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Title: Information seeking activities of tertiary students through social networking sites.
Authors: Chan, Meng Fai.
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Information sources
DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Information retrieval and analysis
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: In today’s context, social networking sites (SNSs) are widely adopted by the students. The information shared by students over these sites is significant. With the high volume of information sharing and communications taking place, the students could have identified SNSs as a platform to hunt for information. Hence, their online information seeking activities will no longer be limited to conventional channels such as search engine and libraries services. The objective of this study is to seek understanding on usage and implications of using SNSs as a channel for information seeking by Singapore university students. This study also investigates their information seeking preference for academic and non-academic information needs. In addition, trust and privacy issues are also investigated too. A total of 408 students responses were collected through a questionnaire. The key findings of this study were: 1) search engines remained as the students most preferred channels regardless of information types, 2) the students’ information seeking activities through SNSs were mainly for non-academic information compared to libraries for academic use, 3) the students acknowledged SNSs ease of use and good functionality for searching information, 4) the students positively expressed using SNSs for “communications over course-related topic” and “knowledge sharing”, 5) there were indications of a lack of trust on the information sought, and 6) there were concerns over information and activity privacy over SNSs. According to the findings, SNSs could potentially become a good channel for information seeking if the concerns are adequately addressed. Some of the suggestions are: 1) increase presence of professionals, instructors and lecturers to raise students’ trust on the information sought through SNSs, 2) educate students on privacy issues to address and reduce their privacy concerns, and 3) improve libraries and faculty communication and engagement in SNSs to address the students’ information needs. With the understanding gained from this study, academic or non-academic organisations will be able to leverage on SNSs (where students are already active in) as a better channel to address their information seeking activities.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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