Submitted by Judy Watts
A January 2008 report by a research team (CIBER) at University College London for the British Library and JISC, the Joint Information Systems Committee that promotes the use of academic IT in the UK, shows that while most young people in the US and UK are completely at home with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information they find on the web. The report ‘Information Behavior of the Researcher of the Future’ also shows that traits commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are becoming the norm for all age-groups, from young students through undergraduates to professors. The study warns that young people are dangerously lacking in informations skills and presents the challenges for library and information services in meeting the needs of researchers.
The Executive Summary of the report is a good read (and worth a look just for the cover graphic). You can find the full report here, and more recent publications of the JISC group, e.g., Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World, are listed here.