The ability to conduct unobtrusive observation of user searching is a potential strength of the method of information retrieval system analysis known as transaction log analysis (TLA). Transaction logs supply unequivocal information about what a user typed while searching. All other methods rely on self‐reporting, which, as Nielsen points out, is not always corroborated by the logs. Regardless of where in an institution information retrieval (IR) system evaluation takes place, TLA is a method that enables library staff at all levels to examine a variety of system and user‐related activities that are recorded on the log. Dominick suggested that TLA can enable the examination of three broad categories of activity: 1) system performance and resource utilization, 2) information retrieval performance, and 3) user interaction with the IR system. This article has been divided into several sections corresponding to functional areas in a library to suggest useful applications of TLA.
For the purposes of library and information science research, transaction log analysis can be narrowly defined as the study of electronically recorded interactions between online information retrieval systems and the persons who search for the information found in those systems.
To provide a background for this special section on transaction log analysis, the following discussion proposes a definition of transaction log analysis and briefly…
To provide a background for this special section on transaction log analysis, the following discussion proposes a definition of transaction log analysis and briefly introduces some of the issues involved in the methodology.
Since the late 1970s TLA has maintained its role as the most dependable method for unobtrusive observation of IR system use, although the analysis of transaction logs…
Since the late 1970s TLA has maintained its role as the most dependable method for unobtrusive observation of IR system use, although the analysis of transaction logs remains a labor‐intensive practice. The difficult nature of TLA has undoubtedly hampered interest in its development and refinement into a useful method for analyzing user interaction with online systems. However, the means to realize the full potential of this powerful tool are now within the realm of computing and information science research. The goal of this paper is to create an increased awareness of TLA and research efforts using TLA methodologies.
The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the history and development of transaction log analysis (TLA) in library and information science research…
The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the history and development of transaction log analysis (TLA) in library and information science research. Organizing a literature review of the first twenty‐five years of TLA poses some challenges and requires some decisions. The primary organizing principle could be a strict chronology of the published research, the research questions addressed, the automated information retrieval (IR) systems that generated the data, the results gained, or even the researchers themselves. The group of active transaction log analyzers remains fairly small in number, and researchers who use transaction logs tend to use this method more than once, so tracing the development and refinement of individuals' uses of the methodology could provide insight into the progress of the method as a whole. For example, if we examine how researchers like W. David Penniman, John Tolle, Christine Borgman, Ray Larson, and Micheline Hancock‐Beaulieu have modified their own understandings and applications of the method over time, we may get an accurate sense of the development of all applications.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the Illinois Digitization Institute's Basics and Beyond digitization training program and to describe how…
The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the Illinois Digitization Institute's Basics and Beyond digitization training program and to describe how successful the project's different training approaches have been.
The training consists of one‐day workshops, web‐based courses, and web‐based courses plus a hands‐on workshop element. Courses are given at different price points and for different lengths of time. Surveys and quizzes measure how well the participants learn the material.
As surveys, quiz results, and other data from the courses show, the objective of the project is being accomplished: to present cultural heritage institutions with different types of digitization training to suit their time constraints, budgets, and education needs and produce a new set of professionals who will create successful and long‐lasting digitization projects.
The success of the project shows that participants respond well to different training approaches and these different approaches can be implemented to provide cultural heritage institutions with a wide range of digitization learning options suited to their needs. Such methods can also be used for other types of library and non‐library training.
This is the first time asynchronous but instructor‐led web‐based courses have been used for digitization training, and findings indicate that it has been successful. The outcomes of this training can be useful for institutions interested in how well participants respond to this unique style of training.
This paper aims to examine how the internet both precipitated and facilitated significant shifts for academic libraries in the kinds of services they provide, and the ways…
This paper aims to examine how the internet both precipitated and facilitated significant shifts for academic libraries in the kinds of services they provide, and the ways in which they provide access to content. It aims to view this evolution from the perspective of one academic library in an institution that has been at the center of internet and technology development worldwide for over 30 years, the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign.
The first 30 years of the internet in libraries are explored in decade time segments. Each of the three decades is characterized by significant and unique internet developments. Key internet‐based innovations in libraries are explored, in the areas of service, digital libraries, search and discovery. The reasons for the relative impact of these innovations are explored and discussed.
The internet is both foundation and incubator for myriad new social, technical, organizational and legal constructs, including policy and best practices, governance, intellectual property, whole new categories of services, industries, and areas of research. Since diverse stakeholders can participate with little or no investment, the pace of growth and innovation is unpredictable. This pace is sustained over time, occurring on multiple levels. For this reason, the internet does not “grow” simply in one direction, such as exponential user growth, or the systematic installation of infrastructure. In the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, the internet has fundamentally altered, and continues to enable significant shifts in the direction of the library's programs, services and resources.
This paper contributes to a group of invited papers that addresses the first 30 years of the internet in libraries.