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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: School of Library and Information Sciences
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Use of an Academic Library by University Students
Academic librarians have for a number of decades been interested in understanding more about how and why students use libraries. This study contributes to that area of library administration by focusing on nine factors thought to be associated with student use of academic libraries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279070/
The Relationships Among a Reading Guidance Program and the Reading Attitudes, Reading Achievement, and Reading Behavior of Fifth Grade Children in a North Louisiana School
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the introduction of a regular librarian-centered reading guidance program as an integral part of the entire school program would improve the reading attitudes and habits of elementary school students and increase the reading achievement scores on a standardized test of elementary school students. In addition, the reading attitudes of students were compared with reading achievement scores to assess any relationship between the two. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278242/
Effect of Technology Integration Education on the Attitudes of Teachers and their Students
This study analyzed the effect of technology integration education on teachers' and students' attitudes toward information technology. Two instruments measuring similar attributes were used to assess teachers' and students' attitudes. Differences in pre- and post-test scores were used to determine changes that occurred during the course of the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277676/
Smoothing the information seeking path: Removing representational obstacles in the middle-school digital library.
Middle school student's interaction within a digital library is explored. Issues of interface features used, obstacles encountered, search strategies and search techniques used, and representation obstacles are examined. A mechanism for evaluating user's descriptors is tested and effects of augmenting the system's resource descriptions with these descriptors on retrieval is explored. Transaction log data analysis (TLA) was used, with external corroborating achievement data provided by teachers. Analysis was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods. Coding schemes for the failure analysis, search strategies and techniques analysis, as well as extent of match analysis between terms in student's questions and their search terms, and extent of match analysis between search terms and controlled vocabulary were developed. There are five chapters with twelve supporting appendixes. Chapter One presents an introduction to the problem and reviews the pilot study. Chapter Two presents the literature review and theoretical basis for the study. Chapter Three describes the research questions, hypotheses and methods. Chapter Four presents findings. Chapter Five presents a summary of the findings and their support of the hypotheses. Unanticipated findings, limitations, speculations, and areas of further research are indicated. Findings indicate that middle school users interact with the system in various sequences of patterns. User groups' interactions and scaffold use are influenced by the teacher's objectives for using the ADL. Users preferred to use single word searches over Boolean, phrase or natural language searches. Users tended to use a strategy of repeating the same exact search, instead of using the advanced scaffolds. A high percent of users attempted at least one search that included spelling or typographical errors, punctuation, or sequentially repeated searches. Search terms matched the DQ's in some instantiation 54% of all searches. Terms used by the system to represent the resources do not adequately represent the user groups' information needs, however, using student generated keywords to augment resource descriptions can have a positive effect on retrieval. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3165/
A theory for the measurement of Internet information retrieval.
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a measurement model for Internet information retrieval strategy performance evaluation whose theoretical basis is a modification of the classical measurement model embodied in the Cranfield studies and their progeny. Though not the first, the Cranfield studies were the most influential of the early evaluation experiments. The general problem with this model was and continues to be the subjectivity of the concept of relevance. In cyberspace, information scientists are using quantitative measurement models for evaluating information retrieval performance that are based on the Cranfield model. This research modified this model by incorporating enduser relevance judgment rather than using objective relevance judgments, and by adopting a fundamental unit of measure developed for the cyberspace of Internet information retrieval rather than using recall and precision-type measures. The proposed measure, the Content-bearing Click (CBC) Ratio, was developed as a quantitative measure reflecting the performance of an Internet IR strategy. Since the hypertext "click" is common to many Internet IR strategies, it was chosen as the fundamental unit of measure rather than the "document." The CBC Ratio is a ratio of hypertext click counts that can be viewed as a false drop measure that determines the average number of irrelevant content-bearing clicks that an enduser check before retrieving relevant information. After measurement data were collected, they were used to evaluate the reliability of several methods for aggregating relevance judgments. After reliability coefficients were calculated, measurement model was used to compare web catalog and web database performance in an experimental setting. Conclusions were the reached concerning the reliability of the proposed measurement model and its ability to measure Internet IR performance, as well as implications for clinical use of the Internet and for future research in Information Science. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2187/
The Effects of Task-Based Documentation Versus Online Help Menu Documentation on the Acceptance of Information Technology
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The objectives of this study were (1) to identify and describe task-based documentation; (2) to identify and describe any purported changes in users attitudes when IT migration was preceded by task-based documentation; (3) to suggest implications of task-based documentation on users attitude toward IT acceptance. Questionnaires were given to 150 university students. Of these, all 150 students participated in this study. The study determined the following: (1) if favorable pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system increase, as a result of training, if users expect it to be easy to learn and use; (2) if user acceptance of an e-mail program increase as expected perceived usefulness increase as delineated by task-based documentation; (3) if task-based documentation is more effective than standard help menus while learning a new application program; and (4) if training that requires active student participation increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system. The following conclusions were reached: (1) Positive pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system are not affected by training even if the users expect it to be easy to learn and use. (2) User acceptance of an e-mail program does not increase as perceived usefulness increase when aided by task-based documentation. (3) Task-based documentation is not more effective than standard help menus when learning a new application program. (4) Training that requires active student participation does not increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2195/
Information systems assessment: development of a comprehensive framework and contingency theory to assess the effectiveness of the information systems function.
The purpose of this research is to develop a comprehensive, IS assessment framework using existing IS assessment theory as a base and incorporating suggestions from other disciplines. To validate the framework and to begin the investigation of current IS assessment practice, a survey instrument was developed. A small group of subject matter experts evaluated and improved the instrument. The instrument was further evaluated using a small sample of IS representatives. Results of this research include a reexamination of the IS function measurement problem using new frameworks of analyses yielding (a) guidance for the IS manager or executive on which IS measures might best fit their organization, (b) a further verification of the important measures most widely used by IS executives, (c) a comprehensive, theoretically-derived, IS assessment framework, and by (d) the enhancement of IS assessment theory by incorporating ideas from actual practice. The body of knowledge gains a comprehensive, IS assessment framework that can be further tested for usefulness and applicability. Future research is recommended to substantiate and improve on these findings. Chapter 2 is a complete survey of prior research, subdivided by relevant literature divisions, such as organizational effectiveness, quality management, and IS assessment. Chapter 3 includes development of and support for the research questions, IS assessment framework, and the research model. Chapter 4 describes how the research was conducted. It includes a brief justification for the research approach, a description of how the framework was evaluated, a description of how the survey instrument was developed and evaluated, a description of the participants and how they were selected, a synopsis of the data collection procedures, a brief description of follow-up procedures, and a summary. Chapter 5 presents the results of the research. Chapter 6 is a summary and conclusion of the research. Finally, included in the appendices are definitions of terms, and copies of the original and improved survey instruments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4302/
Knowledge synthesis in the biomedical literature: Nordihydroguaiaretic acid and breast cancer.
