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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2018

Liezl H. Ball and Theo J.D. Bothma

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria according to which e-dictionaries can be evaluated. Information technology can be used to enhance e-dictionaries, but if…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria according to which e-dictionaries can be evaluated. Information technology can be used to enhance e-dictionaries, but if not done carefully, information tools that completely overwhelm a user with irrelevant information can be developed. Criteria are necessary according to which e-dictionaries can be developed and evaluated to ensure tools that only provide relevant information on demand.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to identify trends in lexicography and modern information technology. Previous usability studies were considered to identify key usability issues. The information was synthesised to identify a set of criteria.

Findings

It was found the e-dictionaries should be evaluated according to their content, information architecture, navigation, access (searching and browsing), help, customisation and use of other innovative technologies.

Originality/value

A comprehensive set of criteria has been identified that can be used to evaluate e-dictionaries and to guide lexicographers in the development of e-dictionaries.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Liezl H. Ball and Theo J.D. Bothma

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the heuristic evaluations of five e-dictionaries according to the criteria developed by Ball and Bothma (2018). E-dictionaries are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the heuristic evaluations of five e-dictionaries according to the criteria developed by Ball and Bothma (2018). E-dictionaries are increasingly making use of modern information technology to create advanced information tools. It is necessary to ensure that these new products are still usable. Heuristic evaluation is a usability evaluation method used to evaluate the usability of a product.

Design/methodology/approach

Five e-dictionaries were evaluated through heuristic evaluation. This method requires an evaluator to evaluate a product by using a set of criteria or guidelines.

Findings

Various usability issues, as well as good features of e-dictionaries, could be identified through these evaluations, and are discussed under the categories of content, information architecture, navigation, access (searching and browsing), help, customisation and use of other innovative technologies.

Originality/value

Through the evaluations in this study, the criteria could be validated and an example of how the criteria can be used to evaluate e-dictionaries could be presented.

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2018

Marlene Amanda Holmner and Theo J.D. Bothma

The Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria (UP), with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, has, for the past six years, offered a…

Abstract

Purpose

The Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria (UP), with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, has, for the past six years, offered a fully funded specialized two-year coursework degree at Masters’ level in Information Technology (M.IT degree). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the technological and teaching methodologies as well as the unique advantages and challenges of collaboration between four partner institutions on two continents as well as local industry partners and local and international academic and public libraries, in offering a blended learning program to students from six different countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The contribution is based on a pragmatic and reflective analysis of the success of the strategic partnerships formed during the M.IT program. The data-gathering instrument used was a questionnaire containing open-ended questions.

Findings

Analysis of the comments shows that it is evident that faculty still prefer face-to-face classes. Furthermore, to experience an effective online blended learning, the technology would have to improve. The complicated levels of partnerships were important to provide the necessary expertise for this broad-based program. Lecturers from industries and libraries brought different perspectives based on their day-to-day work and practical experience and, through this, a level of reality as opposed to the theory that can be learnt from textbooks.

Originality/value

This is a descriptive analysis of the program and feedback of co-workers that has not been reported before.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Adam Jerrett, Theo J.D. Bothma and Koos de Beer

Teaching students/library patrons twenty-first century literacies (such as information and library literacies) is important within a library setting. As such, finding an…

Abstract

Purpose

Teaching students/library patrons twenty-first century literacies (such as information and library literacies) is important within a library setting. As such, finding an appropriate manner to teach these skills in a practical manner at tertiary level is important. As vehicles for constructivist learning, games provide a unique opportunity to teach these twenty-first century literacies in an engaging, practical, format. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implementation of an alternate reality game (ARG) to teach these literacies through gameplay.

Design/methodology/approach

An ARG was designed and developed where the core gameplay tasks taught and exercised twenty-first century literacies. The game, once completed, was then analysed as a case study to determine the effectiveness of the game-based approach to literacy learning.

Findings

Throughout the play of the game, players spent increasingly more time in the library, often using it as a common meeting point during play. Players reported that they learnt or exercised the skills that each game task focussed on, additionally noting that the game-based context made the process of learning and exercising these skills more enjoyable.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that the creation of games, whether real world or digital, may be useful in engaging students/patrons with twenty-first century literacies as well as with their local library. The documentation of a successful ARG to teach twenty-first century literacies provides a model for future research to follow when designing engaging library-oriented games.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Johann Van Wyk, Theo Bothma and Marlene Holmner

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the development of a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) conceptual model for the management of research data at a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the development of a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) conceptual model for the management of research data at a South African university.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design of this article consists of empirical and non-empirical research. The non-empirical part consists of a critical literature review to synthesise the strengths, weaknesses (limitations) and omissions of identified VRE models as found in literature to develop a conceptual VRE model. As part of the critical literature review concepts were clarified and possible applications of VREs in research lifecycles and research data lifecycles were explored. The empirical part focused on the practical application of this model. This part of the article follows an interpretivist paradigm, and a qualitative research approach, using case studies as inquiry method. Case studies with a positivist perspective were selected through purposive sampling, and inferences were drawn from the sample to design and test a conceptual VRE model, and to investigate the management of research data through a VRE. Investigation was done through a process of participatory action research (PAR) and included semi-structured interviews and participant observation data collection techniques. Evaluation of findings was done through formative and summative evaluation.

Findings

The article presents a VRE conceptual model, with identified generic component layers and components that could potentially be applied and used in different research settings/disciplines. The article also reveals the role that VREs play in the successful management of research data throughout the research lifecycle. Guidelines for setting up a conceptual VRE model are offered.

Practical implications

This article assisted in clarifying and validating the various components of a conceptual VRE model that could be used in different research settings and disciplines for research data management.

