Annual Meeting Contributed Papers 2009 START Conference Manager    

Selection of Information Sources: Accessibility of and familiarity with sources, and types of tasks

Iris Xie and Soohyung Joo

(Submission #15)


While many studies have investigated information source selection in different user groups, few have explored the types of factors and how they influence resource selection. This study intends to examine the types of information sources users select as well as the reasons behind their choices of information sources. Thirty-one participants representing the general public with different demographic characteristics were recruited for the study. Data collected from diaries and questionnaires were analyzed by applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings of this study show that electronic resources are the dominant information sources selected by participants. Sixteen types of factors in relation to sources, tasks, users and search process were derived from the data. The results also indicated that multiple factors co-determined participantsí selection of resources. Descriptive and statistical analysis of the data demonstrated that accessibility and familiarity of sources were correlated to information source usages, and the results suggested that participants utilized more print or human resources in accomplishing scholarly tasks.

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