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Are social networking sites information sources? Informational purposes of high-school students in using SNSs

McNicol, SL and Aillerie, K (2016) Are social networking sites information sources? Informational purposes of high-school students in using SNSs. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science. ISSN 1741-6477

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Abstract

Although social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter are widely used by teenagers, to date, research has focused on their social uses. This research sought to investigate the ways in which high school students (15–19 years) use such sites in order to find information. It highlights the importance of considering how young people may use social networking sites for everyday life information as well as for academic and school-oriented information. Findings from a web-based survey of students from the UK, France, Thailand and Denmark show that social networking sites are information sources for most teenagers, especially for information related to social activities. Although academic information seeking was not among the most common reasons for using them, the findings indicate that they are used by many students for such purposes, as well as for everyday life information seeking.

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