A Personal Documenation System for Scholars: A Tool for Thinking

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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 ... continued below

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Burkett, Leslie Stewart December 1999.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 329 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Burkett, Leslie Stewart

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Description

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.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • December 1999

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  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:59 p.m.

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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 3:44 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Burkett, Leslie Stewart. A Personal Documenation System for Scholars: A Tool for Thinking, dissertation, December 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2258/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .