A Comparative Study of Native and Non-Native Information Seeking Behaviours

David Brazier, Morgan Harvey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The proliferation of web-based technologies has led most national governments
to begin transitioning to a so called “e-service,” where provision is made through
purely digital means. Despite their obvious benefits for most users, these on-line systems present barriers of access to certain groups in society. In this study we consider the information behaviour of non-native and native English speaking participants as they conduct search tasks designed to reflect actual information seeking situations in a UK governmental context. Results show that the non-natives rely more on query assistance, delve deeper into the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and obtain better performance the longer they read documents.

This was not the case for the natives, despite spending the most time
reading documents. There are some similarities in their information seeking behaviours as both groups submit similar length queries, and are equally proficient in identifying when a failed query did not meet their information need. This proficiency was not reflected in their performance in some tasks, with both groups unable to consistently predict when they had not performed well. The results of this work have potentially profound repercussions for how e-government services are provided and how users are assisted in their use of these.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018
EventEuropean Conference on Information Retrieval 2018 - Grenoble, France
Duration: 26 Mar 201829 Mar 2018


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Retrieval 2018
Abbreviated titleECIR
Internet address


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