Thirty years of user studies– and what we still need to find out

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

Abstract

The main - perhaps the only - reason for investigating dictionary use is in order to improve users’ consultation methods, and to meet their consultation needs more closely. This is easier said than done, of course, given that there are so many different types of user consulting dictionaries in so many different contexts, for so many different purposes, and with such differing levels of knowledge and expertise. Moreover although the research area is still relatively young (very few empirical studies were conducted before the 1980s) it spans a period of great technological change and has experimented with a wide range of methodologies, so that studies purporting to address similar research questions, in
similar contexts, have sometimes arrived at very different conclusions. Focusing particularly on dictionaries for learners of English, this paper will trace developments in user
studies over the past thirty years, and will attempt to identify conclusions we can all agree on, claims that remain contentious, and important questions that still remain to be answered. It assumes that the ‘perfect’ dictionary consultation is the one which provides the best answers, in the least obtrusive way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWords, Dictionaries and Corpora: Innovations in reference science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of ASIALEX 2015
EditorsLan Li, Jamie McKeown, Liming Liu
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Polytechnic University
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-962-367-790-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventASIALEX 2015 : The 9th International Conference of Asian Association of Lexicography - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
Duration: 25 Jun 201527 Jun 2015
Conference number: 9
http://www.asialex.org/

Conference

ConferenceASIALEX 2015 : The 9th International Conference of Asian Association of Lexicography
Abbreviated titleASIALEX 2015
CountryHong Kong
CityHung Hom
Period25/06/1527/06/15
Internet address

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Users
  • Research
  • English language learners

Cite this

Nesi, H. (2015). Thirty years of user studies– and what we still need to find out. In L. Li, J. McKeown, & L. Liu (Eds.), Words, Dictionaries and Corpora: Innovations in reference science: Proceedings of ASIALEX 2015 (pp. 1-8). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University .