Digital Research: The Double Edged Sword

Posted on March 11, 2013
In the midst of the throes of the Internet age, we have more resources available to us than ever before in history—whatever questions we have can be Googled at the drop of a hat, and answers are granted within milliseconds. And as our Internet use goes increasingly mobile, answers are granted even more quickly, since there's no need to wait until a computer is near. Though all of these resources and information often allow us to be more knowledgeable, the instant gratification of the modern search engine certainly may pose some unhealthy research habits, particularly among students, for whom research abilities have a big impact on scholarly success. Today's students have grown up in the digital age, and are generally accustomed to having questions answered at the click of a button—but that doesn't mean they all know how to conduct meaningful, thorough research. Studies show that while a majority of students turn to search engines when conducting research, most of them are behind the times when it comes to utilizing keywords or smart search methods to retrieve the best possible results. Three in four college students monitored were deemed incapable of conducting a "reasonably well-executed" Google search, and for many educators, the concern is that while students do have a great deal of data at their disposal, most of them don't know the best way to access it.

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Digital Research Infographic

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