Pioneering research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth


I think I found this on clipmarks … surely it’s Fair Use to paste-post in this fashion! I’ll have a printed-out copy of the report at the SPLAT meeting on Friday for "show and tell."


16 January 2008

  • All age groups revealed to share so-called ‘Google Generation’
  • New study argues that libraries will have to adapt to the
    digital mindset
  • Young people seemingly lacking in information skills; strong
    message to the government and society at large

A new study overturns the common assumption that the ‘Google
Generation’ – youngsters born or brought up in the Internet age
– is the most web-literate. The first ever virtual longitudinal
study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College
London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent
ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search
engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and
analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the

The report Information Behaviour
of the Researcher of the Future
(PDF format; 1.67MB) also shows
that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with
younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance
for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now becoming
the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates
through to professors.

Commissioned by the British Library and JISC (Joint Information
Systems Committee), the study calls for libraries to respond urgently
to the changing needs of researchers and other users. Going virtual
is critical and learning what researchers want and need crucial
if libraries are not to become obsolete, it warns. "Libraries in
general are not keeping up with the demands of students and researchers
for services that are integrated and consistent with their wider
internet experience", says Dr Ian Rowlands, the lead author of the