Information Research

Published by Information Research
The goal of this study is to expand our understanding of the relationships between selected tasks, cognitive abilities and search result interfaces. The underlying objective is to understand how to select search results presentation for tasks and user contexts. Twenty three participants conducted four search tasks of two types and used two interfaces (List and Overview) to refine and examine search results. Clickthrough data were recorded. This controlled study employed a mixed model design with two within-subject factors (task and interface) and two between-subject factors (two cognitive abilities: memory span and verbal closure). Quantitative analyses were carried out by means of the statistical package SPSS. Specifically, multivariate analysis of variance with repeated measures and non-parametric tests were performed on the collected data. The overview of search results appeared to have benefited searchers in several ways. It made them faster; it facilitated formulation of more effective queries and helped to assess search results. Searchers with higher cognitive abilities were faster in the Overview interface and in less demanding situations (on simple tasks), while at the same time they issued about the same number of queries as lower-ability searchers. In more demanding situations (on complex tasks and in the List interface), the higher ability searchers expended more search effort, although they were not significantly slower than the lower ability people in these situations. The higher search effort, however, did not result in a measurable improvement of task outcomes for high-ability searchers. These findings have implications for the design of search interfaces. They suggest benefits of providing result overviews. They also suggest the importance of considering cognitive abilities in the design of search results' presentation and interaction.
The introduction of electronic journals into Higher Education institutions in the United Kingdom has been relatively well documented, in terms of their purchase, management and uptake. However, the impact on learning, other than trends in usage and some indications of students' and researchers' attitudes, has not been quantified. This paper evaluates a project designed with the primary aim of testing a hypothesis that learning can be enhanced by promoting the use of e-journals. It was run jointly by a member of the library staff and an academic within the Business School. A 'research quotient' was developed to measure a student's ability to carry out appropriate research to support their learning. Research quotient scores were analysed along with journal bibliographic citations in students' assignments. Analysis of the results indicated that effective collaboration between academic and library staff, the timely embedding of e-journal induction into the learning process and associating it with the assessment process, can significantly enhance the learning of students. It was also recognised that students need be encouraged to see beyond assignments and adopt an holistic approach to learning.
Research undertaken by the Centre for Research in Library and Information Management has sought to enhance understanding of information seeking behaviour of blind and visually impaired people when using digital resources. The Non-Visual Access to the Digital Library project (NoVA) aimed to develop further understanding of user behaviour with web based resources, with particular reference to retrieval of information by blind and visually impaired people. Using a sample of 20 sighted and 20 visually impaired people, users undertook a number of information seeking tasks using four different electronic resources. Each step of the information seeking process was logged (at keystroke or equivalent level) and pre-task and post-task questions were asked in order to gather qualitative data. Results revealed that visually impaired users spend more time searching or browsing the web with times varying considerably depending on the design of the site. Overall, visually impaired users have to spend more time navigating around each page, especially if, for example, the page contains a lot of information or has many links. Observations revealed that people with more experience with the assistive technology they were using were more successful with the task. Whereas designers may assume that everyone has access to the new versions of assistive technology, this is not always the case. Designers, therefore, will have to take such realities into account.
This paper was commissioned by Professor Gernot Wersig of the Freie Universität, Berlin in 1980, as part of his Project, Methodeninstrumentarium zur Benutzforschung in Information und Dokumentation. It attempted to set out what was, for the time, a novel perspective on appropriate methodologies for the study of human information seeking behaviour, focusing on qualitative methods and action research, arguing that the application of information research depended upon its adoption into the managerial processes of organizations, rather than its self-evident relationship to any body of theory. It is presented here as it was originally written, with the figures re-drawn.
Previous studies have shown how personality influences learning strategies and learning outcome. In this study this will be taken further by combining personality and approaches to learning with information behaviour. The aim of this study is to show how the five traits of the Five-Factor Inventory related to the approaches to learning of the ASSIST-test affect information behaviour. The subjects will be approximately 500 university students writing their dissertation. In a pilot study it was shown that personality traits can be related to approaches to learning. Moreover they seem to form distinctive information behaviour.
This paper presents a conceptual model of information behaviour. The model is part of the Search Situation Transition method schema. The method schema is developed to discover and analyse interplay between phenomena traditionally analysed as factors influencing either information retrieval or information seeking. In this paper the focus is on the model's five main categories: the work task, the searcher, the social/organisational environment, the search task, and the search process. In particular, the search process and its sub-categories search situation and transition and the relationship between these are discussed. To justify the method schema an empirical study was designed according to the schema's specifications. In the paper a subset of the study is presented analysing the effects of work tasks on Web information searching. Findings from this small-scale study indicate a strong relationship between the work task goal and the level of relevance used for judging resources during search processes.
In their influential paper, Dervin and Nilan compared and contrasted the "traditional" and "alternative" paradigms for human information behaviour research, highlighting the inadequacies of the former and promoting the importance of the latter. In this paper, we argue that the two paradigms are not irreconcilable. We offer a research framework that allows qualitative and quantitative views of the same problem to be combined using systems models. We demonstrate how this approach can be used to reconcile the six key differences between the two paradigms as argued by Dervin and Nilan.
