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Discovering a Descriptive Taxonomy of Attributes of Exemplary School Library Websites

Description: This descriptive study examines effective online school library practice. A Delphi panel selected a sample of 10 exemplary sites and helped to create two research tools--taxonomies designed to analyze the features and characteristics of school library Websites. Using the expert-identified sites as a sample, a content analysis was conducted to systematically identify site features and characteristics. Anne Clyde's longitudinal content analysis of school library Websites was used as a baseline to examine trends in practice; in addition, the national guidelines document, Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, was examined to explore ways in which the traditional mission and roles of school library programs are currently translated online. Results indicated great variation in depth and coverage even among Websites considered exemplary. Sites in the sample are growing more interactive and student-centered, using blogs as supplemental communication strategies. Nevertheless, even these exemplary sites were slow to adopt the advances in technology to meet the learning needs and interests of young adult users. Ideally the study's findings will contribute to understanding of state-of-the-art and will serve to identify trends, as well as serving as a guide to practitioners in planning, developing, and maintaining school library Websites.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Valenza, Joyce Kasman
Partner: UNT Libraries

An exploration of the diffusion of a new technology from communities of practice perspective: Web services technologies in digital libraries.

Description: This study explored and described decision factors related to technology adoption. The research used diffusion of innovations and communities of practice (CoP) theoretical frameworks and a case study of Web services technology in the digital library (DL) environment to develop an understanding of the decision-making process. A qualitative case study approach was used to investigate the research problems and data were collected through semi-structured interviews, documentary evidence (e.g., meeting minutes), and a comprehensive member check. The research conducted face-to-face and phone interviews with seven respondents with different job titles (administraive vs. technical) from five different DL programs selected based on distinctive characteristics such as size of the DL program. Findings of the research suggested that the decision-making process is a complex process in which a number of factors are considered when making technology adoption decisions. These factors are categorized as organizational, individual, and technology specific factors. Further, data showed that DL CoPs played an important role in enabling staff members of a DL program to access up-to-date and experienced-based knowledge, provided a distributed problem solving and learning environment, facilitating informal communication and collaborative activities, and informing the decision-making process.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Oguz, Fatih
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human concept cognition and semantic relations in the unified medical language system: A coherence analysis.

Description: There is almost a universal agreement among scholars in information retrieval (IR) research that knowledge representation needs improvement. As core component of an IR system, improvement of the knowledge representation system has so far involved manipulation of this component based on principles such as vector space, probabilistic approach, inference network, and language modeling, yet the required improvement is still far from fruition. One promising approach that is highly touted to offer a potential solution exists in the cognitive paradigm, where knowledge representation practice should involve, or start from, modeling the human conceptual system. This study based on two related cognitive theories: the theory-based approach to concept representation and the psychological theory of semantic relations, ventured to explore the connection between the human conceptual model and the knowledge representation model (represented by samples of concepts and relations from the unified medical language system, UMLS). Guided by these cognitive theories and based on related and appropriate data-analytic tools, such as nonmetric multidimensional scaling, hierarchical clustering, and content analysis, this study aimed to conduct an exploratory investigation to answer four related questions. Divided into two groups, a total of 89 research participants took part in two sets of cognitive tasks. The first group (49 participants) sorted 60 food names into categories followed by simultaneous description of the derived categories to explain the rationale for category judgment. The second group (40 participants) performed sorting 47 semantic relations (the nonhierarchical associative types) into 5 categories known a priori. Three datasets resulted as a result of the cognitive tasks: food-sorting data, relation-sorting data, and free and unstructured text of category descriptions. Using the data analytic tools mentioned, data analysis was carried out and important results and findings were obtained that offer plausible explanations to the 4 research questions. Major results include the following: (a) through discriminant ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Assefa, Shimelis G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

E-Learning and In-Service Training: An Exploration of the Beliefs and Practices of Trainers and Trainees in the Turkish National Police

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Zengin, Selcuk
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling the role of blogging in librarianship

