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Tuesday, 26th March 2013

Undergraduatesí Use of Social Media as Information Sources

Source: College & Research Libraries

Abstract:

Social media have become increasingly popular among different user groups. Although used for social purposes, some social media platforms (e.g., Wikipedia) have been emerging as important information sources. Focusing on undergraduate students, a survey was conducted to investigate the following: (1) which social media platforms are used as information sources, (2) what are the main reasons for using these social media platforms for information seeking, and (3) what kinds of actions are taken to evaluate the quality of the information gained from such sources. The study provides a snapshot of current trends in terms of the use of social media as information sources. It also sheds lights on the actions that the undergraduate students took to evaluate information from social media, including social networking and video sharing sites that have rarely been studied previously. Based on the findings, suggestions are made for information literacy programs and roles of librarians and educators.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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