Drawing on extensive literature reviews focusing, in particular, on user (and audience) research in the fields of library and information science and communication studies, the author describes the increasing chaos of human studies and user studies: the plethora of theories, concepts, approaches, methods, and findings which plague researchers within and between fields and bewilder policy maker and practitioner observers. The origins and symptoms of these disciplinary overloads and the usual forms of inter-disciplinarity brought to bear on them are traced. The author argues that most usual approaches to inter-disciplinarity act as more of the same and contribute to overload conditions. She calls for a methodological approach to inter-disciplinarity based on fundamental communicative principles. For library and information science, which as a field has traditionally drawn on multi-disciplinary sources, the author cautions that, as the field sets itself to the task of assisting the inter-disciplinary needs of its constituencies, it is especially important that the field also attend to inter-disciplinary needs within its own walls, between its many disparate and disconnected discourse communities.
Book review -
This paper presents findings from a study of the effects of query structure on retrieval by Web search services. Fifteen queries were selected from the transaction log of a major Web search service in simple query form with no advanced operators (e.g., Boolean operators, phrase operators, etc.) and submitted to 5 major search engines - Alta Vista, Excite, FAST Search, Infoseek, and Northern Light. The results from these queries became the baseline data. The original 15 queries were then modified using the various search operators supported by each of the 5 search engines for a total of 210 queries. Each of these 210 queries was also submitted to the applicable search service. The results obtained were then compared to the baseline results. A total of 2,768 search results were returned by the set of all queries. In general, increasing the complexity of the queries had little effect on the results with a greater than 70% overlap in results, on average. Implications for the design of Web search services and directions for future research are discussed.
A process version of Ellis's behavioural framework (Wilson 1999)  
Ingwersen's model of the IR process (Wilson, 1999; based on Ingwersen, 1996)  
The work chart structure (Byström and Järvelin, 1995)  
A model of task­based information seeking (Byström, 1999)  
Decision processes (based on Thompson, 1967)  
There are several kinds of conceptual models for information seeking and retrieval (IS&R). The paper suggests that some models are of a summary type and others more analytic. Such models serve different research purposes. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the functions of conceptual models in scientific research, in IS&R research in particular. What kind of models are there and in what ways may they help the investigators? What kinds of models are needed for various purposes? In particular, we are looking for models that provide guidance in setting research questions, and formulation of hypotheses. As a example, the paper discusses [at length] one analytical model of task-based information seeking and its contribution to the development of the research area.
One of the main problems involved in the use of free text for indexing and retrieval is the variation in word forms that is likely to be encountered. The most common type of variations are spelling errors, alternative spellings, multi-word concepts, transliteration, affixes and abbreviations. One way to alleviate this problem is to use a conflation algorithm, a computational procedure that is designed to bring together words that are semantically related, and to reduce them to a single form for retrieval purposes. In this paper, we discuss the use of conflation techniques for Turkish text databases.
Genealogy and family history are examples of everyday life information seeking and provide a unique example of intensive and extensive use of libraries and archives over time. In spite of the ongoing nature of this activity, genealogists and family historians have rarely been the subject of study in the information seeking literature and therefore the nature of their information problems have not been explored. This article discusses findings from a qualitative study based on twenty-nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews with genealogists and family historians and observations of their personal information management practices. Results indicated that the search for factual information often led to one for orienting information. Finding ancestors in the past was also a means of finding one's own identity in the present. Family history is also an activity without a clear end goal; after the ancestry chart is filled out the search continues for more information about the lives of one's forebears. Thus, family history should be viewed as an ongoing process of seeking meaning. The ultimate need is not a fact or date, but to create a larger narrative, connect with others in the past and in the present, and to find coherence in one's own life.
It is well established that Web documents are ephemeral in nature. The literature now suggests that some Web objects are more ephemeral than others. Some authors describe this in terms of a Web document half-life, others use terms like 'linkrot' or persistence. It may be that certain 'classes' of Web documents are more or less likely to persist than are others. This article is based upon an evaluation of the existing literature as well as a continuing study of a set of URLs first identified in late 1996. It finds that a static collection of general Web pages tends to 'stabilize' somewhat after it has 'aged'. However 'stable' various collections may be, their instability nevertheless pose problems for various classes of users. Based on the literature, it also finds that the stability of more specialized Web document collections (legal, educational, scientific citations) vary according to specialization. This finding, in turn, may have implications both for those who employ Web citations and for those involved in Web document collection development.
Based on the interviews of eighteen participants, the ways in which people talk about their source preferences with regard to the Internet in everyday life information seeking were investigated by using discourse analysis. Three major interpretative repertoires were identified: Enthusiastic, Realistic and Critical. The Enthusiastic repertoire emphasizes the strengths of the Internet, conceiving it as a great enabler or as a technology of freedom. In this repertoire, positive expressions such as fast, easy and interactive are favoured. In the Realistic repertoire, the source preferences are constructed as situation-bound choices. The Internet is given no absolute priority but its value is seen to depend on the relative advantages in specific situations. No sources or channels are superior by themselves but their value is contingent on the use situation and its specific requirements. Finally, the Critical repertoire is characterized by a reserved standpoint to the advantages brought by the Internet. Central to this repertoire is the critical view on the low amount of relevant informationavailable in the Internet and the poor organization of networked information, rendering effective information seeking difficult. Due to their ideal-typical nature, the above repertoires are rather independent. However, in the everyday discursive practices, the repertoires are used alternately, and the same speaker may shift from one repertoire to another within the same account.