Description: This phenomenological study examines the motivations and experiences of librarians who author professionally-focused Weblogs. I constructed a model of librarianship based on Wilson and Buckland. The results show a close fit between librarian bloggers and the ideals of the field as expressed by two primary library and information science philosophers. A Web survey generated 239 responses to demographic and open-ended questions. Using the results of the survey, I analyzed demographic data and performed a phenomenological analysis of the open-ended questions. A list of category responses was generated from each set of answers via the coding of descriptive words and phrases. Results indicated the motivations of librarian bloggers are based around themes of sharing, participation in community, and enhanced professional development. Respondents reported feeling more connected to the profession and to colleagues across the world because of blogging. Respondents perceived the librarian blogosphere as a community with both positive aspects - feedback, discussion, and support - and negative aspects - insular voices, divides between technologists and librarians, and generational rifts. Respondents also reported an increased ability to keep current, improved writing skills, and opportunities to speak and contribute to professional journals.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Stephens, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Officer attitudes toward organizational change in the Turkish National Police.

Description: This dissertation emphasizes the importance of the human factor in the organizational change process. Change - the only constant - is inevitable for organizations and no change program can be achieved without the support and acceptance of organization members. In this context, this study identifies officer attitudes toward organizational change in the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the factors affecting those attitudes. The Officer Attitude Model created by the researcher includes six main factors (receptivity to change, readiness for change, trust in management, commitment to organization, communication of change, and training for change) and five background factors (gender, age, rank, level of education, and work experience) to explain officer attitudes toward change. In order to test this model, an officer attitude survey was administered in Turkey among TNP members and the results of the gathered data validated this model.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Durmaz, Huseyin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Police officers' adoption of information technology: A case study of the Turkish POLNET system.

Description: One of the important branches of government and vital to the community, police agencies are organizations that have high usage rates of information technology systems since they are in the intelligence sector and thus have information incentives. Not only can information technologies develop intra- and inter-relationships of law enforcement agencies, but they also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the police officers and agencies without adding additional costs. Thus, identifying the factors that influence the police officers' adoption of information technology can help predict and determine how information technology will contribute to the social organization of policing in terms of effectiveness and efficiency gains. A research framework was developed by integrating three different models, theory of planned behavior (TPB), technology acceptance theory (TAM), and diffusion of innovation theory (DOI) while adding two other factors, facility and voluntariness, to better determine the factors affecting the implementation and adoption of the POLNET software system used by the Turkish National Police (TNP). The integrated model used in this study covers not only basic technology acceptance factors, but also the factors related to policing. It also attempts to account for the factors of cultural differences by considering the important aspects of Turkish culture. A cross sectional survey was conducted among TNP officers using the POLNET system. The LISREL 8.5® analysis for the hypothesized model resulted in a good model fit; 13 of the 15 hypotheses were supported.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Yalcinkaya, Ramazan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reading selection as information seeking behavior: A case study with adolescent girls.

Description: The aim of this research, Reading Selection as Information Seeking Behavior: A Case Study with Adolescent Girls, was to explore how the experience of reading fiction affects adolescent girls aged 13 through 15, and how that experience changes based upon four activities: journaling, blogging, a personal interview, and a focus group session. Each participant reflects upon works of her own choosing that she had recently read. The data is evaluated using content analysis with the goal of developing a relational analysis tool to be used and tested with future research projects. The goal of this research is to use the insights of the field of bibliotherapy together with the insights of the adolescent girls to provide a higher, more robust model of successful information behavior. That is, relevance is a matter of impact on life rather than just a match of subject heading. This work provides a thick description of a set of real world relevancy judgments. This may serve to illuminate theories and practices for bringing each individual seeker together with appropriate documents. This research offers a new model for relevant information seeking behavior associated with selecting works of essential instructional fiction, as well as a new definition for terminology to describe the results of the therapeutic literary experience. The data from this study, as well as from previous research, suggest that literature (specifically young adult literature) brings the reader to a better understanding of herself and the world around her.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Reynolds, Stephanie D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Respect for human rights and the rise of democratic policing in Turkey: Adoption and diffusion of the European Union acquis in the Turkish National Police.

