Online information seeking during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-country analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionIFLA Journal. 2023, . https://doi.org/10.1177/03400352221141466
The aim of this study was to investigate the coronavirus-related web-searching patterns of people from the 10 most affected nations in September 2020. The authors extracted all searches for the sample nations, consisting of the two words ‘COVID-19’ and ‘coronavirus’ and their variations, from Google Trends for the complete year of 2020. The results showed a discrepancy due to the priority of the language used during searches for coronavirus-related information. The time span of the attention level of citizens towards coronavirus-related information was relatively short (about one month). This supports the assumption of the activation model of information exposure that information which generates a negative affect is not welcomed by users. The findings have practical implications for governments and health authorities in, for example, launching information services for citizens in the early months of a pandemic and them remaining as the preferred source of information for citizens.