The study aims to propose the use of the semiotics inspection method (SIM) which is an interpretative and qualitative method from semiotics engineering (SE) for the evaluation of the communicability of systems and to evaluate digital libraries and information retrieval systems (IRS). The paper presents the results of the application of this method in the evaluation of the quality of the communicability of the interface and search system of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) Portal of e-Journals, a major scientific digital library in Brazil. There are proposed solutions to improve this system included.
The study used the SIM to evaluate the system. Two evaluators inspected the system. They performed the comparison and the analysis of three types of metamessages (metalinguistic, static and dynamic). The metamessages generated by the evaluators were contrasted to find inconsistencies and ambiguities in the CAPES Portal of e-Journals. Finally, the last step of the method was the final assessment about the inspection.
The evaluators identified 52 problems of communicability. These problems were ranked according to severity ratings established by Nielsen (1994). They were grouped in ten types of problems present in the interface and in the search system of the CAPES Portal of e-Journals.
This research contributes theoretically to the field of information retrieval and to the area of human–computer interaction and, in particular, to the theory of SE by adapting SE methods that allow the evaluation of communicability to the context of the scientific IRS. Results obtained through scientific methods should contribute to development of the interface and search tools of IRS to better support query formulation and retrieval of relevant information and more efficiently satisfy the information needs of individuals.
Gomes, G.M.R. and Cendon, B.V. (2017), "The quality of the metacommunication of the interface and search system of the CAPES Portal of e-Journals", The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 398-409. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-02-2016-0044
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