E-government and the digital divide: A study of English-as-a-Second-Language Users' Information Behaviour

Brazier, David and Harvey, Morgan (2017) E-government and the digital divide: A study of English-as-a-Second-Language Users' Information Behaviour. In: ECIR 2017 - 39th European Conference on Information Retrieval, 8th - 13th April 2017, Aberdeen, UK.

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Internet-based technologies are increasingly used by organisations and governments to offer services to consumers and the public in a quick and efficient manner, removing the need for face-to-face conversations and human advisors. Despite their obvious benefits for most users, these online systems may present barriers of access to certain groups in society which may lead to information poverty.

In this study we consider the information behaviour of ten ESL (English as a Second Language) participants as they conduct four search tasks designed to reflect actual information seeking situations. Our results suggest that, despite a perception that they have a good understanding of English, they often choose documents that are only partially or tangentially relevant. There were significant differences in the behaviour of participants given their perceived confidence in using English to perform search tasks. Those who were confident took riskier strategies and were less thorough, leading to them bookmarking a larger proportion of non-relevant documents. The results of this work have potentially profound repercussions for how e-government services are provided and how second-language speakers are assisted in their use of these.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
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Depositing User: Morgan Harvey
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 11:24
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 07:05
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28909

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