This paper describes a research project in the Department of Information Studies at Sheffield University, focusing on Information Systems Strategy (ISS) Formation in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) with specific reference to information strategies. Information strategies, for the purpose of this research are seen as a sub-set of an Information systems strategy. This research holds interest on two levels, first the topic of research, and secondly the methodological approach which will be tested. Most HEI's in the United Kingdom are currently developing information strategies. The impetus for this development coming both from internal pressures, but also significantly from the HEFCE's. Unfortunately there is very little information available on information systems strategies in HEI's or on information strategies. The research, it is hoped, will in some way address this imbalance.
Immigrants are generally perceived to be information poor, meaning they face major challenges with finding and using greatly needed everyday information. However, little research exists from an information behaviour perspective as differences in language, culture, and other factors such as access make immigrants a difficult population to study. We explored the everyday information behaviour and information grounds of migrant Hispanic farm workers through field observation and interviews with users and staff of community technology centres in a major agricultural area. Findings suggest that personal networks having various levels of credibility were used more readily than any other type of information source. Credibility and use of various sources seemed to relate to personal status as well as interest in information.
The paper analyses accounts of information behaviour that are produced by 20 heart surgery patients and their spouses. It is shown that patients and their significant others have to act in a context in which health ideologies stressing self sufficiency and patient compliance play a strong role. Thus, the analysed accounts and narratives of information seeking reflect moral demands that ill persons and their significant others are facing in contemporary society. The author uses social constructionist discourse analysis to examine how the interviewees have to relate their descriptions of information practices to existing moral presuppositions on how rational individuals should behave.
Forces and Tensions Shaping the Historical Evolution of the IS Field.
This paper provides a detailed assessment of the current status of the Information Systems (IS) field by tracing its historical evolution. It uses lessons drawn from the history of another social science, sociology, to highlight some of the fundamental choices now facing IS researchers. Firstly, the paper identifies the most important tensions and forces that shaped the evolution of the IS field in the 40 or so years of its history. Secondly, it draw a comparison between IS and sociology and uses some selected fundamental patterns of the history of the latter to explain the main aspects of the evolution of IS. Finally, noting that IS researchers do not seem to have succeeded in developing a core of concepts and definitions to enable the accumulation of knowledge in IS and to significantly contribute to the improvement of the business application of information systems, the paper calls for a debate on the future orientations of the field and identifies some of the choices that can be made at this stage of the evolution of the field.
Word frequencies
The Coding process in Atlas.ti The network feature of Atlas.ti was used to construct network diagrams, linking coding terms, as a means of suggesting fruitful relationships to explore. These networks varied in complexity, from the very simple diagram shown in Figure 3 to the more detailed network shown in Appendix 3.  
A simple network view  
The demand situation  
The pilot study reported here applies content analysis techniques to twenty interviews carried out in preparation for mediated searches as part of the 'Uncertainty in Information Seeking' project. The tools used in the analysis (Atlas.ti and TEXTStat) are described and their contribution assessed. TEXTStat, a free program, was used to produce frequency counts of the words used in the interview and to examine the context of those words. Atlas.ti was used to assign codes to the interview transcripts and to model the relationships among these codes. The mode of analysis of the cases is qualitative and interpretative and the results reveal the complexity of the information problems, the variety of motivations for undertaking a mediated search, the difficulties of expressing the search concepts, and the relationship between the need for a search and previous information seeking behaviour.
This paper reports results of a user study conducted in the UK to evaluate the digital information services and projects of the Joint Information Systems Committee's Information Environment, JISC's IE, (formally known as the Distributed National Electronic Resource, DNER) from an end-user perspective. The study was undertaken as part of the EDNER project (Formative evaluation of the DNER), a three year project funded by the JISC. Test criteria for the user study draw upon Quality Attributes which were first posited by Garvin in 1987 and subsequently applied to information services by Brophy in 1998. They have been further modified for this context.
Based on a qualitative comparative study across four domains, this paper explores how the use and perceived usefulness of scholarly mailing lists is related to primary search methods, collaboration patterns, loci of critical information, physical proximity of like-minded colleagues, field size, the desirability of sharing information in public or semi-public discussion forums, relevance criteria, the degree of scatter within a field, and book versus article orientation. The findings show the differential role of formal and informal computer-mediated communication across fields. Environmental biologists and nursing scientists saw little value in mailing lists for research purposes. They relied on their local collaborators as sources of support and advice. Historians and literature and cultural studies scholars experienced mailing lists as helpful in monitoring literature and progress of the field.
Examines critically the origins and basis of 'knowledge management', its components and its development as a field of consultancy practice. Problems in the distinction between 'knowledge' and 'information' are explored, as well as Polanyi's concept of 'tacit knowing'. The concept is examined in the journal literature, the Web sites of consultancy companies, and in the presentation of business schools. The conclusion is reached that 'knowledge management' is an umbrella term for a variety of organizational activities, none of which are concerned with the management of knowledge. Those activities that are not concerned with the management of information are concerned with the management of work practices, in the expectation that changes in such areas as communication practice will enable information sharing.
In the 1980s information management was emergent and perceived by some to be simply a re-write of traditional librarianship. However, it has continued to thrive and much of what is now included is far removed even from modern information science, although information management draws upon ideas from both librarianship and information science. In one form or another it is likely to persist in the future, since information problems are likely to persist in organisations. The means for resolving the problems may change, but the need to understand those problems and develop solutions will remain.