This dissertation refines knowledge synthesis from publicly accessible databases, based on the model of D.R. Swanson. Knowledge synthesis endeavors bring together two or more non-interactive literatures to create combinatorial research data on a specific topic. In this endeavor the biomedical literature was searched on the anti-neoplastic agent nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) for its potential role as a functional food in the chemoprevention of breast cancer. Bibliometric cocitation was utilized to identify complementary but non-interactive literatures in the disciplines of biomedicine and dietary science. The continuing specialization and fragmentation of the cancer literature degenerates the potential usefulness of cross-disciplinary research and information. As the biomedical sciences become more specialized the potential increases for isolation of discoveries and for failures to connect science to the needs of the people. Within the information science discipline several techniques are available to bridge the isolation between discoveries recorded in different sets of literatures. Electronic database searching with combinatorial keyword entries, syllogistic modeling and bibliometric author cocitation analysis are the principle techniques applied in this endeavor. The research questions are addressed to the absence or presence of human in vivo research on breast cancer with the potentially chemopreventative functional food NDGA. Utilizing a syllogistic model the literatures of functional foods, nordihydroguaiaretic acid and breast cancer were searched with designated combinatorial keywords. The documents retrieved were subjected to author cocitation analysis to demonstrate disjointness or connectivity of the two complementary literatures. The results demonstrated a possible preventative relationship between breast cancer in women and nordihydroguaiaretic acid, a phytochemical antioxidant and potential functional food. The results of this study are consistent with D.R. Swanson's pioneering work in knowledge synthesis. Swanson's methods can be used to identify non-interactive, disjoint literatures. Continuing support for his techniques has been demonstrated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4387/
The physiology of collaboration: An investigation of library-museum-university partnerships.
Collaboration appears to be a magical solution for many problems when there is scarcity of resources, lack of knowledge or skills, and/or environmental threats. However, there is little knowledge about the nature of collaboration. A holistic conceptual framework was developed for the collaborative process, and the conceptualization process used systems thinking approach. The author has selectively chosen conceptualizations and/or research by a limited subset of scholars whose ideas appeared to be the most relevant and useful to explore the type of collaboration studied here. In other words, the selection of the literature was based on an eclectic selection. Multiple cases were used in this research to understand the factors that are components of collaborative effort among non-profit organizations and the relationships among those factors. This study also investigated the stages of collaborative process. Data were collected from 54 participants who were partners in collaborate projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Among these 54 participants, 50 answered the online questionnaire and 38 received the telephone interviews. The data collected was analyzed using cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, internal consistency reliability, and descriptive statistics. The component factors of collaboration were grouped by the following seven concepts: trustworthiness, competence, dependency, misunderstanding and/or conflict, complexity, commitment and mechanism of coordination. This study showed twelve relationships among these factors. For instance, different points of view and partners' capacity to maintain inter-organizational relationships were found to be opposite concepts. In addition, the findings in this study indicate that 84% of participants reported the presence of the five pre-defined stages: execution, networking, definition, relationship, and common evaluation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4303/
The gathering and use of information by fifth grade students with access to Palm® handhelds.
Handheld computers may hold the possibility for a one-to-one computer: student ratio. The impact of the use of Palm® (Palm, Inc.) handhelds on information acquisition and use by 5th grade students in a North Texas school during a class research project was investigated. Five research questions were examined using observation, interviews, surveys, and document analysis. Are there differences in information gathering and use with the Palm between gifted, dyslexic, and regular learners? What relevance criteria do students use to evaluate a web site to determine whether to download the site to the Palm and afterwards whether to use the downloaded site's information in the report? How do the Palms affect the writing process? Do the animations and concept maps produced on the Palm demonstrate understanding of the intended concepts? Are there significant differences in results (i.e., final products grade) between Palm users and non-Palm users? Three groups of learners in the class, gifted, dyslexic, and regular learners, participated in the study. The regular and dyslexic students reported using Web sites that had not been downloaded to the Palm. Students reported several factors used to decide whether to download Web sites, but the predominant deciding factor was the amount of information. The students used a combination of writing on paper and the Palm in the preparation of the report. Many students flipped between two programs, FreeWrite and Fling-It, finding information and then writing the facts into the report. The peer review process was more difficult with the Palm. Most students had more grammatical errors in this research report than in previous research projects. By creating animated drawings on the Palm handheld, the students demonstrated their understanding of the invention though sometimes the media or the student's drawing skills limited the quality of the final product. Creating the animations was motivational and addressed different learning styles than a written report alone. No statistically significant difference was found in the scores of the three 6+1 Traits categories, however the Palm users didn't meet the page-length requirement for the research project but the majority of the control class did. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4398/
Testing a model of the relationships among organizational performance, IT-business alignment and IT governance.
Information Technology (IT) is often viewed as a resource that is capable of enhancing organizational performance. However, it is difficult for organizations to measure the actual contribution of IT investments. Despite an abundance of literature, there is an insufficiency of generally applicable frameworks and instruments to help organizations definitively assess the relationship among organizational performance, IT-business alignment, and IT governance. Previous studies have emphasized IT-business alignment as an important enabler of organizational effectiveness; however, the direct and indirect effects of IT governance have not been incorporated into these studies. The purpose of this study was (1) to propose a new model that defines the relationships among IT governance, IT-business alignment, and organizational performance, (2) to develop and validate measures for the IT governance and IT-business alignment constructs, and (3) to test this IT Governance-Alignment-Performance or "IT GAP" model. This study made some novel contributions to the understanding of the factors affecting organizational performance. The quest for IT-business alignment in the MIS literature has been based on the presumption that IT contributes directly to organizational performance. However, this study found that although IT-business alignment does contribute to organizational performance, IT governance is an important antecedent of both IT-business alignment and organizational performance. The major contributions of this work are the development and validation of uni-dimensional scales for both IT-business alignment and IT governance, and the confirmation of the validity of the IT GAP model to explain the hypothesized relationships among the three constructs. Future studies may improve upon this research by using different organizations settings, industries, and stakeholders. This study indicates that in order for organizations to improve the value, contribution, and alignment of IT investments they first need to improve the ways in which they govern their IT activities and the processes and mechanisms by which IT decisions are made. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4393/
Measuring the accuracy of four attributes of sound for conveying changes in a large data set.
