Online search behavior of University of Zambia Library and Information Studies students

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Makondo, Francina N.S.
Kanyengo, Wamunyima C.
Kakana, Febian
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Emerald publishing limited
Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that affect web searching behaviour of the students of the University of Zambia (UNZA). Design/methodology/approach – This study adopted a qualitative research approach in order to get an insight into the interactions of the students at the UNZA with the real web situation. A post-search questionnaire was used as a tool to gather information from 65 Library and Information Science students about search techniques used, web experience, and subject knowledge of users. Findings – This study shows that the main purpose for using the internet by students at the UNZA is for academic work. The findings also show that factors such as experience and topic familiarity had an effect on search behaviour, whereas, age of searcher did not affect the search technique used. Google was preferred for searching more than electronic databases. Originality/value – This is the first systematic examination of students online search behaviour in Zambia. It allows the researchers to compare with search behaviour of students in a different social economic environment
User studies , Students , Information searches , Online retrieval , Zambia, , World Wide Web