Introducción. Se analiza la respuesta de los centros de documentación de los medios de comunicación en situaciones de crisis, concretamente como la producida por el atentado terrorista del 11 de marzo de 2004 en Madrid, observando tanto el impacto de una noticia de esta envergadura en los departamentos de documentación como las consecuencias que haya podido tener en dichos departamentos. Metodología. Se procede a la realización de una serie de entrevistas, compuestas por preguntas abiertas y definidas a priori por las investigadoras a responsables de áreas de documentación de tres periódicos españoles (El País, El Mundo y Abc). Se complementan estas entrevistas con el análisis de las piezas publicadas en la fecha de los atentados así como en los especiales realizados un año después. Resultados. Las principales consecuencias en los servicios de documentación son un incrementos en el número de consultas realizadas, así como de las fuentes de información potencialmente interesantes. El incremento de actividad en dichos servicios se traduce en tres facetas distintas del trabajo documental. En primer lugar en el método del trabajo, más próximo al trabajo de redacción, estableciéndose prioridades tanto en las consultas como en el procesamiento de información entrante y la dedicación de más recursos para contrastar dicha información, así como un incremento en la capacidad de previsión. En segundo lugar, la importancia de la realización de dos tareas puramente documentales como son el seguimiento de la prensa nacional e internacional y la elaboración de cronologías, en algunos casos incluso minutadas. En tercer lugar, la elaboración de una serie de productos informativos y documentales específicos (bases de datos, documentos de recopilación y gráficos). Todos estos cambios vienen acompañados por el desarrollo de una taxonomía especial sobre terrorismo y temas afines que incrementan la precisión en la recuperación de la información.
Introduction. /strong>. The invisibility of research on information needs from the East and Central Europe in the West suggested an exploration of the published research output from Lithuania and Russia from 1965 to 2003. Method. The data were collected from the abstracting journal Informatika-59 . The publications were retrieved from Lithuanian and Russian libraries or the Internet. Analysis. The texts and, in cases when full-texts were not available, the abstracts were used for qualitative analysis assessing the relevance, content, concepts used and their change over time. Comparison with the Western (English language or Anglo-American) literature was carried out. Results. /strong>. The development of the concept of information user needs in Russia and Lithuania is followed through several decades as well as the understanding of its origins, structure and typologies. The parallel concepts and similar ideas are traced in the Western information behaviour literature. A context of related research (reading studies and information literacy) is revealed. Conclusion. . Despite the isolation of two bodies of research (Western and East European) in the area of information needs the common development and similarities in the understanding of the basic concept of information need, its origin and structure as well as typologies are revealed. Basic differences lie in understanding the contexts of the formation of information needs, their influence and, consequently, attention to the roles of contexts in research. It also seems that the everyday, non-work related information needs are totally excluded from the horizons of Russian researchers.
Introducción. Se realiza una revisión de algunos estudios sobre producción científica latinoamericana en biblioteconomía y documentación, y se constata la carencia de trabajos que traten el tema desde una perspectiva de análisis de dominio. Material y Métodos. Se utilizó como revistas fuente las pertenecientes a la categoría temática "Information Science & Library Science", recogidas en el Journal Citation Reports (1992-2002) y se utilizó la versión en linea del Social Science Citation Index (1966-2003). Además para las posteriores modificaciones de registros el programa Bibexcel. Análisis. Se analiza la producción científica de dicha área en la base de datos SSCI durante el periodo antes mencionado, presentando algunos indicadores bibliométricos, tales como producción, coautoría, instituciones y departamentos más productivos, entre otros. Este análisis es una continuación de un estudio anteriormente realizado sobre visibilidad internacional de la producción científica en iberoamerica. Conclusiones. La participación de los científicos latinoamericanos en esta área es muy poca, sobresaliendo los países que en terminos generales son más productivos de la región. La institución más productiva es la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, dentro de la cual se destaca el Centro de Información Científica y Humanística (CICH), y el Centro Universitario de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas (CUIB).
Cataloguing in special libraries has been virtually ignored in the literature since the turn of the century, although there are many books and papers on cataloguing in general. It is not clear why this should be so, since it can be argued that the needs of special libraries are different from those of public, academic and national libraries. Special libraries are primarily interested in the information content of documents in the sense that they have little or no interest in documents except as "packages" in which information may be encapsulated. It is therefore reasonable to assume, a priori, that special libraries would undertake detailed indexing and light cataloguing, perhaps reducing the catalogue to the status of a finding list. This paper reports the results of a survey of current cataloguing practice in special libraries.
This paper examines three e-journals and one paper journal begun in the 1990s within the information science genre. In addition, these journals are compared to what is perhaps the leading information science journal,one that has been published continuously for fifty years. The journals we examine are CyberMetrics , Information Research , the Journal of Internet Cataloging , Libres, and the Journal of the American Society for Information Science. We find that there are a number of important differences among the journals. These include frequency of publication, publication size, number of authors, and the funding status of articles. We also find differences among journals for distributions of authors by gender and corporate authors by region. Some of the regional differences can be explained by journal maturation -- the more mature the journal the greater the dispersion. We also find that women are more likely to publish in the newer journals than in JASIS . The fact that a journal is or is not an e-journal does not appear to affect its presence or "behaviour" as an information science journal.