Description: This study is an exploration of the European Union acquis adoption in the Turkish National Police. The research employed the Diffusion of Innovations, Democratic Policing, and historical background check theoretical frameworks to study the decision-making of the TNP regarding reforms after 2003 as a qualitative case study which triangulated the methodology with less-dominant survey and several other analyzing methods. The data were collected from several sources including semi-structured interviews, archival records, documentary evidences and the European Commission Regular Reports on Turkey. The research interest was about the decision mechanisms of the TNP towards reforms and the rise of democratic policing in Turkey. During the study, internationally recognized human rights standards were given attention. As the data suggested, the police forces are shaped according to their ruling governments and societies. It is impossible to find a totally democratic police in a violent society and a totally violent police in a democratic society. The study findings suggested that reforming police agencies should not be a significant problem for determined governments. Human rights violations should not be directly related with the police in any country. The data suggested that democratic policing applications find common application when the democracy gets powerful and police brutality increases when authoritarian governments stays in power. Democratic policing on the other hand is an excellent tool to improve notion of democracy and to provide legitimacy to governments. However, democratic policing is not a tool to bring the democracy, but a support mechanism for it.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Lofca, Izzet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Visual perception in relation to levels of meaning for children: An exploratory study.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Yu, Xinyu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Widening the lens: An interdisciplinary approach to examining the effect of exposure therapy on public speaking state anxiety.

Description: This study used an interdisciplinary approach to examine an intervention for reducing public speaking state anxiety. A quasi-experiment was conducted to determine if a multiple-exposure treatment technique (TRIPLESPEAK) would help to attenuate public speaking anxiety. The treatment group reported experiencing significantly less state anxiety during their post-test presentation than did the control group. This lead to the conclusion that exposure therapy can be used to help students enrolled in basic communication classes begin to overcome their fear of speaking in front of an audience. Follow-up analysis of the treatment group's reported anxiety levels during all five presentations (pre-test, Treatment Presentation 1, Treatment Presentation 2, Treatment Presentation 3, and post-test) revealed an increase in anxiety from the last treatment presentation to the post-test presentation. In order to explore this issue, Shannon's entropy was utilized to calculate the amount of information in each speaking environment. Anderson's functional ontology construction approach served as a model to explain the role of the environment in shaping speakers' current and future behaviors and reports of anxiety. The exploratory analysis revealed a functional relationship between information and anxiety. In addition, a qualitative study was conducted to determine which environmental stimuli speakers perceived contributed to their anxiety levels. Students reported experiencing anxiety based on four categories, which included speaker concerns, audience characteristics, contextual factors and assignment criteria. Students' reports of anxiety were dependent upon their previous speaking experiences, and students suggested differences existed between the traditional presentations and the treatment presentations. Pedagogical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Finn, Amber N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of a Library Learning Theory by Measuring Library Skills of Students Completing an Online Library Instruction Tutorial

Description: This study is designed to reveal whether students acquire the domains and levels of library skills discussed in a learning library skills theory after participating in an online library instruction tutorial. The acquisition of the library skills is demonstrated through a review of the scores on online tutorial quizzes, responses to a library skills questionnaire, and bibliographies of course research papers. Additional areas to be studied are the characteristics of the participants enrolled in traditional and online courses at a community college and the possible influence of these characteristics on the demonstrated learning of library skills. Multiple measurement methods, identified through assessment of library instruction literature, are used to verify the effectiveness of the library skills theory and to strengthen the validity and reliability of the study results.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Watson, Dana L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coyote Ugly Librarian: A Participant Observer Examination of Lnowledge Construction in Reality TV.

