When I saw the title of this Futurelab Flux blog entry, at first I thought it was a response to “Google University” book (see recent post here), while in fact it summarises yet another report which is making the same basic points:
The report by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an ease and familiarity with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web.
But then it goes one step further, and finds that these bad habits are now commonplace amongst older users too…
The report … 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 the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors.
So in a bizarre way, the ease of search is having a negative impact on the quality of research at all levels – from young students to established researchers. You can get the reports in all their glory from the Google Generation page at JISC.