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Skim reading: an adaptive strategy for reading on the web

Skim reading: an adaptive strategy for reading on the web
Skim reading: an adaptive strategy for reading on the web
It has been suggested that readers spend a great deal of time skim reading on the Web and that if readers skim read they reduce their comprehension of what they have read. There have been a number of studies exploring skim reading, but relatively little exists on the skim reading of hypertext and Webpages. In the experiment documented here, we utilised eye tracking methodology to explore how readers skim read hypertext and how hyperlinks affect reading behaviour. The results show that the readers read faster when they were skim reading and comprehension was reduced. However, the presence of hyperlinks seemed to assist the readers in picking out important information when skim reading. We suggest that readers engage in an adaptive information foraging strategy where they attempt to minimise comprehension loss while maintaining a high reading speed. Readers use hyperlinks as markers to suggest important information and use them to read through the text in an efficient and effective way. This suggests that skim reading may not be as damaging to comprehension when reading hypertext, but it does mean that the words we choose to hyperlink become very important to comprehension for those skim reading text on the Web.
978-1-4503-2622-3
211-219
Fitzsimmons, Gemma
ac6b7c69-8992-44f1-92ca-05aa22e75129
Weal, Mark
e8fd30a6-c060-41c5-b388-ca52c81032a4
Drieghe, Denis
dfe41922-1cea-47f4-904b-26d5c9fe85ce
Fitzsimmons, Gemma
ac6b7c69-8992-44f1-92ca-05aa22e75129
Weal, Mark
e8fd30a6-c060-41c5-b388-ca52c81032a4
Drieghe, Denis
dfe41922-1cea-47f4-904b-26d5c9fe85ce

Fitzsimmons, Gemma, Weal, Mark and Drieghe, Denis (2014) Skim reading: an adaptive strategy for reading on the web. At WebSci '14 Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Web Science WebSci '14 Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Web Science, United States. 23 - 26 Jun 2014. pp. 211-219.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

It has been suggested that readers spend a great deal of time skim reading on the Web and that if readers skim read they reduce their comprehension of what they have read. There have been a number of studies exploring skim reading, but relatively little exists on the skim reading of hypertext and Webpages. In the experiment documented here, we utilised eye tracking methodology to explore how readers skim read hypertext and how hyperlinks affect reading behaviour. The results show that the readers read faster when they were skim reading and comprehension was reduced. However, the presence of hyperlinks seemed to assist the readers in picking out important information when skim reading. We suggest that readers engage in an adaptive information foraging strategy where they attempt to minimise comprehension loss while maintaining a high reading speed. Readers use hyperlinks as markers to suggest important information and use them to read through the text in an efficient and effective way. This suggests that skim reading may not be as damaging to comprehension when reading hypertext, but it does mean that the words we choose to hyperlink become very important to comprehension for those skim reading text on the Web.

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More information

Published date: 23 June 2014
Venue - Dates: WebSci '14 Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Web Science, United States, 2014-06-23 - 2014-06-26
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 369015
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369015
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2622-3
PURE UUID: 4919669c-ba3d-4b57-9aaa-c1e117110c58
ORCID for Gemma Fitzsimmons: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4519-0499
ORCID for Mark Weal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-8786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Sep 2014 15:53
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:25

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Contributors

Author: Gemma Fitzsimmons ORCID iD
Author: Mark Weal ORCID iD
Author: Denis Drieghe

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