Description: Reality TV is the most popular genre of television programming today. The number of reality television shows has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years since the premier of The Real World in 1992. Although reality TV uses styles similar to those used in documentary film, the “reality” of the shows is questioned by critics and viewers alike. The current study focuses on the “reality” that is presented to viewers and how that “reality” is created and may differ from what the participants of the shows experience. I appeared on two reality shows, Faking It and That's Clever, and learned a great deal as a participant observer. Within the study, I outline my experience and demonstrate how editing changed the reality I experienced into what was presented to the viewers. O'Connor's (1996) representation context web serves as a model for the realities created through reality television. People derive various benefits from watching reality TV. Besides the obvious entertainment value of reality TV, viewers also gather information via this type of programming. Viewers want to see real people on television reacting to unusual circumstances without the use of scripts. By surveying reality TV show viewers and participants, this study gives insight into how real the viewers believe the shows are and how authentic they actually are. If these shows are presented as reality, viewers are probably taking what they see as historical fact. The results of the study indicate more must be done so that the “reality” of reality TV does not misinform viewers.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Holmes, Haley K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceived attributes of diffusion of innovation theory as predictors of Internet adoption among faculty members of Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Almobarraz, Abdullah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer Support Interactions: Verifying a Process Model of Problem Trajectory in an Information Technology Support Environment.

Description: Observations in the information technology (IT) support environment and generalizations from the literature regarding problem resolution behavior indicate that computer support staff seldom store reusable solution information effectively for IT problems. A comprehensive model of the processes encompassing problem arrival and assessment, expertise selection, problem resolution, and solution recording has not been available to facilitate research in this domain. This investigation employed the findings from a qualitative pilot study of IT support staff information behaviors to develop and explicate a detailed model of problem trajectory. Based on a model from clinical studies, this model encompassed a trajectory scheme that included the communication media, characteristics of the problem, decision points in the problem resolution process, and knowledge creation in the form of solution storage. The research design included the administration of an extensive scenario-based online survey to a purposive sample of IT support staff at a medium-sized state-supported university, with additional respondents from online communities of IT support managers and call-tracking software developers. The investigator analyzed 109 completed surveys and conducted email interviews of a stratified nonrandom sample of survey respondents to evaluate the suitability of the model. The investigation employed mixed methods including descriptive statistics, effects size analysis, and content analysis to interpret the results and verify the sufficiency of the problem trajectory model. The study found that expertise selection relied on the factors of credibility, responsibility, and responsiveness. Respondents referred severe new problems for resolution and recorded formal solutions more often than other types of problems, whereas they retained moderate recurring problems for resolution and seldom recorded those solutions. Work experience above and below the 5-year mark affected decisions to retain, refer, or defer problems, as well as solution storage and broadcasting behaviors. The veracity of the problem trajectory model was verified and it was found to be an ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Strauss, Christopher Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Constraints on Adoption of Innovations: Internet Availability in the Developing World.

Description: In a world that is increasingly united in time and distance, I examine why the world is increasingly divided socially, economically, and digitally. Using data for 35 variables from 93 countries, I separate the countries into groups of 31 each by gross domestic product per capita. These groups of developed, lesser developed and least developed countries are used in comparative analysis. Through a review of relevant literature and tests of bivariate correlation, I select eight key variables that are significantly related to information communication technology development and to human development. For this research, adoption of the Internet in the developing world is the innovation of particular interest. Thus, for comparative purposes, I chose Internet Users per 1000 persons per country and the Human Development Index as the dependent variables upon which the independent variables are regressed. Although small in numbers among the least developed countries, I find Internet Users as the most powerful influence on human development for the poorest countries. The research focuses on key obstacles as well as variables of opportunity for Internet usage in developing countries. The greatest obstacles are in fact related to Internet availability and the cost/need ratio for infrastructure expansion. However, innovations for expanded Internet usage in developing countries are expected to show positive results for increased Internet usage, as well as for greater human development and human capital. In addition to the diffusion of innovations in terms of the Internet, the diffusion of cultures through migration is also discussed in terms of the effect on social capital and the drain on human capital from developing countries.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Framework of Automatic Subject Term Assignment: An Indexing Conception-Based Approach

