Longitudinal Search Study


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Our prior research investigated how children and adolescents approached searching. From that work, we discovered seven search roles, or patterns of behavior, that children and adolescents fall into when searching for information on the computer. We also found that these roles differed slightly between the age groups. We are currently involved in a longitudinal study of the children who originally participated in our research. By conducting a longitudinal study, we look to discover how individuals change as searchers over time. We hope that the longitudinal study will result in stable search roles for all youth that can guide adult stakeholders in the area of youth searching in their efforts to design effective search tools and provide tailored search education.


Dr. Hilary Browne Hutchinson, Google.
Dr. Allison Druin, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies.
Dr. Evan Golub, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science.
Elizabeth Foss, PhD student, College of Information Studies.

Papers and Articles

Adolescent Search Roles (JASIST)
Children's Search Roles at Home: Implications for Designers, Researchers, Educators, and Parents (JASIST)
How Children Search the Internet with Keyword Interfaces
Children's Roles using Keyword Search Interfaces at Home
Helping Children Find What They Need on the Internet (New York Times article)
Study: Not All Kids Are Computer Whizzes (NPR story)


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