Information seeking with Wikipedia on the iPod Touch

Jim Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a usability study which inquired into undergraduate student information seeking with Wikipedia on the iPod touch. Design/methodology/approach: Data are drawn from iPod search logs and student survey responses. Search log data are coded with FRBR subject entities (group 3 entity sets) for analysis. Findings: Students characterize the overall nature of information searched for with the Wikipedia app to be for recreational and for short factual information. Recreational searching as a way in which undergraduate students utilize mobile technology is an earlier finding of Wikipedia iPod usage, and is verified as a trend of undergraduate student search using the iPod. All undergraduate student participants of the Wikipedia app on a mobile interface report this tool as helping to become more efficient in their research. Students viewed Wikipedia articles about people and concepts more so than other article types. Originality/value: Undergraduate student mobile search log analysis over a specific type of information resource on the iPod Touch is an original usability project. Previous mobile search log analysis analyzes thousands of unknown users and millions of anonymous queries, where the devices used for searching are not always identifiable and trends about touch screens cannot be ascertained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-298
Number of pages15
JournalReference Services Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Academic libraries
  • Mobile communication systems
  • Reference services
  • United States of America
  • Worldwide web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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