Description: The purpose of dissertation is to examine whether the understandings of subject indexing processes conducted by human indexers have a positive impact on the effectiveness of automatic subject term assignment through text categorization (TC). More specifically, human indexers' subject indexing approaches or conceptions in conjunction with semantic sources were explored in the context of a typical scientific journal article data set. Based on the premise that subject indexing approaches or conceptions with semantic sources are important for automatic subject term assignment through TC, this study proposed an indexing conception-based framework. For the purpose of this study, three hypotheses were tested: 1) the effectiveness of semantic sources, 2) the effectiveness of an indexing conception-based framework, and 3) the effectiveness of each of three indexing conception-based approaches (the content-oriented, the document-oriented, and the domain-oriented approaches). The experiments were conducted using a support vector machine implementation in WEKA (Witten, & Frank, 2000). The experiment results pointed out that cited works, source title, and title were as effective as the full text, while keyword was found more effective than the full text. In addition, the findings showed that an indexing conception-based framework was more effective than the full text. Especially, the content-oriented and the document-oriented indexing approaches were found more effective than the full text. Among three indexing conception-based approaches, the content-oriented approach and the document-oriented approach were more effective than the domain-oriented approach. In other words, in the context of a typical scientific journal article data set, the objective contents and authors' intentions were more focused that the possible users' needs. The research findings of this study support that incorporation of human indexers' indexing approaches or conception in conjunction with semantic sources has a positive impact on the effectiveness of automatic subject term assignment.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Chung, EunKyung
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Online and the Onsite Holocaust Museum Exhibition as an Informational Resource

Description: Museums today provide learning-rich experiences and quality informational resources through both physical and virtual environments. This study examined a Holocaust Museum traveling exhibition, Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust that was on display at the Art Center of Battle Creek, Michigan in fall 2005. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to assess the informational value of a Holocaust Museum exhibition in its onsite vs. online format by converging quantitative and qualitative data. Participants in the study included six eighth grade language arts classes who viewed various combinations or scenarios of the onsite and online Life in Shadows. Using student responses to questions in an online exhibition survey, an analysis of variance was performed to determine which scenario visit promotes the greatest content learning. Using student responses to additional questions on the same survey, data were analyzed qualitatively to discover the impact on students of each scenario visit. By means of an emotional empathy test, data were analyzed to determine differences among student response according to scenario visit. A principal finding of the study (supporting Falk and Dierking's contextual model of learning) was that the use of the online exhibition provided a source of prior orientation and functioned as an advanced organizer for students who subsequently viewed the onsite exhibition. Students who viewed the online exhibition received higher topic assessment scores. Students in each scenario visit gave positive exhibition feedback and evidence of emotional empathy. Further longitudinal studies in museum informatics and Holocaust education involving a more diverse population are needed. Of particular importance would be research focusing on using museum exhibitions and Web-based technology in a compelling manner so that students can continue to hear the words of survivors who themselves bear witness and give voice to silenced victims. When perpetuity of access to informational resources ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Lincoln, Margaret L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

What makes a quality Ph.D. program in library and information sciences?

Description: The intent of this study was to establish and validate criteria for use to assess the quality of a library and information sciences (LIS) Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. student-centric topology for quality Ph.D. programs was developed from a 2001 position statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) regarding the quality indicators in research-focused doctoral programs in nursing. Topology components were tested using a survey instrument to establish their importance to the community of practice and their potential use to assess a Ph.D. program. Survey participants were asked to rank terms or concepts in a balanced incomplete block (BIB) design then rate, on a Likert-type scale, statements about the applicability of these terms or concepts to assessing a quality LIS Ph.D. program. Survey participants were from the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Open Lib/Info Sci Education Forum jESSE Listserv. Of 225 survey participants affiliated with universities or schools from North America who submitted usable surveys, slightly less than two-thirds (64.4 %) were female while 35.5 % were male. Ninety-eight participants (43.6 %) were faculty, 114 (50.7 %) were Ph.D. students or candidates, and 13 (5.8 %) were in other roles. Statistical analysis of survey responses showed consistent results between the different demographic groups. The topology was validated by the results of the statistical analysis of the research data. Every component of the topology was acknowledged as very important to assess the quality of a LIS Ph.D. program. Faculty was the highest ranked item in the BIB analysis with a statistically significant difference (p < .0001) in the mean rank order from the next highest ranked item, Ph.D. students. The rank order from the BIB analysis was as follows: faculty, Ph.D. students, programs (courses) of study, teaching, learning environment, resources, and evaluation. Faculty was also the ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Klingler, Scott Lavell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Usability of a Keyphrase Browsing Tool Based on a Semantic Cloud Model

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Johnston, Onaje Omotola
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.

