Keeping a learning diary to enhance researchers' understanding of and users' skills in web searching.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how using a learning diary can enable researchers to gain a deeper insight into end users' information searching behaviour and how it can improve users' search skills as well. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted a qualitative approach and used a learning diary as its data collection tool. A group of 62 Library and Information Science students from Tarbiat Moallem University in Tehran formed the target group. They were asked to keep a search diary for eight weeks to reflect on their search experiences during that period of time. Moreover, 15 of them participated in a follow-up interview after handing in their diaries. Findings – A tentative model was developed to illustrate a number of elements which contribute to the formation of problematic, satisfying and optimal search situations. Moreover keeping a diary was perceived useful by the participants in improving their search skills. Research limitations/implications – Only 34 of the subjects (54 per cent of the target group) recorded a detailed track of their searches which were suitable for the purpose of this study. The technique employed in this study might be helpful for the information literacy trainers to evaluate the progress of their trainees and to gain a better understanding of their difficulties. Originality/value – There is little research in the area of information seeking on the web using learning diary as a device to reflect on users' search behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-699
Number of pages10
JournalLibrary Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2008


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