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Human auditory perception is suited to receiving and interpreting information from the environment but this knowledge has not been used extensively in designing computer-based information exploration tools. It is not known which aspects of sound are useful for accurately conveying information in an auditory display. An auditory display was created using PD, a graphical programming language used primarily to manipulate digital sound. The interface for the auditory display was a blank window. When the cursor is moved around in this window, the sound generated would changed based on the underlying data value at any given point. An experiment was conducted to determine which attribute of sound most accurately represents data values in an auditory display. The four attributes of sound tested were frequency-sine waveform, frequency-sawtooth waveform, loudness and tempo. 24 subjects were given the task of finding the highest data point using sound alone using each of the four sound treatments. Three dependent variables were measured: distance accuracy, numeric accuracy, and time on task. Repeated measures ANOVA procedures conducted on these variables did not rise to the level of statistical significance (α=.05). None of the sound treatments was more accurate than the other as representing the underlying data values. 52% of the trials were accurate within 50 pixels of the highest data point (target). An interesting finding was the tendency for the frequency-sin waveform to be used in the least accurate trial attempts (38%). Loudness, on the other hand, accounted for very few (12.5%) of the least accurate trial attempts. In completing the experimental task, four different search techniques were employed by the subjects: perimeter, parallel sweep, sector, and quadrant. The perimeter technique was the most commonly used. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4154/
Accessing Information on the World Wide Web: Predicting Usage Based on Involvement
Advice for Web designers often includes an admonition to use short, scannable, bullet-pointed text, reflecting the common belief that browsing the Web most often involves scanning rather than reading. Literature from several disciplines focuses on the myriad combinations of factors related to online reading but studies of the users' interests and motivations appear to offer a more promising avenue for understanding how users utilize information on Web pages. This study utilized the modified Personal Involvement Inventory (PII), a ten-item instrument used primarily in the marketing and advertising fields, to measure interest and motivation toward a topic presented on the Web. Two sites were constructed from Reader's Digest Association, Inc. online articles and a program written to track students' use of the site. Behavior was measured by the initial choice of short versus longer versions of the main page, the number of pages visited and the amount of time spent on the site. Data were gathered from students at a small, private university in the southwest part of the United States to answer six hypotheses which posited that subjects with higher involvement in a topic presented on the Web and a more positive attitude toward the Web would tend to select the longer text version, visit more pages, and spend more time on the site. While attitude toward the Web did not correlate significantly with any of the behavioral factors, the level of involvement was associated with the use of the sites in two of three hypotheses, but only partially in the manner hypothesized. Increased involvement with a Web topic did correlate with the choice of a longer, more detailed initial Web page, but was inversely related to the number of pages viewed so that the higher the involvement, the fewer pages visited. An additional indicator of usage, the average amount of time spent on each page, was measured and revealed that more involved users spent more time on each page. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4198/
An Empirical Investigation of Critical Factors that Influence Data Warehouse Implementation Success in Higher Educational Institutions
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Data warehousing (DW) in the last decade has become the technology of choice for building data management infrastructures to provide organizations the decision-making capabilities needed to effectively carry out its activities. Despite its phenomenal growth and importance to organizations the rate of DW implementation success has been less than stellar. Many DW implementation projects fail due to technical or organizational reasons. There has been limited research on organizational factors and their role in DW implementations. It is important to understand the role and impact of both technical but organizational factors in DW implementations and their relative importance to implementation performance. A research model was developed to test the significance of technical and organizational factors in the three phases of implementation with DW implementation performance. The independent variables were technical (data, technology, and expertise) and organizational (management, goals, users, organization). The dependent variable was performance (content, accuracy, format, ease of use, and timeliness). The data collection method was a Web based survey of DW implementers and DW users sampled (26) from a population of 108 identified DW implementations. Regression was used as the multivariate statistical technique to analyze the data. The results show that organization factors are significantly related to performance. Also, that some variables in the post-implementation phase have a significant relationship with performance. Based on the results of the tests the model was revised to reflect the relative impact of technical and organizational factors on DW performance. Results suggest that in some cases organizational factors have a significant relationship with DW implementation performance. The implications and interpretation of these results provide researchers and practitioners' insights and a new perspective in the area of DW implementations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4151/
Toward an Ideal Library: A Synthesis of Wilson's Library and Information Policy and Gilbert's Performance Matrix
Inquiry about ideal library was sought by interdisciplinary approach from human competence derived from performance engineering by Gilbert (1978), and the library information policy by Wilson (1977). With Wilson's insights into the field of library and information science (LIS), this work demonstrated the synthesis of Wilson and Gilbert: engineering as common ground. One of the central concerns in LIS, utilization of knowledge, is re-conceptualized as Gilbert's view of performance, which reflected at different vantage points. Four leisurely theorems are introduced for his view of performance engineering, which produce human competence. The performance matrix is the application tool that represents Gilbert's theorems of performance engineering. It is used to clarify vantage points about the library, and constructed a model of the performance engineering system of ideal library. Based upon the model, two applications were made. One is to apply the performance matrix to the existing academic library. Another is to apply the performance matrix for building a special collection. These two applications show that the performance matrix is capable to analyze existing performance system as well as designing and building a performance system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9070/
Identification of Remote Leadership Patterns in Academic and Public Libraries
Seminal works on leadership, including those in librarianship define a traditional model of interaction between leaders and followers without reference to the information technology-driven environment. In addition, remote leadership indicates a different model from the traditional model, one that is focused on the interaction of leaders and their staff through digital technology. Although leaders still use face-to-face interaction, due to varied work schedules or job responsibilities, they also recognize the need to lead employees remotely. Leadership studies in library literature have not addressed how library leaders use information technology to lead employees remotely, nor have these studies addressed remote leadership and remote employees, except for some articles on telecommuting. As a result, this research was conducted to address this gap, providing an exploratory foundation of emergent patterns of remote leadership with its associated leadership dimensions rooted in personality traits, behaviors, and skills. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from a small sample size of academic and public-library leaders in the United States who participated in a Web-based survey designed specifically for this study, limiting generalizations. Factor analysis was the principal methodology used to obtain findings. Its composite factor scores were also used in the t-test and chi-square analyses. This study identifies some emergent patterns of remote leadership in the library and information-science field, exploring whether library leaders use information technology to be effective remote leaders in a technology-driven environment, and whether existing leadership attributes could be identified as part of the remote-leadership model. Because this study's findings indicated that library leaders are not quite the traditional leader but are not fully integrated into remote leadership, it becomes apparent that they would function with a blend of both face-to-face and electronic interactions, due to the nature of library work. Additionally, this research revealed underlying issues and challenges faced by library leaders as they transition from a traditional-leadership model to a blended model of face-to-face and remote leadership. Future research could include increasing the sample size and response rate to conduct factor analysis properly, and conducting longitudinal studies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9017/
Solutions for Dynamic Channel Assignment and Synchronization Problem for Distributed Wireless Multimedia System
The recent advances in mobile computing and distributed multimedia systems allow mobile hosts (clients) to access wireless multimedia Data at anywhere and at anytime. In accessing multimedia information on the distributed multimedia servers from wireless personal communication service systems, a channel assignment problem and synchronization problems should be solved efficiently. Recent demand for mobile telephone service have been growing rapidly while the electro-magnetic spectrum of frequencies allocated for this purpose remain limited. Any solution to the channel assignment problem is subject to this limitation, as well as the interference constraint between adjacent channels in the spectrum. Channel allocation schemes provide a flexible and efficient access to bandwidth in wireless and mobile communication systems. In this dissertation, both an efficient distributed algorithm for dynamic channel allocation based upon mutual exclusion model, and an efficient distributed synchronization algorithm using Quasi-sink for wireless and mobile multimedia systems to ensure and facilitate mobile client access to multimedia objects are proposed. Algorithm's performance with several channel systems using different types of call arrival patterns is determined analytically. A set of simulation experiments to evaluate the performance of our scheme using message complexity and buffer usage at each frame arrival time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3249/
Networked generation youth's information seeking process: An examination of cognitive, affective and physical behaviors and problem solving techniques.