Originality/value

This article confirms/validates generic layers and components that would be needed in a VRE by synthesising these in a conceptual model in the context of a research lifecycle and presents guidelines for setting up a conceptual VRE model.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Isabel Mariann Silvis, Theo J.D. Bothma and Koos J.W. de Beer

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic library websites as well as an evaluation framework with practical steps on how to conduct the evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of 14 heuristics resulted from an integration of existing usability principles from authorities in the field of usability. A review of IA literature resulted in a framework for dividing academic library websites into six dialogue elements. The resulting heuristics were made applicable to academic library websites through the addition of recommendations based on a review of 20 related studies.

Findings

This study provides heuristics, a framework and workflow guidelines that can be used by the various evaluators of academic library websites, i.e. library staff, web developers and usability experts, to provide recommendations for improving its usability.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the usability principles is the evaluation of the IA aspects of websites and therefore does not provide insights into accessibility or visual design aspects.

Originality/value

The main problem that is addressed by this study is that there are no clear guidelines on how to apply existing usability principles for the evaluation of the IA of academic library websites.

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Koos de Beer and Theo Bothma

The purpose of this paper is to present the gathering, integration and analysis of digital information sources for the creation of a conceptual framework for alternate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the gathering, integration and analysis of digital information sources for the creation of a conceptual framework for alternate reality games (ARGs). ARGs hold potential for libraries, education, healthcare and many other sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies were performed on three previously played ARGs to create case reports. The various digital information sources for each game, sourced from multiple media, are compiled into a chronologically ordered game narrative which formed the case reports. The focus of the paper is on the analysis of the case reports using constant comparative analysis to identify categories and subcategories. Relationships are established, based on each game, between the categories and subcategories to inform the creation of game diagrams. The game diagrams are then combined to create a conceptual framework that describes the functioning and components of an ARG.

Findings

The conceptual framework effectively described the types of information found within an ARG as well as how these different categories of information interact and link to one another. The framework also provides an abstract description of the components of ARGs, namely narrative, game actions and community.

Originality/value

The conceptual framework produced by the analysis enables an understanding of ARGs and how they are played and designed. Insight into how to analyse ARGs based on the information generated for the play of the game by both the players and the game designers is gained. Where other studies have provided insight into the phenomena of ARGs, this study focuses on constructing a conceptual framework of ARGs using the information generated by the game.

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Ina Fourie, Constance Bitso and Theo J.D. Bothma

The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the importance for library and information services (LIS) to take the responsibility to find a manageable way to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the importance for library and information services (LIS) to take the responsibility to find a manageable way to regularly monitor internet censorship in their countries, and to suggest a framework for such monitoring and to encourage manageable on-going small scale research projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows on contract research for the IFLA Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression on country specific trends in internet censorship. Based on an extensive literature survey (not fully reflected here) and data mining, a framework is suggested for regular monitoring of country specific negative and positive trends in internet censorship. The framework addresses search strategies and information resources; setting up alerting services; noting resources for data mining; a detailed break-down and systematic monitoring of negative and positive trends; the need for reflection on implications, assessment of need(s) for concern (or not) and generation of suggestions for actions; sharing findings with the LIS community and wider society; and raising sensitivity for internet censorship as well as advocacy and lobbying against internet censorship. Apart from monitoring internet censorship, the framework is intended to encourage manageable on-going small scale research.

Findings

A framework of internet censorship monitoring can support the regular, systematic and comprehensive monitoring of known as well as emerging negative and positive trends in a country, and can promote timely expressions of concerns and appropriate actions by LIS. It can support sensitivity to the dangers of internet censorship and raise LIS’ levels of self-efficacy in dealing with internet censorship and doing manageable, small scale research in this regard.

Originality/value

Although a number of publications have appeared on internet censorship these do not offer a framework for monitoring internet censorship and encouraging manageable on-going small scale research in this regard.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Ina Fourie and Theo Bothma

The purpose of this article is to help students to move from ICT access to knowledge sharing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to help students to move from ICT access to knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

An overview of the literature on information literacy skills and the digital divide, an analysis of information seeking research, as well as experience in teaching a course in advanced information retrieval at the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa, inspired a theoretical model for addressing different layers of the digital divide.

Findings

The digital divide concerns more than just ICT access and information skills. Individual commitment, group work, and intellectual and academic support from the institution might contribute to bringing people to higher levels of knowledge generation and communication.

Research limitations/implications

At this stage it is a theoretical model that needs to be tested in practice.

Practical implications

The model should hold possibilities for information literacy programs, programs in information retrieval, collaborative learning, and the developments of communities of practice.

Originality/value

The proposed model allows for higher levels of knowledge sharing and should help society to bridge the digital divide.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2007

Ina Fourie and Theo Bothma

The purpose of this article is to alert researchers to software for web tracking of information seeking behaviour, and to offer a list of criteria that will make it easier…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to alert researchers to software for web tracking of information seeking behaviour, and to offer a list of criteria that will make it easier to select software. A selection of research projects based on web tracking as well as the benefits and disadvantages of web tracking are also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

An overview of the literature, including clarification of key concepts, a brief overview of studies of web information seeking behaviour based on web tracking, identification of software used, as well as the strengths and short‐comings noted for web tracking is used as a background to the identification of criteria for the selection of web tracking software.

Findings

Web tracking can offer very valuable information for the development of websites, portals, digital libraries, etc. It, however, needs to be supplemented by qualitative studies, and researchers need to ensure that the tracking software will collect the data required.

Research limitations/implications

The criteria is not applied to any software in particular.

Practical implications

The criteria can be used by researchers working on web usage and web information seeking behaviour to select suitable tracking software.

Originality/value

Although there are many reports on the use of web tracking (also reported in this article), nothing could be traced on criteria for the evaluation of web tracking software.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 59 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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