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Eyeing CRISPR on Wikipedia: using eye tracking to assess what lay audiences look for to learn about CRISPR and genetic engineering


Kessler, Sabrina Heike; Mede, Niels G; Schäfer, Mike S (2020). Eyeing CRISPR on Wikipedia: using eye tracking to assess what lay audiences look for to learn about CRISPR and genetic engineering. Environmental Communication, 14(7):886-903.

Abstract

CRISPR/Cas-based genome editing is a monumental leap in genetic engineering with considerable societal implications – but it is a complex procedure that is difficult to understand for non-scientists. Wikipedia has been shown to be an important source of information about scientific topics. But research on search, selection, and reception processes on Wikipedia is scarce. By means of eye tracking and survey data, this study investigates how users find information about genetic engineering and CRISPR on Wikipedia and what influences search behaviors and outcomes. An observational study was conducted in which 67 participants searched for general information about genetic engineering and specific information about CRISPR. Results indicate that participants looking for specific information about CRISPR searched shorter, visited fewer Wikipedia pages, and followed shorter and more straightforward search paths than participants looking for general information about genetic engineering. Moreover, prior knowledge and involvement affected users’ browsing behavior. Prior knowledge and search behavior influenced search outcomes.

Abstract

CRISPR/Cas-based genome editing is a monumental leap in genetic engineering with considerable societal implications – but it is a complex procedure that is difficult to understand for non-scientists. Wikipedia has been shown to be an important source of information about scientific topics. But research on search, selection, and reception processes on Wikipedia is scarce. By means of eye tracking and survey data, this study investigates how users find information about genetic engineering and CRISPR on Wikipedia and what influences search behaviors and outcomes. An observational study was conducted in which 67 participants searched for general information about genetic engineering and specific information about CRISPR. Results indicate that participants looking for specific information about CRISPR searched shorter, visited fewer Wikipedia pages, and followed shorter and more straightforward search paths than participants looking for general information about genetic engineering. Moreover, prior knowledge and involvement affected users’ browsing behavior. Prior knowledge and search behavior influenced search outcomes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Online information search behavior, CRISPR, genetic engineering, Wikipedia, eye tracking
Language:English
Date:2 October 2020
Deposited On:17 Dec 2020 16:47
Last Modified:28 Apr 2021 07:30
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1752-4032
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2020.1723668

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