This study investigated the information seeking process of the networked generation youth. Specifically, I examined the cognitive, affective, and physical information seeking behaviors and problem solving techniques adolescent student users of the networked environment utilize to solve information needs. Grounded in the theoretical context of the information seeking process in the networked environment, the research extended the user-centered approach to modeling the information seeking process of networked generation youth. A mixed model research design was used to address the research questions. Phase 1 used an online questionnaire to solicit information from 125 students in Grades 7-12 regarding their understanding and use of networked environments, information seeking skills, and problem solving techniques. Phase 2 observed 12 students, two from each grade level, to gain an understanding into the information seeking process of networked generation youth. Participants completed information seeking scenarios of varying levels of complexity. As the participants completed the scenario, they engaged in talk-aloud verbal protocol to describe and explain their behaviors and techniques as they advanced through their information seeking process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted which provided an opportunity for the participants to clarify their information seeking experience. A profile of students' networked environment knowledge and use in relationship to their information seeking process was created. Findings suggested that knowledge and experience influence networked generation youth's information seeking process in the networked environment. A subset of students were found to be experienced information seekers who applied various cognitive, affective, and physical information seeking behaviors and behavioral actions that guide them through their information seeking process. The study presented a preliminary model of the networked generation youth's information seeking process. The model provides a detailed map to networked generation youth's information seeking and problem solving. I bring to light experienced users successful behaviors, as well as areas where all students need assistance in understanding networked environments and their own information seeking. The study suggests ways in which educators can evaluate students and integrate the successful behaviors as well as assist students with the behaviors that hinder their process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6063/
A Comparative Analysis of Reading Habits and Abilities of Students in Selected Elementary Schools in North Louisiana With and Without Centralized Libraries
The problem addressed by this investigation is whether the provision of centralized school library services is related to the reading habits and reading abilities of elementary school children. In considering this problem, a survey approach was utilized which entailed the examination of standardized reading achievement test scores, student reading records, and parent, teacher, and student questionnaire responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278699/
Job Satisfaction and Psychological Needs Satisfaction of Public School Library Media Specialists
The purpose of this research was to study job satisfaction among public school library media specialists based on the psychological needs of social needs, security needs, esteem needs, autonomy needs, and self actualization needs, according to Maslow's Hierarchy. Subjects were requested to respond to a questionnaire of 30 items pertaining to job satisfaction. Each item required two responses: first, as to the level of importance the item held; and secondly, the satisfaction currently received from that particular item. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278611/
Factors Related to the Professional Progress of Academic Librarians in Louisiana
Three groups of Academic librarians in Louisiana were surveyed to determine what factors other than job performance influenced professional progress (Salary increases, promotion and tenure) for them. Staff development activities were also investigated to determine if they played any significant role in influencing professional progress. Three opinion questions were also asked in this investigation about the feasibility of using an index that was developed to assess quantitatively staff development activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279164/
Selected Factors Associated With Reading Interests of Seventh- and Eighth-grade Pupils
This study sought to determine if there were differences in the types of reading interests of seventh- and eighth-grade pupils associated with their racial origins, their socioeconomic status, or their school environments. It also sought to consider the strength of reading interest scores as related to other variables and to consider the relationship between these scores and the number of hours spent in reading and the change in amount of reading since the previous school year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279117/
Diagnosing Learner Deficiencies in Algorithmic Reasoning
It is hypothesized that useful diagnostic information can reside in the wrong answers of multiple-choice tests, and that properly designed distractors can yield indications of misinformation and missing information in algorithmic reasoning on the part of the test taker. In addition to summarizing the literature regarding diagnostic research as opposed to scoring research, this study proposes a methodology for analyzing test results and compares the findings with those from the research of Birenbaum and Tatsuoka and others. The proposed method identifies the conditions of misinformation and missing information, and it contains a statistical compensation for careless errors. Strengths and weaknesses of the method are explored, and suggestions for further research are offered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279333/
Plans for Establishing and Developing the Social Research Studies and Information Center Libraries in Saudi Arabia
The problem was to define the present status of the Social Research Studies and Information Center libraries in Saudi Arabia and to suggest ways in which they could be improved. The purposes of the study were two-fold: (1) to analyze and evaluate the current status of these libraries and to develop and improve the role and functions of these libraries; and (2) to consider the possibility of cooperation between these libraries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278822/
University Students and the Internet: Information Seeking Study
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This study explored university students' information needs and seeking behaviors on the Internet. A Web-based survey was administrated one time. Two hundred responses were received from the target sample within the two weeks period of the study. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and graphical representation. The study explored various issues related to the usability, preferences, and activities of the Internet, such as searching tools, e-mail, search engines, and preferred primary sources of everyday-life information needs. The study explored the perceptions of the students toward the Internet and the traditional library. Kuhlthau's model of the information-seeking process, which includes six stages and affective components, was utilized and modified in the construction of the Web survey. A study by Presno (1998), which includes the four types of Internet anxiety, was utilized in the construction of the Web survey. With regard to the six stages of Kuhlthau model, the majority of the respondents experienced stage 5, which was about information gathering; stage 3 had the next highest number of respondents. Very few respondents experienced stages 1 and 2. There was a systematic pattern in which, the earlier the stages the respondents were in, the more negative adjectives they selected, and vice versa. The feeling adjectives section showed a difference in the behavior between males and females. The results indicated that most students had Internet time delay anxiety. In general, the study found that students have a great interest in the Internet and consider it an important source of information for their personal, educational, and communication activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2745/
Modeling Changes in End-user Relevance Criteria : An Information Seeking Study
This study examines the importance of relevance criteria in end-user evaluation of valuable or high relevant information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278355/
User Satisfaction in a Government Library : A Case Study of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia
The problem of this study was the lack of knowledge about user satisfaction with the library services which are provided at the library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Saudi Arabia. The purposes of the study were twofold: (1) to measure, evaluate, and analyze user satisfaction with the library services provided at the MFA Library for the employees; and (2) to develop a model for evaluation of user satisfaction of library services in government libraries in Saudi Arabia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278526/
The Personal Reading Interests of Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Children in Selected Arkansas Public Schools
