FEB 27

Works In Progress Webinar: Cues and Clues—How Students Identify Online Resources in the Face of "Container Collapse"

Learn how students identify the resources they retrieve from online search engine results and discuss the implications of their identification behavior for information literacy.

This event has passed.

Files and Links

Slides (pptx)
Researching Students’ Information Choices project site


Tara Tobin Cataldo, Associate University Librarian, University of Florida, Marston Science Library
Christopher Cyr, Associate Research Scientist, OCLC Research
Amy G. Buhler, University Librarian, University of Florida, Marston Science Library
Brittany Brannon, Research Support Specialist, OCLC Research


In digital format, a document loses the visual context and cues that print format provides, which students use to help identify a document’s origins and measure its value. In an online environment, it’s difficult to tell whether the container of the document you’re reading is a blog, a book, a journal, or a magazine. We coined the term “container collapse” to describe this phenomenon. Container collapse makes it more difficult for students to identify the resources they retrieve in online search engine results.

What differentiates students who are better at identifying containers from those who struggle? In this webinar, we share findings from an innovative simulation-based study of 175 students from fourth grade to graduate school. Our presentation will focus on the search behaviors and demographic characteristics that impact students’ ability to identify the container of resources that they retrieved from a simulated Google search. We will then discuss the implications for information literacy.

This webinar will be of interest to academic and research librarians, school librarians and media specialists, educators, information scientists, and anyone interested in digital content discovery, information literacy, and online information behavior.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series

These webinars are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, but the recordings are publicly available to all.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series to talk about work happening in OCLC Research – we'd like to present our work informally and get feedback from you, our Partners. We'd also like this to be a venue for Partner institutions. What are you working on that everyone should know about? What input would help you move forward? Let us know!


27 February 2020


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time, North America [UTC -5]