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Assessing Perceived Credibility of Web Sites in a Terrorism Context: The PFLP, Tamil Tigers, Hamas, and Hezbollah

Description: The purpose of the study was to contribute to the overall understanding of terrorist organizations' use of the Internet and to increase researchers' knowledge of Web site effectiveness. The methodological approach was evaluation of the perceived credibility of Web sites based on existing criteria derived from information users. The Web sites of four terrorist organizations were assessed: two secular nationalist groups, the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers); and two religious nationalist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. The findings of this analysis showed differences in perceived credibility factors among terrorist organizations' Web sites and positive levels of perceived credibility for the Web sites. These findings indicate the potential for positive impressions of the organizations' Web sites by information users, which would help empower the organizations with the capacity to reach their objectives. By using Web sites, these groups can effectively increase their support base through disseminating information, improving recruiting, and attracting monetary contributions, and can establish themselves as legitimate components of society.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Spinks, Brandon Todd

A Change Agent in the Use of Continuing Online Distance Learning Technology

Description: Managers of public libraries have been presented with a new set of challenges in the day-to-day operations of public libraries. These include their ability to serve as change agents as they manage the use of continuing online distance learning (CODL) for staff. This online tool may provide staff opportunities for on-the-job learning, yet for managers and managerial staff little is known about how the tool impacts their role in light of the changes. This research investigates the perceptions of 103 Northeast Texas Library System managers and managerial staff about their role as a change agent in the use of CODL using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the outcome. Administrators from urban, suburban, and rural public libraries were surveyed using a General Training Climate Scale to explore three constructs: extent of the manager role, manager role, and use of CODL. Data analysis was performed using exploratory and confirmatory analysis to support the theoretical model. An altered model was tested and confirmed through model fit indices.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Lawson, Cheryl L.

The Effect of Media on Citizens' Fear of Crime in Turkey.

Description: This study was conducted on-site in Istanbul, Turkey, to determine the effects that mass media has on citizens' perceptions about fear of crime, in particular, and fear, in general. Specifically, the study was designed to (1) determine the tendency of citizens' media consumption, (2) determine the level of fear of crime among Turkish citizens, (3) establish the effect of media on citizens' fear of crime, and (4) determine if gender, age, educational level, neighborhood, and monthly income have an independent effect on fear of crime. To achieve this purpose, after administering a survey in Istanbul, the researcher collected appropriate data and then utilized regression analysis to examine the relationship between media variables and fear of crime. A survey consisting of three parts was administered to 545 Turkish citizens over the age of 18 who currently reside in Istanbul, Turkey. In Part I of the survey, respondents were asked to identify their trends in relation to media consumption, and in Part II respondents were asked to report their feelings about fear of crime. Finally, Part III consisted of socio-demographic characteristics including gender, age, marital status, level of education, and income. The media variables used for this study were, general TV viewing, watching crime drama, watching TV news, listening to radio news, reading newspaper news, and reading Internet news. Regarding the independent effects of socio-demographic variables on fear of crime, only gender was found to be significantly related thereby supporting the research hypothesis. From six media variables, only watching crime drama show and reading Internet news found to be related with individuals' fear of crime; however, this relation disappeared after controlling with socio-demographic variables. In addition, no cultivation effect could be found among the sub-groups of sample.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Erdonmez, Erhan

Evaluating e-Training for public library staff: A quasi-experimental investigation.

Description: A comparative evaluation framework of instructional interventions for implementation of online training for public library staff would enable a better understanding of how to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of training in certain training environments. This dissertation describes a quasi-experimental study of a two-week, asynchronous online training course that was provided at four levels of instructional intervention to public library staff in the United States. The course content addressed the complex issues of difficult patron policy development and situational coping techniques. The objective of the study was to develop and demonstrate a theoretically grounded, evidence-based impact evaluation framework. The framework was used to assess the relative impact of an online course for public librarians at four levels of instructional intervention. The researcher investigated the relationships between the type of e-Training instructional interventions and the short- and long-term impacts on participants' knowledge, self-efficacy, and workplace performance. The study used a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design that included a pretest, posttest and three-month delayed posttest with follow-up survey. 194 participants completed all three phases of the study. The evaluation tools measured course content related knowledge and self-efficacy at all three phases (pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest) and assessed workplace application of training at 3-month follow-up. The results of this study contributed to evaluation theory and learning theory literature applied to the online learning environment and informed public library staff online training practices and evaluation methodologies.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Dalston, Teresa

An Examination of the Adoption of Preservation Metadata in Cultural Heritage Institutions: An Exploratory Study Using Diffusion of Innovations Theory

Description: Digital preservation is a significant challenge for cultural heritage institutions and other repositories of digital information resources. Recognizing the critical role of metadata in any successful digital preservation strategy, the Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) has been extremely influential on providing a "core" set of preservation metadata elements that support the digital preservation process. However, there is no evidence, in the form of previous research, as to what factors explain and predict the level of adoption of PREMIS. This research focused on identifying factors that affect the adoption of PREMIS in cultural heritage institutions. This study employed a web-based survey to collect data from 123 participants in 20 country as well as a semi-structured, follow-up telephone interview with a smaller sample of the survey respondents. Roger's diffusion of innovation theory was used as a theoretical framework. The main constructs considered for the study were relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, observability, and institution readiness. The study yielded both qualitative and quantitative data, and analysis showed that all six factors influence the adoption of PREMIS in varying degrees. Results of a regression analysis of adoption level on the six factors showed a statistically significant relationship. The R2 value for the model was .528, which means that 52.8% of the variance in PREMIS adoption was explained by a combination of the six factors. Considering the complexity of issue, this study has important implications for future research on preservation metadata and provides recommendations for researchers and stakeholders engaged in metadata standards development efforts.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw

Fair balance? An analysis of the functional equivalence of risk and benefit information in prescription drug direct-to-consumer television advertising.