The purpose of this study was to determine the personal reading interests of students in the third, fourth and fifth grades and to determine if advances in technology in the past twenty years have changed their reading interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279204/
Relevance Thresholds: A Conjunctive/Disjunctive Model of End-User Cognition as an Evaluative Process
This investigation identifies end-user cognitive heuristics that facilitate judgment and evaluation during information retrieval (IR) system interactions. The study extends previous research surrounding relevance as a key construct for representing the value end-users ascribe to items retrieved from IR systems and the perceived effectiveness of such systems. The Lens Model of user cognition serves as the foundation for design and interpretation of the study; earlier research in problem solving, decision making, and attitude formation also contribute to the model and analysis. A self reporting instrument collected evaluative responses from 32 end-users related to 1432 retrieved items in relation to five characteristics of each item: topical, pertinence, utility, systematic, and motivational levels of relevance. The nominal nature of the data collected led to non-parametric statistical analyses that indicated that end-user evaluation of retrieved items to resolve an information problem at hand is most likely a multi-stage process. That process appears to be a cognitive progression from topic to meaning (pertinence) to functionality (use). Each step in end-user evaluative processing engages a cognitive hierarchy of heuristics that includes consideration (of appropriate cues), differentiation (the positive or negative aspects of those cues considered), and aggregation (the combination of differentiated cue aspects needed to render an evaluative label of the item in relation to the information problem at hand). While individuals may differ in their judgments and evaluations of retrieved items, they appear to make those decisions by using consistent heuristic approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2717/
Relation of Personal Characteristics to Type of Position Among Bibliographic Network Coordinators, Ex-coordinators, and Selected Library Depeartment Heads
The objectives of this investigation were two-fold. The first was to determine the personal characteristics of Bibliographic Network Coordinators, both past and present; the second was to compare these identified characteristics with those of persons working in traditional library positions at comparable levels of responsibility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279122/
Information Needs of Art Museum Visitors: Real and Virtual
Museums and libraries are considered large repositories of human knowledge and human culture. They have similar missions and goals in distributing accumulated knowledge to society. Current digitization projects allow both, museums and libraries to reach a broader audience, share their resources with a variety of users. While studies of information seeking behavior, retrieval systems and metadata in library science have a long history; such research studies in museum environments are at their early experimental stage. There are few studies concerning information seeking behavior and needs of virtual museum visitors, especially with the use of images in the museums' collections available on the Web. The current study identifies preferences of a variety of user groups about the information specifics on current exhibits, museum collections metadata information, and the use of multimedia. The study of information seeking behavior of users groups of museum digital collections or cultural collections allows examination and analysis of users' information needs, and the organization of cultural information, including descriptive metadata and the quantity of information that may be required. In addition, the study delineates information needs that different categories of users may have in common: teachers in high schools, students in colleges and universities, museum professionals, art historians and researchers, and the general public. This research also compares informational and educational needs of real visitors with the needs of virtual visitors. Educational needs of real visitors are based on various studies conducted and summarized by Falk and Dierking (2000), and an evaluation of the art museum websites previously conducted to support the current study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4692/
Factors Influencing How Students Value Asynchronous Web Based Courses
This dissertation discovered the factors influencing how students value asynchronous Web-based courses through the use of qualitative methods. Data was collected through surveys, observations, interviews, email correspondence, chat room and bulletin board transcripts. Instruments were tested in pilot studies of previous semesters. Factors were identified for two class formats. The asynchronous CD/Internet class format and the synchronous online Web based class format. Also, factors were uncovered for two of the instructional tools used in the course: the WebCT forum and WebCT testing. Factors were grouped accordingly as advantages or disadvantages under major categories. For the asynchronous CD/Internet class format the advantages were Convenience, Flexibility, Learning Enhancement, and Psychology. The disadvantages included Isolation, Learning Environment, and Technology. For the synchronous online Web based class format the advantages were Convenience, Flexibility, Human Interaction, Learning Enhancement and Psychology, whereas the disadvantages included Isolation, Learning Environment and Technology. Concurrently, the study revealed the following factors as advantages of the WebCT Forum: Help Each Other, Interaction, Socialization, Classroom News, and Time Independent. The disadvantages uncovered were Complaints, Technical Problems and Isolation. Finally, advantages specified for the WebCT testing tool were Convenience, Flexibility and Innovations, and its disadvantages were Surroundings Not Conducive to Learning, and Technical Problems. Results indicate that not only classroom preference, learning style and personality type influence how students value a Web based course, but, most importantly, a student's lifestyle (number of personal commitments, how far they live, and life's priorities). The WebCT forum or bulletin board, and the WebCT testing or computerized testing were seen mostly by students, as good tools for encouraging classroom communication and testing because of the convenience and flexibility offered. Still, further research is needed both quantitatively and qualitatively to ascertain the true weight of the factors discovered in this study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6151/
Negotiation, communication, and decision strategies used by hostage/crisis negotiators.
By conducting this theory-based empirical study, gathering data from working negotiators in the US and Canada, I have determined what primary dynamic activities, communication skills, and negotiation tools are used by hostage/crisis negotiators. Negotiators implement their negotiation and decision strategies differently depending on whether the situations they deal with are instrumental or expressive. I have determined which elements of negotiations and factors affecting negotiations differ while handling instrumental and expressive hostage situations. I found that the collected data did not reveal any significant relationship between handling instrumental/expressive hostage situations differently and belief in the elements of Brenda Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's theories. I have also determined that the belief in the elements of the Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's theories is workable and practical for negotiators to use. Based on the above findings, the model suggested by this research adds the elements and directives of Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's models to the common approach used by the negotiators. This revised model suggests that the negotiators pay attention to the dynamics of the interactions presented between the two parties: the negotiators themselves and hostage takers. The revised model also recommends that the negotiators focus on not only the hostage takers behavioral characteristics, psychological conditions, and criminal history but also on the meaning of the sent message and the interaction itself as performed between the two parties. This perspective enables the negotiators to look at the negotiation process as information and communication process. We are not ignoring the fact that hostage negotiation is a format of extreme information management. By looking at such an extreme case, we can add to our understanding of Dervin's and Shannon-Weaver's perspectives in order to see the hostage negotiation process from a wider perspective. The revised model is not an alternative approach to the common approach most negotiators use. Instead, the revised model uses the perspective and directives of the common approach and extends its meaning and content by also focusing on Dervin's sense making theory and Shannon-Weaver's communication model perspectives. The use of the perspective of this revised model is one more tool for the negotiators to use in order to promote new ways of looking at hostage negotiation resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6100/
A study of on-line use and perceived effectiveness of compliance-gaining in health-related banner advertisements for senior citizens.
