Print Vs. Online Encyclopedias

Print Vs. Online Encyclopedias for Legal Research

In a study conducted with students (some of them with Learning handicaps) which
compared subjects’ abilities to use print and online encyclopedias, Dave L.
Edyburn found that an online encyclopedia (with menus) was superior to a
print encyclopedia at answering factual questions. (1) In their “Performance in Electronic Encyclopedias: Implications for Adaptive Systems”Gary Marchionini and Peter
Liebscher also examined subjects’ abilities to retrieve factual information from
print and online encyclopedias and found the online version had a slight
advantage over the print.(2). The work describes a study that examined the information-seeking behavior of undergraduate students searching print and electronic encyclopedias to determine how mental models are adapted for different types of media. Cognitive load is discussed; print and electronic systems are compared; differences among three electronic encyclopedias are described; and user expectations are examined.

In another study, Andrew Large found that Multimedia encyclopedias was inferior with complex topics but it was superior with simple topics.(3)


1. Dave L. Edyburn, Fact Retrieval by Students With and Without Learning Handicaps Using Print and Electronic Encyclopedias, 11 J. SPECIAL EDUC. TECH. 75 (1991).
2. Gary Marchionini & Peter Liebscher, Performance in Electronic Encyclopedias: Implications for
Adaptive Systems, 28 PROC. AM. SOC’Y INFO. SCI. 39, 44 (1991).
3. Andrew Large et al., Multimedia and Comprehension: A Cognitive Study, 45 J. AM. SOC’Y FOR INFO. SCI. 515 (1994).

See Also


References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Learning, Legal Research, Legal encyclopedias, List of Internet Law Online Journals, List of Legal Encyclopedias, List of international online resources, Multimedia.



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