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Children’s relevance criteria and information-seeking on electronic resources

TitreChildren’s relevance criteria and information-seeking on electronic resources
Type de publicationArticle de revue
Année de publication1999
AuteursHirsh, S.. G.
RevueJournal of the American Society for Information Science
Mots-clésjeunesse, lecture numérique, recherche d'information

This study explores the relevance criteria and search strategies elementary school children applied when searching for information related to a class assignment in a school library setting. Students were interviewed on two occasions at different stages of the research process; field observations involved students thinking aloud to explain their search processes and shadowing as students moved around the school library. Students performed searches on an on-line catalog, an electronic encyclopedia, an electronic magazine index, and the World Wide Web. Results are presented for children selecting the topic, conducting the search, examining the results, and extracting relevant results. A total of 254 mentions of relevance criteria were identified, including 197 references to textual relevance criteria that were coded into nine categories and 57 references to graphical relevance criteria that were coded into five categories. Students exhibited little concern for the authority of the textual and graphical information they found, based the majority of their relevance decisions for textual material on topicality, and identified information they found interesting. Students devoted a large portion of their research time to finding pictures. Understanding the ways that children use electronic resources and the relevance criteria they apply has implications for information literacy training and for systems design.