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At a search skills workshop, it’s often difficult to obtain information about participants’ skill levels in advance. So to pitch your session at the right level, it is necessary to find out if your participants have done any searching before, and whether they understand concepts such as question formulation, Boolean logic, and MeSH. Have you tried contacting participants for information before a session? Invariably—if you actually obtain any responses—the participants will vary between stating that they know “nothing about searching” or that they are “pretty good searchers,” …
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