Multilingual Information Access (MLIA) Tools on Google and WorldCat: Bi/Multilingual University Students’ Experience and Perceptions
Journal of Library Administration
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This article reports on the results of an exploratory user-centered study that examined how technological advancements in natural language processing (NLP) such as the availability of multilingual information access (MLIA) tools impact the information searching behavior of bi/multilingual academic users. Thirty-one bi/multilingual students participated in a controlled lab-based user experiment in which they carried out two assigned tasks each on Google and WorldCat for a total of four tasks, and then completed a post experiment questionnaire. The captures from the experiment showed 86.7% of the participants using multilingual information access tools. Further analyses of the captures also showed that participants were more likely to use MLIA tools when the instructions for the task were stated in their native language. An independent samples t-test revealed that participants spent less time on their searches when they used MLIA tools. The study revealed considerable diversity in the information searching behavior of the participants, even within the same pair of languages, and even for the same user. Diversity was noted for instance, on which tasks MLIA tools were used and in how these tools were used. User-centered designed, personalized multilingual information retrieval (PMLIR) models could hold promise for best representing the information searching behavior of bi/multilingual users.