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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2020

Gerd Berget, Andrew MacFarlane and Nils Pharo

A substantial number of models have been developed over the years, with the purpose of describing the information seeking and searching of people in various user groups…

Abstract

Purpose

A substantial number of models have been developed over the years, with the purpose of describing the information seeking and searching of people in various user groups and contexts. Several models have been frequently applied in user studies, but are rarely included in research on participants with impairments. Models are purposeful when developing theories. Consequently, it might be valuable to apply models when studying this user group, as well. The purpose of this study was to explore whether existing models are applicable in describing the online information seeking and searching of users with impairments, with an overall aim to increase the use of models in studies involving impairments.

Design/methodology/approach

Six models were selected according to the following criteria: the model should address information seeking or searching, include the interaction between users and systems whilst incorporating assistive technology. Two user groups were selected from each of the categories: cognitive, sensory and motor impairments, namely dyslexia, autism, blindness, deafness, paralysation and Parkinson's. The models were then analysed based on known barriers reported for these cohorts.

Findings

All the selected models had potential to be applied in user studies involving impairments. While three of the models had the highest potential to be used in the current form, the other three models were applicable either through minor revisions or by combining models.

Originality/value

This study contributes with a new perspective on the use of models in information seeking and searching research on users with impairments.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Kim Tallerås, Jørn Helge B. Dahl and Nils Pharo

Considerable effort is devoted to developing new models for organizing bibliographic metadata. However, such models have been repeatedly criticized for their lack of…

Abstract

Purpose

Considerable effort is devoted to developing new models for organizing bibliographic metadata. However, such models have been repeatedly criticized for their lack of proper user testing. The purpose of this paper is to present a study on how non-experts in bibliographic systems map the bibliographic universe and, in particular, how they conceptualize relationships between independent but strongly related entities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an open concept-mapping task performed to externalize the conceptualizations of 98 novice students. The conceptualizations of the resulting concept maps are identified and analyzed statistically.

Findings

The study shows that the participants’ conceptualizations have great variety, differing in detail and granularity. These conceptualizations can be categorized into two main groups according to derivative relationships: those that apply a single-entity model directly relating document entities and those (the majority) that apply a multi-entity model relating documents through a high-level collocating node. These high-level nodes seem to be most adequately interpreted either as superwork devices collocating documents belonging to the same bibliographic family or as devices collocating documents belonging to a shared fictional world.

Originality/value

The findings can guide the work to develop bibliographic standards. Based on the diversity of the conceptualizations, the findings also emphasize the need for more user testing of both conceptual models and the bibliographic end-user systems implementing those models.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Idunn Bøyum, Katriina Byström and Nils Pharo

The purpose of this study is to investigate why users turn to the university library’s reference desk and whether librarians make use of the opportunity to conduct…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate why users turn to the university library’s reference desk and whether librarians make use of the opportunity to conduct reference interviews to disclose any unexpressed information needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents the results from a qualitative exploration study where interactions between librarians and users were observed in authentic situations at the reference desk and analyzed using a modified version of Radford and Connaway’s (2013) categorization of inquiries.

Findings

Most inquiries were seemingly easy to answer and pertained to collections and procedures in the library. Lending out desk supplies accounted for a high proportion of the activity. Only a small number of requests were subject-oriented and reference interview techniques were only used in 5% of the recorded inquiries. This means that the users’ information needs were not probed in the vast majority of the interactions.

Research limitations/implications

The study is exploratory and mirrors the activity that takes place in one specific library. The low number of reference interview techniques used may indicate a lack of interest in users’ information needs, which signifies a risk of the reference desk being reduced to an arena for instrumental and superficial interaction between librarians and users.

Originality/value

This study illustrates current developments in work at a physical library desk. Few recent studies address face-to-face interactions between librarians and users.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Ron Davies

Provides a summary of the main topics of the European Library Automation Group (ELAG) conference in Trondheim, Norway, June 2004. Notes that the title of the conference…

Abstract

Provides a summary of the main topics of the European Library Automation Group (ELAG) conference in Trondheim, Norway, June 2004. Notes that the title of the conference was "Interoperability: New Challenges and Solutions", but it was clear that both for organizers and participants many of the current challenges of interoperability lie in library portals. States that many of the papers presented dealt with some aspect of portal design or implementation, and others touched on issues that were clearly relevant to portal applications. Several other papers focused on different aspects of information processing in the host country

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 21 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

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