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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Information Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Toward a Grounded Theory of Community Networking

Toward a Grounded Theory of Community Networking

Date: May 2014
Creator: Masten-Cain, Kathryn
Description: This dissertation presents a preliminary grounded theory of community networking based on 63 evaluations of community networking projects funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) between 1994 and 2007. The substantive grounded theory developed is that TOP projects differed in their contribution to positive outcomes for intended disadvantaged community beneficiaries based on the extent and manner in which they involved the disadvantaged community during four grant process phases: partnership building, project execution, evaluation, and close-out. Positive outcomes for the community were facilitated by using existing communication channels, such as schools, to connect with intended beneficiaries; local financial institutions to provide infrastructure to support local trade; and training to connect community members to jobs. Theoretical contributions include situating outcomes for disadvantaged communities within the context of the grant process; introducing the “vulnerable community” concept; and identifying other concepts and properties that may be useful in further theoretical explorations. Methodological contributions include demonstrating grounded theory as a viable method for exploring large text-based datasets; paving the way for machine learning approaches to analyzing qualitative data; and illustrating how project evaluations can be used in a similar fashion as interview data. Practical contributions include providing information to guide ...
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The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific Communication Among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College

The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific Communication Among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College

Date: May 2014
Creator: Algarni, Mohammed Ayedh
Description: The concept of the invisible college is a key focus of scientific communication research with many studies on this topic in the literature. However, while such studies have contributed to an understanding of the invisible college, they have not adequately explained the interaction of social and structural processes in this phenomenon. As a consequence, past research has described the invisible college differently based on researchers’ perspectives, resulting in misinterpretations or inconsistent definitions of the relevant social and structural processes. Information science and related disciplines have focused on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works while placing less emphasis on the social processes. To advance understanding of the invisible college and its dimensions (including both social processes and structural processes), a proposed model (Modern Invisible College Model, MICM) has been built based on the history of the invisible college and Lievrouw’s (1989) distinction between social and structural processes. The present study focuses on the social processes of informal communication between scholars via social media, rather than on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works. A developed survey and an employed quantitative research method were applied for data collection. The research population involved 77 scholars from ...
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Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework

Bridging the Theory-to-practice Gap: a Multivariate Correlational Study Exploring the Effects of a Graduate Online Learning Environment As a Community of Practice Framework

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bone, Tonda Jenean
Description: In this multivariate correlational study, the researcher examined the course culture of an online graduate course whose environment exhibited characteristics of a Community of practice (CoP). An online survey captured data used to explore the relationships among variables shown to describe a CoP in field environments and among student perceptions of their experience in the course culture. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and commonality analysis (CA) were conducted using five predictor variables and three criterion variables to evaluate the degree and direction of the relationships. The CCA revealed that the full model was significant, explaining approximately 74% of the variance among the two synthetic variates. Impact, faculty leadership, and connection were the largest contributors to the predictor variate. The criterion variate was primarily explained by value and perceived CoP, with exposure to the profession providing a smaller contribution. The CA confirmed these findings. Results from this study indicate that a CoP could be fostered in an online graduate course. The overall significance of the model indicates teachers can nurture an environment wherein graduate students will take the initiative to work with others to create and acquire knowledge that creates a sense of professional connection with each other and with the ...
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Web Information Behaviors of Users Interacting with a Metadata Navigator

Web Information Behaviors of Users Interacting with a Metadata Navigator

Date: December 2013
Creator: McMillan, Tyson DeShaun
Description: The web information behaviors of users as they interacted with a metadata navigator, the Personal Information (PI) Agent, and reflected upon their interaction experiences were studied. The process included studying the complete iterative (repeated) cycle of information needs, information seeking, and information use of users interacting with an internet-based prototype metadata PI Agent tool. Detlor’s theory of web information behaviors of organizational users was utilized as a theoretical foundation for studying human-information interactions via the PI Agent tool. The qualitative research design allowed for the use of triangulation within the context of a one-group pretest-posttest design. Triangulation occurred in three phases: (a) observe, (b) collect, and (c) reflect. Observations were made as participants solved three problem situations. Participants’ computer log and print screen data were collected, and follow-up interviews were conducted once all posttest sessions ended to enable users to reflect on their experiences. The three triangulation phases ensured saturation of data and greater depth regarding the participants’ information behaviors. Content analysis occurred via exploratory pattern analysis using the posttest Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) log data and on the six interviewees’ follow-up interview data. Users engaged in iterative cycles of information needs, information seeking, and information use to resolve the ...
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Adolescent Task Management: Multitasking and Social Media in the Student Search Process

Adolescent Task Management: Multitasking and Social Media in the Student Search Process

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kurtenbach, John
Description: This study examines adolescent students at an American international school and observes student use of social networking programs as well as physical actions in the search process. The study specifically observed multitasking behavior and organizational skills among students, as well as linkages made through social networking sites. Student observations, student interviews, analysis of Facebook entries, and a survey on multitasking yielded rich data. Students appear to be far more organized than previously suggested in the literature, and in this study, the organization proved to be largely self-taught. Students used their social networks to build a kind of group expertise that compensated for their youthful naivety. Students exhibited self-control within the search to the degree that they could focus on what they wanted to find, and they used heuristics—mental shortcuts—to achieve what they needed. Searches also suggest creativity in that students were flexible in their search methods and used a number of tools to gather information. Students could balance the needs of the academic or imposed search with their own online lives, meaning that they made compensations for social media and media multitasking when it was deemed necessary.
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Implications of Punctuation Mark Normalization on Text Retrieval