This research investigated banner ads on the World Wide Web, specifically the types of messages used in those ads and the effectiveness of the ads as seen by their intended audience. The focus was on health-related banner advertisements targeting senior citizens. The study first sought to determine the frequency of appearance of those ads when classified into categories of compliance-gaining tactics provided by research scholars. Second, the study explored the relative perceived effectiveness among those categories. Two graduate students from a Central Texas university sorted text messages into predetermined compliance-gaining categories. Chi square tests looked for significant differences in the frequencies of banner ads in each category. Forty-five senior citizens from the Central Texas area completed surveys regarding the perceived effectiveness of a randomly ordered, randomly selected set of categorized banner ads. A repeated measures test attempted to determine whether some compliance-gaining strategies used in health-related banner ads were perceived as more effective than others. The hypothesis stated that there would be differences in frequencies of compliance-gaining strategies used among the compliance-gaining categories in health-related banner ads for senior citizens. The hypothesis was supported. The research question asked if some categories of compliance-gaining strategies used in health-related banner ads were perceived as more effective than others by senior citizens. There was no evidence that senior citizens perceived any compliance-gaining category as being more effective than any other. However, post hoc analyses revealed trends in the types of compliance-gaining messages senior citizens perceived as more effective. These trends provide a basis for directional predictions in future studies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5800/
A mechanism for richer representation of videos for children: Calibrating calculated entropy to perceived entropy
This study explores the use of the information theory entropy equation in representations of videos for children. The calculated rates of information in the videos are calibrated to the corresponding perceived rates of information as elicited from the twelve 7 to 10 year old girls who were shown video documents. Entropy measures are calculated for several video elements: set time, set incidence, verbal time, verbal incidence, set constraint, nonverbal dependence, and character appearance. As hypothesized, mechanically calculated entropy measure (CEM) was found to be sufficiently similar to perceived entropy measure (PEM) made by children so that they can be used as useful and predictive elements of representations of children’s videos. The relationships between the CEM and the PEM show that CEM could stand for PEM in order to enrich representations for video documents for this age group. Speculations on transferring the CEM to PEM calibration to different age groups and different document types are made, as well as further implications for the field of information science. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5814/
MEDLINE Metric: A method to assess medical students' MEDLINE search effectiveness
Medical educators advocate the need for medical students to acquire information management skills, including the ability to search the MEDLINE database. There has been no published validated method available to use for assessing medical students' MEDLINE information retrieval skills. This research proposes and evaluates a method, designed as the MEDLINE Metric, for assessing medical students' search skills. MEDLINE Metric consists of: (a) the development, by experts, of realistic clinical scenarios that include highly constructed search questions designed to test defined search skills; (b) timed tasks (searches) completed by subjects; (c) the evaluation of search results; and (d) instructive feedback. A goal is to offer medical educators a valid, reliable, and feasible way to judge mastery of information searching skill by measuring results (search retrieval) rather than process (search behavior) or cognition (knowledge about searching). Following a documented procedure for test development, search specialists and medical content experts formulated six clinical search scenarios and questions. One hundred and forty-five subjects completed the six-item test under timed conditions. Subjects represented a wide range of MEDLINE search expertise. One hundred twenty complete cases were used, representing 53 second-year medical students (44%), 47 fourth-year medical students (39%), and 20 medical librarians (17%). Data related to educational level, search training, search experience, confidence in retrieval, difficulty of search, and score were analyzed. Evidence supporting the validity of the method includes the agreement by experts about the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully retrieve information relevant to a clinical question from the MEDLINE database. Also, the test discriminated among different performance levels. There were statistically significant, positive relationships between test score and level of education, self-reported previous MEDLINE training, and self-reported previous search experience. The findings from this study suggest that MEDLINE Metric is a valid method for constructing and administering a performance-based test to identify mastery in searching the MEDLINE database. The test's reliability needs to be established. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2526/
Visual perception in relation to levels of meaning for children: An exploratory study.
This study explores distinct levels of meaning from images of picture books perceived by 3- to 5-year-old children and investigates how the certain visual perception factors influence children's meaning making and if these factors are correlated. The literature review supports associations among visual perception, information, picture books, meaning, and children. Visual perception serves as the first channel that filters and interprets visual information, and picture books provide visual and verbal experience for children, who constantly search for meaning. Children age 3 to 5 years are potential users of picture books because pictorial information is considered useful to children's learning tasks. Previous research reveals that various factors influence visual perception, and meaning has been mostly associated with its semantic significance in information retrieval. In information science, little research has focused on young children's own way of categorizing information, especially visual information. In order to investigate the distinct levels of meaning perceived by children, the investigation employed both qualitative and quantitative methods including unobtrusive and participant observation, factor analysis, content analysis, and case study. The result of this study contributes to understanding the cognitive process of children related to visual literacy and their interpreting visual information in a digital environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3896/
E-Learning and In-Service Training: An Exploration of the Beliefs and Practices of Trainers and Trainees in the Turkish National Police
This targeted research study, carried out by an officer of the Turkish National Police (TNP), investigated the perceptions and beliefs of TNP trainers and trainees towards the potential adoption and implementation of e-learning technology for in-service police training. Utilizing diffusion and innovation theory (DOI) (Rogers, 1995) and the conceptual technology integration process model (CTIM) (Nicolle, 2005), two different surveys were administered; one to the trainers and one to the trainees. The factor analyses revealed three shared trainer and trainee perceptions: A positive perception towards e-learning, personally and for the TNP; a belief in the importance of administrative support for e-learning integration; and the belief in importance of appropriate resources to facilitate integration and maintain implementation. Three major recommendations were made for the TNP. First, the research findings could be used as a road map by the TNP Education Department to provide a more flexible system to disseminate in-service training information. The second is to establish two-way channels of communication between the administration and the TNP personnel to efficiently operationalize the adoption and integration of e-learning technology. The third is the administrative provision of necessary hardware, software, and technical support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3895/
Perceived attributes of diffusion of innovation theory as predictors of Internet adoption among faculty members of Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University.