Determining the role played by interdisciplinarity in the generation of knowledge is a very fertile line of research in which synergies among different fields of science can be identified and their impact on research efficiency ascertained. A number of methods may be used to explore interdisciplinarity, from the sociological approach to those requiring the application of bibliometric indicators. In this paper, a bibliometric analysis of the research conducted by scientists with the Chemistry Department at the University of Puerto Rico was run on the basis of the subject matter of citing and cited papers, in order to ascertain how interdisciplinarity affects certain aspects of research, such as collaboration or visibility. The data used for this paper were taken from the Science Citation Index database, which lists the most significant contributions made by these scientists, along with the respective bibliographic references. The study revealed the existence of scientific areas that are highly dependent on the knowledge generated in the specific area itself. A positive, albeit weak, correlation was also observed between research interdisciplinarity and collaboration between researchers and institutions. Interdisciplinarity was not found to have any effect, however, on the visibility of research papers or to be correlated with international collaboration.
A bibliometric study of the publication patterns of a selected group of academic and research scientists of ten universities of South Africa for a period of five years, 1992-96. The subject fields surveyed are Physics, Chemistry, Plant and animal Sciences, and Microbiology/Biochemistry. These ten universities vary considerably with respect to standards of education, quantity of research and publication and overall progress. The general purpose of the study is 1) to determine whether academic status and prestige have any impact on the level of productivity, 2) to study the productivity within different areas of science, 3) to investigate whether or not the level of funding and/or the prospects of getting funded has any influence on the level of productivity in each area of science and their pattern of publication. The study collected two sets of data through a scientometric analysis of science citation index and a questionnaire. The study demonstrates that there is a direct relationship between status and publication productivity. The study further shows that there are significant differences in productivity between areas of sciences but that there is no direct relationship between institutional funding and productivity.
Introduction. A descriptive bibliometric study on a sub-national level with the aim to map a Swedish region's visibility and research collaboration during the observation period 1998-2006 was conducted. Method. Indicators and measures of research performance were constructed on basis of national standards. Results. Results show that the citation and publication patterns basically mirrored the national science and technology system, though some deviations were observed. The more influential science and technology fields were identified along with their more active regional producers of published research. A publication profile of the region was generated as well as a mapping of the balance between productivity and citation impact. Applying a research typology, different types of joint publishing and their relations to research areas were explored. Conclusions. The results are primarily of interest for local research policy but also of interest for a wider audience as a suggested method approach for similar regional assessment tasks.
In August 1998 an international workshop on validation, verification and integrity issues of expert and database systems was held in Vienna in conjunction with the Ninth Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA'98). This paper reports on the results of this workshop and summarises the issues identified for future research in this area. Details of the presented papers and some additional information can be found at the workshop WWW site
Introduction. The growth in productivity and number of Spanish periodicals in the field of physical activity and sport sciences recently does not correspond to the improvement in these journals due, among other issues, to their reduced international visibility. Therefore, we develop a comparative study on the quality of these journals between 2000 and 2005 to improve their quality and consolidate this field of study. Method. An analysis of several formal, scientific content and diffusion indicators are developed from direct observation of journals from inventories of journals covering 2000 and 2005. The journals conformity to ISO 8-1977 and ISO 215-1986, as well as the General Normalization Grade and Fundamental Normalization Grade constitute the formal quality. Content quality was based on the nature of the editorial boards, the affiliation of board members and the process of selecting papers for publication. Finally, diffusion is based on the indexing of journals in databases and from the ways in which the journals appear on the Internet. Conclusions. The quality of Spanish physical activity and sport sciences journals is slightly improved but still with lower standards than other fields. The General Normalization Grade has improved from a medium level to a high level, and there still is a wide range of improvement in conformity with ISO standards. A reduced use of rigorous paper selection systems is observed, as well as limited diffusion, instability of journal titles, and a high number of periodicals.
A citation study was carried out to predict the outcome of the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. The correlation between scores achieved by academic departments in the UK in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise, and the number of citations received by academics in those departments for articles published in the period 1994-2000, using the Institute for Scientific Information’s citation databases, was assessed. A citation study was carried out on all three hundred and thirty eight academics that teach in the UK library and information science schools. These authors between them received two thousand three hundred and one citations for articles they had published between 1994 and the present. The results were ranked by Department, and compared to the ratings awarded to the departments in the 1996 Higher Education Funding Council Research Assessment Exercise. On the assumption that RAE scores and citation counts are correlated, predictions were made for the likely RAE scores in the 2001 RAE. Comments were also made on the impact of staff movements from one Higher Education Institution to another.
Introduction. We assess the extent to which published media timelines reflect contemporary electronic discussions of major media events, using the London Attacks of July 2005 as a case study. The main objective is to judge whether timelines could, in principle, be automatically generated from contemporary debates. A secondary objective is to analyse the reasons for differences between contemporary debates and retrospective media timelines. Method. Our method exploits the new opportunities for large-scale analysis afforded by electronic news feeds and blogs. We compared published media timelines with blog postings and news stories related to the London attacks of July, 2005. Rich Site Summary (RSS) technology was used to gather data from 19,587 blog and news sites. For the period of July 7 to July 31 we identified an average of 275 sources a day that posted new information containing the word 'London'. These postings, a combination of blogging and news stories, formed the raw data for our analysis. In particular, we extracted and counted the individual words used in the postings. Analysis. We compared contemporary word usage statistics from our RSS data with the text of three published media timelines, particularly seeking words and types of words that were present in one but not the other. Results. We found that the timelines tended to ignore the role of communication during the event itself, to use less emotionally charged language, and to gloss over to some extent the wider context of the event. Hence some aspects (frames) of the unfolding discussion were ignored by the timelines. Moreover, all sources included a range of relatively trivial details, the timelines apparently using them as concept markers (metonymy) for broader issues. Conclusion. . It seems that it would be difficult to automatically generate media timelines from contemporary discussions because of frame changes, and because of changes in terminology and the difficulty in separating highly discussed relatively insignificant details from the key facts. Nevertheless, the comparative analysis techniques reported in this paper may provide an interesting new window on contemporary discussions and media representations of major events.
