Commercial Database Design vs. Library Terminology Comprehension: Why Do Students Print Abstracts Instead of Full-Text Articles?

Bonnie Imler, Michelle Eichelberger

Abstract

When asked to print the full text of an article, many undergraduate college students print the abstract instead of the full text. This study seeks to determine the underlying cause(s) of this confusion. In this quantitative study, participants (n=40) performed five usability tasks to assess ease of use and usefulness of five commercial library databases and were surveyed on their understanding of library terminology. The study revealed that more than half of the students correctly defined the term “Abstract” and over 75 percent understood “full text.” However, only 25 percent of the students were able to successfully complete all five database tasks.

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Copyright © 2014 Bonnie Imler and Michelle Eichelberger, Attribution-NonCommercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) CC BY-NC


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