PubMed searches by Dutch-speaking nursing students: the impact of language and system experience
- Publication type
- Publication status
- Vanopstal, K., Vander Stichele, R., Laureys, G., & Buysschaert, J.
- Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
- Wiley (Hoboken, N.J)
This study analyzes the search behavior of Dutch-speaking nursing students with a non-native knowledge of English who searched for information in MEDLINE/PubMed about a specific theme in nursing. We examine whether and to what extent their search efficiency is affected by their language skills. Our task-oriented approach focuses on three stages of the information retrieval process: need articulation, query formulation and relevance judgment. The test participants completed a pre-test questionnaire, which gave us information about their overall experience with the search system and their self-reported computer and language skills. The students were briefly introduced into the use of PubMed and MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) before they conducted their keyword-driven subject search. We assessed the search results in terms of recall and precision, and also analyzed the search process. After the search task, a satisfaction survey and a language test were completed. We conclude that language skills have an impact on the search results. We hypothesize that language support might improve the efficiency of searches conducted by Dutch-speaking users of PubMed.