Introduction. We assess the extent to which published media timelines reflect contemporary electronic discussions of major media events, using the London Attacks of July 2005 as a case study. The main objective is to judge whether timelines could, in principle, be automatically generated from contemporary debates. A secondary objective is to analyse the reasons for differences between contemporary debates and retrospective media timelines. Method. Our method exploits the new opportunities for large-scale analysis afforded by electronic news feeds and blogs. We compared published media timelines with blog postings and news stories related to the London attacks of July, 2005. Rich Site Summary (RSS) technology was used to gather data from 19,587 blog and news sites. For the period of July 7 to July 31 we identified an average of 275 sources a day that posted new information containing the word 'London'. These postings, a combination of blogging and news stories, formed the raw data for our analysis. In particular, we extracted and counted the individual words used in the postings. Analysis. We compared contemporary word usage statistics from our RSS data with the text of three published media timelines, particularly seeking words and types of words that were present in one but not the other. Results. We found that the timelines tended to ignore the role of communication during the event itself, to use less emotionally charged language, and to gloss over to some extent the wider context of the event. Hence some aspects (frames) of the unfolding discussion were ignored by the timelines. Moreover, all sources included a range of relatively trivial details, the timelines apparently using them as concept markers (metonymy) for broader issues. Conclusions. It seems that it would be difficult to automatically generate media timelines from contemporary discussions because of frame changes, and because of changes in terminology and the difficulty in separating highly discussed relatively insignificant details from the key facts. Nevertheless, the comparative analysis techniques reported in this paper may provide an interesting new window on contemporary discussions and media representations of major events.
Gr owth of Spanish open-access repositor ies in compar ison with the whole wor ld (source: OpenDOAR)
Flow char t indicating the pr ocess of archiving digital obj ects in the sur veyed Spanish repositor ies Technical infr astr ucture and technical issues 
Distr ibution of the software used to set up the repositor ies A persistent identifier was assigned to each digital object by 90% of the respondents, but only 30% used a unique author identifier. 
Use of controlled vocabular ies or lists of subj ects for indexing digital obj ects in the repositor ies 
Statements that cor respond to the policies of your institution's r epositor y 
Introduction. The DRIVER I project drew up a detailed report of European repositories based on data gathered in a survey in which Spain's participation was very low. This created a highly distorted image of the implementation of repositories in Spain. This study aims to analyse the current state of Spanish open-access institutional repositories and to describe their characteristics. Method. The data were gathered through a Web survey. The questionnaire was based on that used by DRIVER I: coverage; technical infrastructure and technical issues; institutional policies; services created; and stimulators and inhibitors for establishing, filling and maintaining their digital institutional repositories. Analysis. Data were tabulated and analysed systematically according responses obtained from the questionnaire and grouped by coverage. Results. Responses were obtained from 38 of the 104 institutions contacted, which had 29 institutional repositories. This represents 78.3% of the Spanish repositories according to the BuscaRepositorios directory. Spanish repositories contained mainly full-text materials (journal articles and doctoral theses) together with metadata. The software most used was DSpace, followed by EPrints. The metadata standard most used was Dublin Core. Spanish repositories offered more usage statistics and fewer author-oriented services than the European average. The priorities for the future development of the repositories are the need for clear policies on access to scientific production based on public funding and the need for quality control indicators. Conclusions.This is the first detailed study of Spanish institutional repositories. The key stimulants for establishing, filling and maintaining were, in order of importance, the increase of visibility and citation, the interest of decision-makers, simplicity of use and search services. On the other hand the main inhibitors identified were the absence of policies, the lack of integration with other national and international systems and the lack of awareness efforts among academia. Introducción. El proyecto DRIVER I ha elaborado un informe detallado de repositorios europeos basado en los datos obtenidos en una encuesta en la que la participación de España fue muy baja. Esto creó una imagen muy distorsionada de la implementación de repositorios en España. Este estudio tiene como objetivo analizar el estado actual de los repositorios institucionales de libre acceso españoles y describir sus características. Método. Los datos fueron recogidos a través de una encuesta Web. El cuestionario se basó en el utilizado en DRIVER I: cobertura; infraestructura técnica y cuestiones técnicas; políticas institucionales; servicios creados; y estimuladores e inhibidores para establecer, llenar y mantener sus repositorios institucionales digitales. Análisis. Los datos fueron tabulados y analizados sistemáticamente según las respuestas obtenidas del cuestionario y agrupados por cobertura. Resultados. Se obtuvieron respuestas de 38 de las 104 instituciones contactadas, que tenían 29 repositorios institucionales. Esto representa el 78,3% de los repositorios españoles según el directorio BuscaRepositorios. Los repositorios españoles contenían principalmente materiales a texto completo (artículos de revistas y tesis doctorales) junto con metadatos. El software más utilizado es DSpace, seguido por EPrints. El estándar de metadatos más usado fue Dublin Core. Los repositorios españoles ofrecieron más estadísticas de uso y menos servicios orientados al autor que la media europea. Las prioridades para el futuro desarrollo de los repositorios son la necesidad de políticas claras sobre el acceso a la producción científica sustentada por financiación pública y la necesidad de indicadores de control de calidad. Conclusiones. Este es el primer estudio detallado de repositorios institucionales españoles. Los estimuladores claves para establecer, llenar y mantener fueron, en orden de importancia, el incremento de visibilidad y citación, el interés de los responsables de la toma de decisiones, la sencillez de uso y los servicios de búsqueda. Por otro lado los principales inhibidores identificados fueron la ausencia de políticas, la falta de integración con otros sistemas nacionales e internacionales y la falta de esfuerzos de concienciación entre instituciones académicas.