The Internet is the most common communication and research tool worldwide. Perusal of the World Wide Web quickly reveals the variety of information available. Internet adoption can be considered the late 20th century's most important event. In academic environments today, Internet use among faculty members has been widely expanded, with professors now integrating Internet technology into classroom activities. Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University (IMSU) is a pioneering public university in Saudi Arabia. Until recently, some faculty members at IMSU were unable to access the Internet through the university. It is important to study the effects of this delay on faculty members regarding research and academic activities. This study identified the statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics of Internet adopters and non-adopters among faculty members at IMSU, examined whether faculty members' perceptions of the Internet affected adoption, determined if the university administration's decisions impacted faulty members' decisions to adopt the Internet, identified factors motivating faculty members to adopt the Internet, identified obstacles influencing faculty members' decisions to use the Internet, and determined whether innovation characteristics as perceived by faculty members predicted Internet adoption. Using Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory, the influence of eight attributes were examined regarding Internet adoption among IMSU faculty members. Multiple regression and chi-square techniques were conducted to analyze the data and answer research questions. Statistically significant differences were identified among Internet adopters and non-adopters regarding gender, age, academic rank, discipline, and English proficiency. The data revealed 54.7% of IMSU faulty members used the Internet for research and academic activities twice a month or less, indicating a low Internet adoption rate. Statistically significant differences were noted among adopters and non-adopters relative to income level and English proficiency. Multiple regression analysis showed that all attributes of innovation individually predicted Internet adoption. The combination of all attributes indicated the model could predict Internet adoption among faculty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3710/
An Examination Of The Variation In Information Systems Project Cost Estimates: The Case Of Year 2000 Compliance Projects
The year 2000 (Y2K) problem presented a fortuitous opportunity to explore the relationship between estimated costs of software projects and five cost influence dimensions described by the Year 2000 Enterprise Cost Model (Kappelman, et al., 1998) -- organization, problem, solution, resources, and stage of completion. This research was a field study survey of (Y2K) project managers in industry, government, and education and part of a joint project that began in 1996 between the University of North Texas and the Y2K Working Group of the Society for Information Management (SIM). Evidence was found to support relationships between estimated costs and organization, problem, resources, and project stage but not for the solution dimension. Project stage appears to moderate the relationships for organization, particularly IS practices, and resources. A history of superior IS practices appears to mean lower estimated costs, especially for projects in larger IS organizations. Acquiring resources, especially external skills, appears to increase costs. Moreover, projects apparently have many individual differences, many related to size and to project stage, and their influences on costs appear to be at the sub-dimension or even the individual variable level. A Revised Year 2000 Enterprise Model is presented incorporating this granularity. Two primary conclusions can be drawn from this research: (1) large software projects are very complex and thus cost estimating is also; and (2) the devil of cost estimating is in the details of knowing which of the many possible variables are the important ones for each particular enterprise and project. This points to the importance of organizations keeping software project metrics and the historical calibration of cost-estimating practices. Project managers must understand the relevant details and their interaction and importance in order to successfully develop a cost estimate for a particular project, even when rational cost models are used. This research also indicates that software cost estimating has political as well as rational influences at play. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2535/
A Personal Documenation System for Scholars: A Tool for Thinking
This exploratory research focused on a problem stated years ago by Vannevar Bush: "The problem is how creative men think, and what can be done to help them think." The study explored the scholarly work process and the use of computer tools to augment thinking. Based on a review of several related literatures, a framework of 7 major categories and 28 subcategories of scholarly thinking was proposed. The literature was used to predict problems scholars have in organizing their information, potential solutions, and specific computer tool features to augment scholarly thinking. Info Select, a personal information manager with most of these features (text and outline processing, sophisticated searching and organizing), was chosen as a potential tool for thinking. The study looked at how six scholars (faculty and doctoral students in social science fields at three universities) organized information using Info Select as a personal documentation system for scholarly work. These multiple case studies involved four in-depth, focused interviews, written evaluations, direct observation, and analysis of computer logs and files collected over a 3- to 6-month period. A content analysis of interviews and journals supported the proposed AfFORD-W taxonomy: Scholarly work activities consisted of Adding, Filing, Finding, Organizing, Reminding, and Displaying information to produce a Written product. Very few activities fell outside this framework, and activities were distributed evenly across all categories. Problems, needs, and likes mentioned by scholars, however, clustered mainly in the filing, finding, and organizing categories. All problems were related to human memory. Both predictions and research findings imply a need for tools that support information storage and retrieval in personal documentation systems, for references and notes, with fast and easy input of source material. A computer tool for thinking should support categorizing and organizing, reorganizing and transporting information. It should provide a simple search engine and support rapid scanning. The research implies the need for tools that provide better affordances for scholarly thinking activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2258/
An Analysis of the Ability of an Instrument to Measure Quality of Library Service and Library Success
This study consisted of an examination of how service quality should be measured within libraries and how library service quality relates to library success. A modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument was evaluated to determine how effectively it measures library service quality. Instruments designed to measure information center success and information system success were evaluated to determine how effectively they measure library success and how they relate to SERVQUAL. A model of library success was developed to examine how library service quality relates to other variables associated with library success. Responses from 385 end users at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries were obtained through a mail survey. Results indicate that library service quality is best measured with a performance-based version of SERVQUAL, and that measuring importance may be as critical as measuring expectations for management purposes. Results also indicate that library service quality is an important factor in library success and that library success is best measured with a combination of SERVQUAL and library success instruments. The findings have implications for the development of new instruments to more effectively measure library service quality and library success as well as for the development of new models of library service quality and library success. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2245/
Information Seeking in a Virtual Learning Environment
Duplicating a time series study done by Kuhlthau and associates in 1989, this study examines the applicability of the Information Search Process (ISP) Model in the context of a virtual learning environment. This study confirms that students given an information seeking task in a virtual learning environment do exhibit the stages indicated by the ISP Model. The six-phase ISP Model is shown to be valid for describing the different stages of cognitive, affective, and physical tasks individuals progress through when facing a situation where they must search for information to complete an academic task in a virtual learning environment. The findings in this study further indicate there is no relationship between the amount of computer experience subjects possess and demonstrating the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions described by the ISP Model. The study demonstrates the ISP Model to be independent of the original physical library environments where the model was developed. An attempt is made to represent the ISP model in a slightly different manner that provides more of the sense of motion and interaction among the components of thoughts, feelings, and action than is currently provided for in the model. The study suggests that the development of non-self-reporting data collection techniques would be useful in complementing and furthering research to enhance and refine the representation of the ISP Model. Additionally, expanding the research to include the examination of group interaction is called for to enhance the ISP Model and develop further applications that could potentially aid educational delivery in all types of learning environments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2212/
Wayfinding tools in public library buildings: A multiple case study.
