Information-seeking strategies of novices using a full-text electronic encyclopedia

Gary Marchionini
1989 Journal of the American Society for Information Science  
An exploratory study was conducted of elementary school children searching a full-text electronic encyclopedia on CD-ROM. Twenty-eight third and fourth graders and 24 sixth graders conducted two assigned searches, one open-ended, the other one closed, after two demonstration sessions. Keystrokes captured by the computer and observer notes were used to examine user information-seeking strategies from a mental model perspective. Older searchers were more successful in finding required
more » ... and took less time than younger searchers. No differences in total number of moves were found. Analysis of search patterns showed that novices used a heuristic, highly interactive search strategy. Searchers used sentence and phrase queries, indicating unique mental models for this search system. Most searchers accepted system defaults and used the AND connective in formulating queries. Transition matrix analyses showed that younger searchers generally favored query refining moves and older searchers favored examining title and text moves. Suggestions for system designers were made and future research questions were identified.
doi:10.1002/(sici)1097-4571(198901)40:1<54::aid-asi6>3.0.co;2-r fatcat:kiohaowpwnbd3moubd6op2vhhq