Using the World Wide Web (WWW) as an interactive educative tool is still a relatively new concept, and little is known of its impact on learning when it is used as a dynamic learning tool. Despite this the use of educational internet sites, in the form of virtual classrooms and courses, appears to be increasing rapidly. Thus, it is important that their ability to facilitate learning is evaluated. We present the findings of a preliminary study which examined the amount, type and quality of leaning of an undergraduate indroductory history course when presented to three different groups of participants. All participants received four regularly spaced 30 minute study and repeated test sessions over an eight day period. A final test of new questions was also administered at the end of the study. Results showed that the amount of historical knowledge acquired by the end of the study was greatest for those paticpants who learnt using traditional methods, and that over the four test sessions this group consistently outperformed both computer groups. Moreover, the way in which knowledge was acquired was qualitatively different in the groups with the traditional group exhibiting more 'Know' responses while the Intranet group exhibited more 'Remember' responses. Finally, using useability questionnaires, we found that participants preferred learning via traditional methods to screen and Intranet presentations, and that participants who had learnt using computers felt that their learning experience had suffered. These findings have important implications for educators, and others who wish to use the Internet as a training tool, and we discuss our findings through the evaluation of the different presentational media used, specific Intranet design criteria and general usability factors, which, we suggest, are of paramount importance.
Introducción. En 1999, sin dinero y sin apoyo de ninguna organización bibliotecaria, el autor se asoció con el Consorcio Internacional para la Publicación Académica Alternativa (International Consortium for Alternative Academic Publication, ICAAP), posteriormente renombrada como Consorcio Internacional para el Avance de la Publicación Académica (International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication), para fundar una nueva revista electrónica, The Journal of Southern Academic and Special Librarianship (Revista de Biblioteconomía Académica y Especializada del Sureste), renombrada E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship en 2002. Descripción. Este estudio de casos se basa en las propias experiencias del autor en la fundación y desarrollo de una revista electrónica bibliotecaria profesional, independiente, permanentemente archivada, revisada por pares, y de acceso abierto, empleando un modelo de publicación conducido por académicos (especialistas). Se discute la asociación del autor con el ICAAP enfatizando los beneficios de esta colaboración. Conclusión. El ICAAP ha demostrado al mundo que es posible formar una revista académica (especializada) independiente que publica los proyectos fuera de la corriente principal comercial. También, el ICAAP ha mostrado que hay una alternativa al pago de cientos o miles de dólares a editores comerciales para volver a comprar la investigación académica (especializada, erudita) de nuestros colegas en la academia. La alternativa es empezar y/o apoyar los proyectos de publicación de revistas académicas que toman 'la ruta de platino' al acceso abierto. Animamos a todos a trabajar para conseguir una investigación académica libre y libremente accesible en el Web.
Introduction. This article proposes a model of culture and its relationship to information behaviour based on two empirical studies of Taiwanese aborigines' information behaviour. Method. The research approach is ethnographic and the material was collected through observations, conversations, questionnaires, interviews and relevant documents. In 2003-2004, the author lived with two Taiwan aboriginal tribes, the Yami tribe and the Tsau tribe and conducted forty-two theme-based interviews. Analysis. Data were analysed with the help of software for qualitative analysis (NVivo), where all sentences from both interviews and field notes were coded. The conceptual framework used is the sociology of knowledge. Results. The model of culture and its relationship to information behaviour can show us how to think about the relationship between culture and human information behaviour. This model also identifies elements of the model, which are habitus, tradition and prejudice and suggests how we can apply the concepts of information fullness and emptiness to view the relationship between culture and human information behaviour. Conclusion. . Theoretically, this research puts forward a new model of information behaviour and focuses on the role and the importance of culture when thinking about and studying human information behaviour. Methodologically, this study demonstrates how an ethnographic research method can contribute to exploring the influence that culture has on human life and the details of the human life world and information behaviour.
After introductory training, a research assistant used the TEXNET abstracting assistance software to create abstracts to articles available via the World Wide Web. The assistant also compiled introductory documentation, including a guide to abstracting using computer assistance tools. This article discusses problems encountered, tools selected for preferred use, and implications for future software development.
Introduction. Environmental scanning, as a component of absorptive capacity, has been shown to be associated with increased use of innovative treatment techniques at substance abuse treatment programmes. As the transfer of innovative, evidence-based treatment techniques from research to practice is gaining attention, we aimed to identify variables associated with higher levels of environmental scanning among substance abuse treatment clinicians. Method. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 162 clinicians at 15 substance abuse treatment clinics in Michigan. Measures: Environmental scanning was measured by frequency of use of the Internet, journals, seminars or conferences, and people at other treatment clinics for new substance abuse treatment information. Clinicians were asked for their perceptions of their clinic’s openness to new treatment techniques and support for acquiring new information, access to and satisfaction with information sources at work, as well as if they feel it is their job to keep up to date with current treatment research. Additional measures included whether they intended to quit their jobs and whether they were emotionally drained from work. Findings: We found positive associations between environmental scanning and perceived clinic support for acquiring new information, perceived clinic openness to new treatment techniques, access to e-mail and Internet at work, and satisfaction with resources. Turnover intention and being emotionally drained were negatively associated with environmental scanning. Conclusion. : Individual and organizational level variables were found to be associated with higher levels of environmental scanning activity. Although the causal directions of these associations are not known, the findings suggest ways to increase environmental scanning among clinicians.