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Wayfinding is the process of using one or more tools to move from one location to another in order to accomplish a task or to achieve a goal. This qualitative study explores the process of wayfinding as it applies to locating information in a public library. A group of volunteers were asked to find a selection of items in three types of libraries-traditional, contemporary, and modern. The retrieval process was timed and the reactions of the volunteers were recorded, documented, and analyzed. The impact of various wayfinding tools-architecture, layout, color, signage, computer support, collection organization-on the retrieval process was also identified. The study revealed that many of the wayfinding tools currently available in libraries do not facilitate item retrieval. Inconsistencies, ambiguities, obstructions, disparities, and operational deficiencies all contributed to end-user frustration and retrieval failure. The study suggests that failing to address these issues may prompt library patrons-end users who are increasingly interested in finding information with minimal expenditures of time and effort-may turn to other information-retrieval strategies and abandon a system that they find confusing and frustrating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4470/
An Observational Investigation of On-Duty Critical Care Nurses' Information Behavior in a Nonteaching Community Hospital
Critical care nurses work in an environment rich in informative interactions. Although there have been post hoc self-report survey studies of nurses' information seeking, there have been no observational studies of the patterns and content of their on-duty information behavior. This study used participant observation and in-context interviews to describe 50 hours of the observable information behavior of a representative sample of critical care nurses in a 20-bed critical care hospital unit. The researcher used open, in vivo, and axial coding to develop a grounded theory model of their consistent pattern of multimedia interactions. The resulting Nurse's Patient-Chart Cycle describes nurses' activities during the shift as centering on a regular alternation with the patient and the patient's chart (various record systems), clearly bounded with nursing "report" interactions at the beginning and the end of the shift. The nurses' demeanor markedly changed between interactions with the chart and interactions with the patient. Other informative interactions were observed with other health care workers and the patient's family, friends and visitors. The nurses' information seeking was centered on the patient. They mostly sought information from people, the patient record and other digital systems. They acted on or passed on most of the information they found. Some information they recorded for their personal use during the shift. The researcher observed the nurses using mostly patient specific information, but they also used some social and logistic information. They occasionally sought knowledge based information. Barriers to information acquisition included illegible handwriting, difficult navigation of online systems, equipment failure, unavailable people, social protocols and mistakes caused by multi-tasking people working with multiple complex systems. No formal use was observed of standardized nursing diagnoses, nursing interventions, or nursing outcomes taxonomies. While the nurses expressed respect for evidence-based practice, there clearly was no time or opportunity for reading research literature (either on paper or online) while on duty. All participants expressed frustration with the amount of redundant data entry required of them. The results of this study have significant implications for the design of clinical information systems and library services for working critical care nurses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4498/
A Mythic Perspective of Commodification on the World Wide Web
Capitalism's success, according to Karl Marx, is based on continued development of new markets and products. As globalization shrinks the world marketplace, corporations are forced to seek both new customers and products to sell. Commodification is the process of transforming objects, ideas and even people into merchandise. The recent growth of the World Wide Web has caught the attention of the corporate world, and they are attempting to convert a free-share-based medium into a profit-based outlet. To be successful, they must change Web users' perception about the nature of the Web itself. This study asks the question: Is there mythic evidence of commodification on the World Wide Web? It examines how the World Wide Web is presented to readers of three national publications-Wired, Newsweek, and Business Week-from 1993 to 2000. It uses Barthes' two-tiered model of myths to examine the descriptors used to modify and describe the World Wide Web. The descriptors were clustered into 11 general categories, including connectivity, social, being, scene, consumption, revolution, tool, value, biology, arena, and other. Wired articles did not demonstrate a trend in categorical change from 1993 to 2000; the category of choice shifted back and forth between Revolution, Connectivity, Scene, and Being. Newsweek articles demonstrated an obvious directional shift. Connectivity is the dominant myth from 1994 to 1998, when the revolution category dominates. Similarly, Business Week follows the prevailing myth of connectivity from 1994 to 1997. From 1998 on, the competition-related categories of revolution and arena lead all categories. The study finds evidence of commodification on the World Wide Web, based on the trend in categories in Newsweek and Business Week that move from a foundational myth that presents a perception of cooperation in 1994 to one of competition in 1998 and later. The study recommends further in-depth research of the target publications, a review of articles in less-developed countries, and content analysis and ethnography online. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4489/
Usability of a Keyphrase Browsing Tool Based on a Semantic Cloud Model
The goal of this research was to facilitate the scrutiny and utilization of Web search engine retrieval results. I used a graphical keyphrase browsing interface to visualize the conceptual information space of the results, presenting document characteristics that make document relevance determinations easier. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5320/
Perceived features and similarity of images: An investigation into their relationships and a test of Tversky's contrast model.
The creation, storage, manipulation, and transmission of images have become less costly and more efficient. Consequently, the numbers of images and their users are growing rapidly. This poses challenges to those who organize and provide access to them. One of these challenges is similarity matching. Most current content-based image retrieval (CBIR) systems which can extract only low-level visual features such as color, shape, and texture, use similarity measures based on geometric models of similarity. However, most human similarity judgment data violate the metric axioms of these models. Tversky's (1977) contrast model, which defines similarity as a feature contrast task and equates the degree of similarity of two stimuli to a linear combination of their common and distinctive features, explains human similarity judgments much better than the geometric models. This study tested the contrast model as a conceptual framework to investigate the nature of the relationships between features and similarity of images as perceived by human judges. Data were collected from 150 participants who performed two tasks: an image description and a similarity judgment task. Qualitative methods (content analysis) and quantitative (correlational) methods were used to seek answers to four research questions related to the relationships between common and distinctive features and similarity judgments of images as well as measures of their common and distinctive features. Structural equation modeling, correlation analysis, and regression analysis confirmed the relationships between perceived features and similarity of objects hypothesized by Tversky (1977). Tversky's (1977) contrast model based upon a combination of two methods for measuring common and distinctive features, and two methods for measuring similarity produced statistically significant structural coefficients between the independent latent variables (common and distinctive features) and the dependent latent variable (similarity). This model fit the data well for a sample of 30 (435 pairs of) images and 150 participants (χ2 =16.97, df=10, p = .07508, RMSEA= .040, SRMR= .0205, GFI= .990, AGFI= .965). The goodness of fit indices showed the model did not significantly deviate from the actual sample data. This study is the first to test the contrast model in the context of information representation and retrieval. Results of the study are hoped to provide the foundations for future research that will attempt to further test the contrast model and assist designers of image organization and retrieval systems by pointing toward alternative document representations and similarity measures that more closely match human similarity judgments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4749/
Sanctioned and Controlled Message Propagation in a Restrictive Information Environment: The Small World of Clandestine Radio Broadcasting
This dissertation seeks to identify the elements that inform the model for competing message propagation systems in a restrictive environment. It pays attention to message propagation by sanctioned and clandestine radio stations in pre- and post-independent Zimbabwe. This dissertation uses two models of message propagation in a limiting information environment: Sturges' information model of national liberation struggle and Chatman's small world information model. All the message propagation elements in the Sturges and Chatman's models are present in the broadcast texts analyzed. However, the findings of this dissertation indicate that communication in a restrictive information environment is designed such that its participants make sense of their situation, and come up with ways to solve the challenges of their small world. Also, a restrictive information environment is situational, and message propagators operating in it are subject to tactical changes at different times, accordingly altering their cognitive maps. The two models fail to address these concerns. This dissertation focused on message propagation in Zimbabwe because there is military belligerence involved in the information warfare. It therefore provides an extreme situation, which can help our understanding of more everyday instances of communication and interference of communication. Findings of this dissertation recommend the need to emphasize that information input, output and suppression are components dependent on each other; not discrete and independent categories of information activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5113/
An exploratory study of factors that influence student user success in an academic digital library.
The complex nature of digital libraries calls for appropriate models to study user success. Calls have been made to incorporate into these models factors that capture the interplay between people, organizations, and technology. In order to address this, two research questions were formulated: (1) To what extent does the comprehensive digital library user success model (DLUS), based on a combination of the EUCS and flow models, describe overall user success in a prototype digital library environment; and (2) To what extent does a combined model of DeLone & McLean's reformulated information system success model and comprehensive digital library user success model (DLUS) explain digital library user success in a prototype digital library environment? Participants were asked to complete an online survey questionnaire. A total of 160 completed and useable questionnaires were obtained. Data analyses through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modeling produced results that support the two models. However, some relationships between latent variables hypothesized in the model were not confirmed. A modified version of the proposed comprehensive plus user success model in a digital library environment was tested and supported through model fit statistics. This model was recommended as a possible alternative model of user success. The dissertation also makes a number of recommendations for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5127/
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