the Undergraduate Curriculum: An Observational Study

Carol Tenopir, Peiling Wang,

Presented at ASIST 2004 Annual Meeting; "Managing and Enhancing Information: Cultures and Conflicts" (ASIST AM 04), Providence, Rhode Island, November 13 - 18, 2004


Phase 2 of a 2-phase project funded by the NSF-National Science Digital Library Project observed undergraduate and graduate engineering, chemistry, and physics students and faculty while they searched the ScienceDirect e-journals system for scholarly science journal articles for simulated class-related assignments. Think-aloud protocol was used to capture affective and cognitive state information, while online monitoring provided an automatic log of interactions with the system. Pre- and post-search questionnaires and a learning style test provided additional data. Preliminary analysis shows differences in search patterns among undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. All groups used basic search functions the most, but only faculty and one graduate student used help functions. Graduate students on average spent more time per session and viewed more pages. Further analysis, including analysis of affective and cognitive reactions is continuing.

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