Implications of Punctuation Mark Normalization on Text Retrieval

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kim, Eungi
Description: This research investigated issues related to normalizing punctuation marks from a text retrieval perspective. A punctuated-centric approach was undertaken by exploring changes in meanings, whitespaces, words retrievability, and other issues related to normalizing punctuation marks. To investigate punctuation normalization issues, various frequency counts of punctuation marks and punctuation patterns were conducted using the text drawn from the Gutenberg Project archive and the Usenet Newsgroup archive. A number of useful punctuation mark types that could aid in analyzing punctuation marks were discovered. This study identified two types of punctuation normalization procedures: (1) lexical independent (LI) punctuation normalization and (2) lexical oriented (LO) punctuation normalization. Using these two types of punctuation normalization procedures, this study discovered various effects of punctuation normalization in terms of different search query types. By analyzing the punctuation normalization problem in this manner, a wide range of issues were discovered such as: the need to define different types of searching, to disambiguate the role of punctuation marks, to normalize whitespaces, and indexing of punctuated terms. This study concluded that to achieve the most positive effect in a text retrieval environment, normalizing punctuation marks should be based on an extensive systematic analysis of punctuation marks and punctuation patterns and ...
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Organizational Justice Perception and Its Effects on Knowledge Sharing: a Case Study of Forensics in the Turkish National Police

Organizational Justice Perception and Its Effects on Knowledge Sharing: a Case Study of Forensics in the Turkish National Police

Date: August 2013
Creator: Can, Ahmet
Description: In today’s economy, organizational knowledge is a fundamental factor for remaining competitive and managing intellectual capital. Knowledge Management aims to improve organizational performance by designing the work environment with necessary tools. Yet, significant amount of knowledge resides within the people in different forms such as experience or abilities. Transferring individual knowledge within members or into organizational repositories is so difficult. Knowledge sharing only occurs under certain circumstances: People share knowledge when they believe it is beneficial for them, when they feel safe and secure, and when they trust. Since knowledge is power, and brings respect to its bearer, knowledge sharing needs suitable environment. In this context, this study investigates intention to knowledge sharing among forensics in the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the factors -such as perceived organizational justice, organizational citizenship behaviors, subjective norms, and attitudes toward knowledge sharing- affecting their intentions. The researcher utilized a model developed from Ajzen and Fishbein’s (1975; 1980) theory of reasoned action (TRA). To test this model, a self-administered questionnaire survey was administered in Turkey In order to analyze the quantitative data; SPSS version 19 was used for all preliminary analyses and LISREL 8.8 was used for Regression Analysis and Path Analysis The fit ...
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Social Media in Policing: a Study of Dallas-fort Worth Area City Police Departments

Social Media in Policing: a Study of Dallas-fort Worth Area City Police Departments

Date: August 2013
Creator: Altunbas, Fuat
Description: Social media offers numerous opportunities to companies, organizations and government agencies to communicate with people outside their organization, to promote their interests and to better serve their customers, or as in the case with government agencies, to better serve their citizens. However, little is known about how police departments in particular use social media. This research study explores why police departments use social media, how they manage their social media tools, and the problems and challenges experienced as they use social media. This qualitative study is largely guided by grounded theory. The data were collected from a study population using local police departments in the Dallas-Fort worth (DFW) area principal cities using both individual interviews with police departments’ social media officers and observations of these departments’ online social media tools (in particular, Facebook and Twitter). This study has shown that the DFW area city police departments are using social media quite extensively to keep the public informed and often for investigative purposes. There are some success factors to adopting and using these tools, such as the motivation of department staff and their benefits, successful implementation of the tools, the simplicity of using tools and that it is absolutely free.
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Graduate Students' Collaborative Information Seeking in a Group-based Learning Setting

Graduate Students' Collaborative Information Seeking in a Group-based Learning Setting

Date: May 2013
Creator: Lee, Jisu
Description: Working with others within an organization can have a variety of positive effects, and the benefits of collaboration have been discussed in various disciplines. In information science, interest in collaborative information seeking, including collaborative information seeking by students in an online learning environment is expanding. This study was aimed at understanding graduate students' collaborative information seeking behaviors through the process of a group project, including factors that affected students' perceptions of collaborative work and their difficulties during the collaborative process. The research was based on Yue and He's model, which describes information users' collaborative communication and information behaviors, and Kuhlthau's model, which describes users' individual information seeking behaviors. The participants were 43 students enrolled in a master's level course delivered primarily online. The students were required to work together in groups to complete a research project. Data were collected through a background survey, behavior survey, and online communication texts and analyzed using descriptive statistics, statistical tests, and content analyses. The results showed significant changes in collaborative and information seeking behaviors and perceptions across three stages of the project during the semester. Theoretical, practical, and methodological implications for future research are discussed.
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Seeking Information After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: a Case Study in Mass-fatality Management

Seeking Information After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: a Case Study in Mass-fatality Management

Date: May 2013
Creator: Gupta, Kailash
Description: The 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed an estimated 316,000 people, offered many lessons in mass-fatality management (MFM). The dissertation defined MFM in seeking information and in recovery, preservation, identification, and disposition of human remains. Specifically, it examined how mass fatalities were managed in Haiti, how affected individuals sought information about fatalities, and what needs motivated them. Data from 28 in-depth, partially structured interviews, conducted during two field visits ending 21 weeks after the earthquake, were included in a case study. The data analysis revealed the MFM was severely inadequate. One interviewee, a senior UN official, stated, "There was no fatality management." The analysis also indicated a need to learn whereabouts of the deceased motivated individuals to visit spots the deceased were last seen at. It sought to illumine information-seeking practices, as discussed in the works of J. David Johnson and others, by developing a new model of information flow in MFM. In addition, it reaffirmed Donald Case and Thomas Wilson's theoretical proposition – that need guides any seeking of information – in the case of Haiti. Finally, it produced recommendations regarding future directions in MFM for emergency managers and information scientists, including possible use of unidentified body parts in ...
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