Research study shows 'Google Generation' is a myth

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The assumption that the ‘Google Generation’ is the most web-literate has been overruled according to the report ‘Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future’.

Commissioned by the British Library and JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), the report claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read pages, are promiscuous in their information seeking and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web. The report also shows that research-behaviour traits, commonly associated with younger users, such as impatience in search and navigation are the norm for all age groups, from younger pupils through to professors.

Carried out by CIBER (Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research) at University College London, the study calls for libraries to respond urgently to the changing needs of researchers and other users. ‘Libraries in general are not keeping up with the demands of students and researchers for services that are integrated and consistent with their wider internet experience,’ says Dr Ian Rowlands, the lead author of the report.

Dr Malcolm Read, executive secretary of JISC, welcomed the publication of the report, saying: ‘These findings add to our growing understanding of subjects that should concern all who work in further and higher education – the changing needs of our students and researchers and how libraries can meet their needs. We hope that this report will encourage debate around these important questions.’