No Surprise: Online Research Beats Manual Research

Law Librarian Blog – “There is a study called A Day Without A Search Engine: An Experimental Study Of Online and Offline Search, and it’s getting some press. It basically compares online and manual research as conducted in a library and highlights the differences in the time involved to arrive at results and the quality of the results. The study, from the University of Michigan, is focused on general research and not legal research.

The experiment was designed around random web queries within the United States on a single day. They were filtered so that they could be answered manually or online. One criticism of taking questions from an online source is that they may be biased towards the web as a source. There is no suggestion in the report that the designers looked at the results before selecting the questions for the study. As I’m fond of telling students, and as much as I love using the web myself, not everything is online. More on that in a bit.”

One Response to “No Surprise: Online Research Beats Manual Research”

  1. Bob Farwell
    April 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    I would love to know more details. I for one have yet to find sustained searching on line as satisfying as the discoveries made perusing print sources in a library. Maybe its a function of age or wiring.

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