"Just Google It—Digital Research Practices of Humanities Scholars"

Max Kemman, Martijn Kleppe, and Stef Scagliola have self-archived "Just Google It—Digital Research Practices of Humanities Scholars" in arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

The transition from analogue to digital archives and the recent explosion of online content offers researchers novel ways of engaging with data. The crucial question for ensuring a balance between the supply and demand-side of data, is whether this trend connects to existing scholarly practices and to the average search skills of researchers. To gain insight into this process we conducted a survey among nearly three hundred (N= 288) humanities scholars in the Netherlands and Belgium with the aim of finding answers to the following questions: 1) To what extent are digital databases and archives used? 2) What are the preferences in search functionalities 3) Are there differences in search strategies between novices and experts of information retrieval? Our results show that while scholars actively engage in research online they mainly search for text and images. General search systems such as Google and JSTOR are predominant, while large-scale collections such as Europeana are rarely consulted.

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