Introduction. When children are adjudicated by a court of law as being maltreated, they are summarily removed from their homes, resulting in a disruption of their daily lives. This pilot study examines the context in which maltreated children seek and use information to cope with this stressful period of their lives. Method. This study applies Taylor's four components of information use environments to look at the user and the uses of information and the contexts within which those users make choices about what information is useful to them at particular times. Analysis. The characteristics of foster children as a population are examined and the settings in which such children seek information are described. The problems experienced by children, which are linked to information seeking, are articulated as are problem resolutions. Results. The most important finding of this study is the determination that there are three clearly differentiated phases of information needs and seeking corresponding to the three phases of adjustment the children experience. Conclusion. Understanding problem phases underpinning everyday life contexts in foster care environments afford support personnel who provide information to these children better insights into what helps and what results in increasing anxiety or causes more trauma.
Task based design is considered one of the effective ways of designing functional software. It is generally accepted that tasks play an important role in system and user interface design. Identifying the user's tasks enables the designer to construct user interfaces reflecting the tasks' properties, including efficient usage patterns, easy-to-use interaction sequences, and powerful assistance features. In this paper, we present a prototype of a Digital Work Environment (DWE) to support a task-oriented design to information access in a typical community of academic users. The resources in DWE are organized according to specific tasks performed by the research students and staff in the Division of Information Studies of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The tasks and resources were elicited based on the needs of faculty and students through interviews and focus groups. Examples of these tasks include preparation of a new course outline, setting of examination papers, preparation of reading lists and assignments, conducting literature reviews and writing dissertations. This paper discusses the problems of digital library users in an academic environment, highlights task oriented projects and focuses on the task of preparing and writing a Master dissertation. It highlights the importance of task based design in assisting and helping students and instructors from the time of selecting the research project to the time of submitting the final bound copies of the dissertation.
Analogies between Web links and citations have been used in information retrieval to improve search engine query matching and in information science to develop link metrics for academic and other Web spaces. The purpose of this paper is to begin a fine-grained process of differentiating between creation motivations for links in academic Web sites and citations in journals on the basis that they are very different phenomena. A sample of 100 random inter-site links to UK university home pages was used as a starting point for a qualitative exploration and four new types of motivation are postulated. The term'ownership' is coined for links acknowledging authorship or co-authorship of a resource,'social' for links with a primarily social reinforcement role, 'general navigational' for those with a generalinformation navigation function and 'gratuitous' for those that serve no communication function at all. It is argued that all of these form a role unique to the Web, albeit in varying degrees. Compared to citer motivations they are relatively trivial and instead of being primarily socio-cognitive, none are cognitive and the gratuitous are not even social.
This paper describes a research project in the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield. With funding from the British Library Research and Development Department a critical success factors-based investigation of the management information needs of academic Heads of Department in an number of English universities was undertaken in 1994/1995, following publication of the results of a pilot study byPellow and Wilson (1993). Senior academic staff, university administrators and librarians in sixteen universities were interviewed between December, 1994 and March, 1995. Collation of data and analysis of results have been completed
A study of the management information needs of academic Heads of Department in universities, using a Critical Success Factors approach, was conducted in 1994/1995. A sample of sixteen English universities was developed, based principally on age, history, size and the nature and range of academic disciplines represented within them. In each of the selected institutions, the University Librarian (or, in one case, Deputy Librarian) and two or, in some cases, three academic Heads of Department were interviewed, as were a number of senior administrative staff such as Registrars, Secretaries and Finance Officers and the Heads or Directors of more specialised units such as Industrial Development Units.
This paper describes the library work package of the European Union’s Telematics for Teacher Training project, which links the Libraries and Education and Training sectors. Its two major deliverables, a user needs analysis report addressing networked learner support in European partner institutions and development of an online course for librarians, are discussed in terms of professional development opportunities for partnership between academic and information staff.
Introduction. We analyse how academic status and discipline influence the major search methods used by university academic staff for obtaining electronic articles for teaching, research and keeping up to date in their field. Method. The data consist of a nationwide Web-survey of the end-users of FinELib, The Finnish National Electronic Library. The number of respondents was 900. Analysis. Cross tabulations and multivariate analyses were used for answering research questions. Results. Keyword searching in journal and reference databases were clearly the most important access methods in all disciplines compared to browsing, chaining or obtaining material from colleagues. Academic status and discipline influenced the patterning of search methods used. Keyword searching in databases was more common in natural sciences, engineering and medicine than in other disciplines. Semi-directed searching comprised of browsing, chaining and colleagues as sources of access. It was significantly more common in humanities than in other disciplines. Conclusion. Patterns of searching for journal articles are changing because of the provision of digital information resources. In particular, the role of colleagues is diminishing.
Top-cited authors
Reijo Savolainen
  • Tampere University
Tom Wilson
  • Högskolan i Borås
Chris Kimble
  • Kedge Business School
Pia Borlund
  • Oslo Metropolitan University
Jannica Heinström
  • Oslo Metropolitan University