New Research Paper: “Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality”

Posted on February 26, 2012 by


Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality (150 pages; PDF)


Urs Gasser
Harvard University   –  Berkman Center for Internet & Society; University of St. Gallen

Sandra Cortesi
Harvard University  –  Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Momin Malik
Harvard University  –  Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Ashley Lee
Harvard University –  Berkman Center for Internet & Society




Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities. A review of selected literature at the intersection of digital media, youth, and information quality — primarily works from library and information science, sociology, education, and selected ethnographic studies — reveals patterns in youth’s information-seeking behavior, but also highlights the importance of contextual and demographic factors both for search and evaluation. Looking at the phenomenon from an information-learning and educational perspective, the literature shows that youth develop competencies for personal goals that sometimes do not transfer to school, and are sometimes not appropriate for school. Thus far, educational initiatives to educate youth about search, evaluation, or creation have depended greatly on the local circumstances for their success or failure.

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