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Researching Latin America: A Survey of How the New generation Is Doing Their Research


This article reports the results of a pioneering and in-depth survey of the research and information-seeking behavior of the student members of the Latin American Studies Association living in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The results suggest that the new generation of Latin Americanists in the universities surveyed are confident in their abilities to carry out research on the region within their respective disciplines. However, most of these students have not received formal instruction by course instructors or librarians on how to carry out their research on Latin America. Use of the Internet as a research resource is popular but has not replaced the use of the library and long-standing research strategies such as footnote-chasing. While the reported use of library electronic resources is very high, awareness of Latin America-specific and electronically-available research tools such as HLAS, HAPI, and LAPTOC is low. The survey is the first step in reassessing the ever-changing needs and research patterns of this cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary group of academic library users and future leaders in Latin American studies.

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