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Research After Google

Presentation on the effects of Google on undergraduate research behavior. Designed for an interview at Grand Valley State University.

Elizabeth Psyck

on 9 February 2010

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Transcript of Research After Google

by Elizabeth Psyck It goes without saying that Google has had a major impact on research behavior. Although there have been negative consequences, Google and the changes it has inspired have been positive overall. "I can get anything I need from Google/the Internet!" "Why do we still need libraries?" "Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books."
Boston Globe 9/4/09

Cushing Academy decides to replace its 20,000 book library
with ebook readers, computers, and electronic resources. But what about the "Deep Web"? Especially dangerous because students
risk missing a large part of the academic
literature on their topic, particularly early works. Satisficing Keane, Mark T. et al. "Are People Biased in Their Use of Search Engines?" Communications of the ACM. 51.2 (February 2008): 48-52. When faced with too many choices,
we are likely to choose the first option
that is 'good enough' rather than
continuing to sift through results to find
the 'best'. Especially prevalent in a ranking system
that users trust. In a study of undergraduates
and their search engine behavior, the authors
determined that students were significantly more
likely to choose higher ranked results. But can we really blame this on Google? Immediacy Patrons expect to be able to access library materials immediately and most aren't interested in anything that takes more than a few minutes or hours. While the immediacy of the Internet has influenced the expectation of immediate delivery, I'm not sure we can blame Google for a student that leaves an assignment to the last second. Probably the biggest change in searching behavior.
Students are used to a single search box with a single
search button. Contrast the 'Google model' with a more
traditional online catalog. The Good:

Libraries and vendors are being forced to reevaluate the standard design of catalogs and databases. The Bad:

Blindly accepting the deceptive simplicity of Google products. The Ugly:

Poorly designed federated searches and Google clones that are aesthetically pleasing, but return incorrect, inconsistent, or useless results. What makes Google's overall influence overwhelmingly positive, is that it has made it possible for people without extensive training to access large amounts of information. Reactions Questions Research A.G. : Life After Google Keyword Searching
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