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Why we like Google Scholar: postgraduate students' perceptions of factors influencing their intention to use

Why we like Google Scholar: postgraduate students' perceptions of factors influencing their... This study examines the use of the search engine, Google Scholar, from the perspective of a specific study group, that of international postgraduate students. Based on the theory of task perceived performance and effort expectancy influencing intention to use, further factors of system, individual, social and organisational, in the postgraduate student context are explored.Design/methodology/approachThe questionnaire for the measurement of 11 factors was developed from related studies of e-library use, and data were collected from 200 international postgraduate students studying in the UK. Analysis using confirmatory factor analysis established the contextual influencing factors, and structural equation modeling examined the predicted model.FindingsThe findings confirmed the influence of the task-based factors of performance and expectancy and revealed that these were based on the perception of the visibility, accessibility and relevance of the system, and on perceived self-efficacy. The perception postgraduates held of themselves as competent users of Google Scholar was further borne out in the participants' own words when asked for the reason for their preference.Originality/valueThe approach taken enables research into use of search tools to go beyond ease of use as a main driver and to explore the relationship held among the internal and external influences of use. Recommendations for further user research are suggested as well as possible impact on the university library provision and support of services for students. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Journal of Information Management Emerald Publishing

Why we like Google Scholar: postgraduate students' perceptions of factors influencing their intention to use

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-3806
DOI
10.1108/ajim-10-2019-0304
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines the use of the search engine, Google Scholar, from the perspective of a specific study group, that of international postgraduate students. Based on the theory of task perceived performance and effort expectancy influencing intention to use, further factors of system, individual, social and organisational, in the postgraduate student context are explored.Design/methodology/approachThe questionnaire for the measurement of 11 factors was developed from related studies of e-library use, and data were collected from 200 international postgraduate students studying in the UK. Analysis using confirmatory factor analysis established the contextual influencing factors, and structural equation modeling examined the predicted model.FindingsThe findings confirmed the influence of the task-based factors of performance and expectancy and revealed that these were based on the perception of the visibility, accessibility and relevance of the system, and on perceived self-efficacy. The perception postgraduates held of themselves as competent users of Google Scholar was further borne out in the participants' own words when asked for the reason for their preference.Originality/valueThe approach taken enables research into use of search tools to go beyond ease of use as a main driver and to explore the relationship held among the internal and external influences of use. Recommendations for further user research are suggested as well as possible impact on the university library provision and support of services for students.

Journal

Aslib Journal of Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 12, 2020

Keywords: Search engines; Postgraduate students; E-Library; Information-seeking behaviour; Technology acceptance models; User perceptions

References