Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement with the Digital Information Environment?

by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, David White, Donna Lanclos, & Alison Le Cornu

This three-year project is funded by JISC, OCLC, Oxford University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. The project is an attempt to fill the gap in user behaviour studies identified in the JISC Digital Information Seeker Report. Analysis is being undertaken using the visitors and residents framework, which hypothesizes that neither age nor sex determines whether one is a visitor (one who logs on to the virtual environment, performs a specific task or acquires specific information and then logs off) or a resident (one who has an ongoing, developing presence online). Initial results highlight the importance of convenience as a crucial factor in information-seeking behaviour. There also are indications that as users progress through the educational stages, the digital literacies they employ do not necessarily become more sophisticated. Although the project continues through 2014, the initial findings indicate that students in the emerging educational stage (late stage secondary school to first year undergraduate) use smart phones and laptop computers to access Wikipedia, Google, teachers or professors, friends and peers to get information for their academic studies.

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Suggested Citation:

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, David White, Donna Lanclos, & Alison Le Cornu. 2013. "Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement with the Digital Information Environment?" Information Research, 18,1 (paper 556).