Document (#9617)

Author
DiMartino, D.
Ferns, W.J.
Swacker, S.
Title
¬A study of CD-ROM search techniques by English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students
Source
Proceedings of the 14th National Online Meeting 1993, New York, 4-6 May 1993. Ed.: M.E. Williams
Imprint
Medford, NJ : Learned Information
Year
1993
Pages
S.107-117
Abstract
This paper present the preliminary findings of a study comparing the search techniques of native English speakers as opposed to English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers when using a commercial CD-ROM database. The subjects were 37 undergradutae students at a multicultural urban public institution with no formal training on CD-ROM databases. The examined measures included the keywords the subjects used, the correct and incorrect application of Boolean operators to keywords, the numer of steps the user took in the search, and the percentage of relevant references cited. The initial results indicate that while there may be few significant differences between these groups in terms of the search techniques used, generally the search strategies for both groups of students were inconsistent, inefficient and relatively imprecise. This suggests that, although language itself may not be a large barrier to CD-ROM retrieval, there still exist formidable obstacles for the casual user who wants to access CD-ROM bibliographic databases

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