Description: The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Almquist, Arne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Functional Ontology Construction: A Pragmatic Approach to Addressing Problems Concerning the Individual and the Informing Environment

Description: Functional ontology construction (FOC) is an approach for modeling the relationships between a user and the informing environment by means of analysis of the user's behavior and the elements of the environment that have behavioral function. The FOC approach is an application of behavior analytic techniques and concepts to problems within information science. The FOC approach is both an alternative and a compliment to the cognitive viewpoint commonly found in models of behavior in information science. The basis for the synthesis of behavior analysis and information science is a shared tradition of pragmatism between the fields. The application of behavior analytic concepts brings with it the notion of selection by consequence. Selection is examined on the biological, behavioral, and cultural levels. Two perspicuous examples of the application of the FOC modeling approach are included. The first example looks at the document functioning as a reinforcer in a human operant experimental setting. The second example is an examination of the verbal behavior of expert film analyst, Raymond Bellour, the structure of a film he analyzed, and the elements of the film's structure that had behavioral function for Bellour. The FOC approach is examined within the ontological space of information science.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Recall of Browsing Sets in Image Retrieval from a Semiotics Perspective

Description: The purpose of dissertation is to utilize connotative messages for enhancing image retrieval and browsing. By adopting semiotics as a theoretical tool, this study explores problems of image retrieval and proposes an image retrieval model. The semiotics approach conceptually demonstrates that: 1) a fundamental reason for the dissonance between retrieved images and user needs is representation of connotative messages, and 2) the image retrieval model which makes use of denotative index terms is able to facilitate users to browse connotatively related images effectively even when the users' needs are potentially expressed in the form of denotative query. Two experiments are performed for verifying the semiotic-based image retrieval model and evaluating the effectiveness of the model. As data sources, 5,199 records are collected from Artefacts Canada: Humanities by Canadian Heritage Information Network, and the candidate terms of connotation and denotation are extracted from Art & Architecture Thesaurus. The first experiment, by applying term association measures, verifies that the connotative messages of an image can be derived from denotative messages of the image. The second experiment reveals that the association thesaurus which is constructed based on the associations between connotation and denotation facilitates assigning connotative terms to image documents. In addition, the result of relevant judgments presents that the association thesaurus improves the relative recall of retrieved image documents as well as the relative recall of browsing sets. This study concludes that the association thesaurus indicating associations between connotation and denotation is able to improve the accessibility of the connotative messages. The results of the study are hoped to contribute to the conceptual knowledge of image retrieval by providing understandings of connotative messages within an image and to the practical design of image retrieval system by proposing an association thesaurus which can supplement the limitations of the current content-based image retrieval systems ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Yoon, JungWon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Intangible Qualities of Rare Books: Toward a Decision-Making Framework for Preservation Management in Rare Book Collections, Based Upon the Concept of the Book as Object

Description: For rare book collections, a considerable challenge is involved in evaluating collection materials in terms of their inherent value, which includes the textual and intangible information the materials provide for the collection's users. Preservation management in rare book collections is a complex and costly process. As digitization and other technological advances in surrogate technology have provided new forms representation, new dilemmas in weighing the rare book's inherently valuable characteristics against the possibly lesser financial costs of surrogates have arisen. No model has been in wide use to guide preservation management decisions. An initial iteration of such a model is developed, based on a Delphi-like iterative questioning of a group of experts in the field of rare books. The results are used to synthesize a preservation management framework for rare book collections, and a small-scale test of the framework has been completed through two independent analyses of five rare books in a functioning collection. Utilizing a standardized template for making preservation decisions offers a variety of benefits. Preservation decisions may include prioritizing action upon the authentic objects, or developing and maintaining surrogates in lieu of retaining costly original collection materials. The framework constructed in this study provides a method for reducing the subjectivity of preservation decision-making and facilitating the development of a standard of practice for preservation management within rare book collections.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Sheehan, Jennifer Karr
Partner: UNT Libraries