Truth in a sea of data: adoption and use of data search tools among researchers and journalists

Haiyan Jia, Larrisa I. Miller, Jessica Hicks, Ethan Moscot, Alissa Landberg, Jeff Heflin and Brian D. Davison

Article (20 pages)
Official T&F published version: DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2022.2147398
Free Access (to first 50 people): here
Local copy of Accepted Manuscript

The increasing availability of data search tools brings opportunities for non-expert users. Among these users, interdisciplinary researchers and data journalists represent a growing population whose work can lead to societal benefit. Through in-depth interviews, we examine what strategies and approaches researchers and journalists adopt to search online data, how they apply current technology to facilitate dataset search, and the barriers and difficulties that they encounter in their work with data. Our findings reveal that with technological limitations in the aspects of searchability, interactivity and usability, dataset search for non-experts remains a challenge. We have found that little attention has been paid to non-experts' emerging data need, significantly constraining the design and development of technological tools for supporting non-expert users. Our findings underline the critical impact of the design, development and deployment of technological tools to enable the meaningful use of today's increasingly available data toward a civil society.

Information, Communication and Society, 26(16): 3239-3258. Taylor & Francis, November 2022. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2022.2147398

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Last modified: 21 December 2023
Brian D. Davison