Description: Prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) has been a subject of controversy in recent years. Though government regulations require equivalent prominence of risks and benefits, there is concern about the ability of consumers with limited health literacy to fully comprehend the risks and benefits associated with drug use. Evaluating the images in DTCA is important because individuals may rely on the visual message if the wording is overly complex. Using semiotics, this study aims to evaluate whether there is functional equivalence in the presentation of risk and benefit information in prescription drug direct-to-consumer television advertising. A new analytical method is created and used to assess the consistency between the messages contained in the voice track, the primary visual images, and the superscript/ subscript text. The results indicate that risk and benefit messages in this DTCA sample lack functional equivalence. However, it is important to properly frame these findings as the study does not evaluate viewer comprehension of the various message structures.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Baird-Harris, Kay

Finding the perfect blend: A comparative study of online, face-to-face, and blended instruction.

Description: As distance learning evolved, course designers and teachers quickly recognized the value of integrating online features into the classroom. The result was blended learning, a combination of online and face-to-face components. This complex and dynamic new form of education has raised many questions about the role of computer-mediated communication in education and has provided new opportunities for extending research in learning and communication. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a blended class will produce different (and possibly better) results in terms of student perceptions of the overall learning experience and student satisfaction than traditional lecture-based face-to-face instruction or learning that is delivered entirely online. The main goals of this study were to compare the effectiveness of face-to-face, online, and blended instruction, and to examine the role of interactions in the effectiveness of each educational method. While each form of instruction received very positive feedback from both students and instructors and the newly introduced blended courses proved very successful in terms of overall satisfaction with the learning experience, the traditional lecture-based courses produced more positive attitudes toward the subject matter. The possible causes of these discrepancies between some of the quantitative and qualitative results point toward the role of previous experience with online learning, cognitive development, and learning styles.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Pearcy, Agnes Goz

Image manipulation and user-supplied index terms.

Description: This study investigates the relationships between the use of a zoom tool, the terms they supply to describe the image, and the type of image being viewed. Participants were assigned to two groups, one with access to the tool and one without, and were asked to supply terms to describe forty images, divided into four categories: landscape, portrait, news, and cityscape. The terms provided by participants were categorized according to models proposed in earlier image studies. Findings of the study suggest that there was not a significant difference in the number of terms supplied in relation to access to the tool, but a large variety in use of the tool was demonstrated by the participants. The study shows that there are differences in the level of meaning of the terms supplied in some of the models. The type of image being viewed was related to the number of zooms and relationships between the type of image and the number of terms supplied as well as their level of meaning in the various models from previous studies exist. The results of this study provide further insight into how people think about images and how the manipulation of those images may affect the terms they assign to describe images. The inclusion of these tools in search and retrieval scenarios may affect the outcome of the process and the more collection managers know about how people interact with images will improve their ability to provide access to the growing amount of pictorial information.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Schultz, Leah

Knowledge Management and Law Enforcement: An Examination of Knowledge Management Strategies of the Police Information System (POLNET) in the Turkish National Police

Description: This research study explores knowledge management (KM) in law enforcement, focusing on the POLNET system established by the Turkish National Police as a knowledge-sharing tool. This study employs a qualitative case study for exploratory and descriptive purposes. The qualitative data set came from semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews, as well as self-administered e-mail questionnaires. The sample was composed of police administrators who created POLNET, working under the Department of Information Technologies and the Department of Communication. A content analysis method is used to analyze the data. This study finds that law enforcement organizations' KM strategies have several differences from Handzic and Zhou's integrated KM model. Especially, organizational culture and structure of law enforcement agencies differently affect knowledge creation, conversion, retrieval, and sharing processes. Accordingly, this study offers a new model which is dynamic and suggests that outcomes always affect drivers.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Gultekin, Kubra

Self-Perceived Information Seeking Skills and Self-Esteem in Adolescents by Race and Gender

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the correlation between self-perceived information seeking skills and self-esteem in adolescents and, further, to determine whether this correlation varied according to race and gender. Tenth-grade students from three public high schools in a Midwestern city were given two instruments. Self-perceived information seeking skills were measured using a modified version of the Information Skills Checklist from High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium's Profiler website. Self-esteem was measured by the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, which is designed for students 12 years of age and over. The scale has six separate measures of self-esteem: physical, moral-ethical self, personal self, family self, social self and academic self. These six measures are used to determine overall level of self-esteem. The results showed a statistically significant correlation between self-perceived information seeking skills and at least one facet of self-esteem for all groups measured, with one exception. African American males were the only adolescents to show no correlation between scores from these two instruments. It is hoped that this research will ultimately be used to develop policies regarding the development of information seeking skills in disenfranchised groups.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Simpson-Scott, Lynne

Tsunami disaster response: A case analysis of the information society in Thailand.

Description: The December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami wrecked thousands of lives, homes, and livelihoods - losses that could have been avoided with timely and better information. A resource such as information is needed at a fundamental level much like water, food, medicine, or shelter. This dissertation examines the development of the Thai information society, in terms of the share of information workforce and the level of diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT), as well as, the role of the Thai information society in response to the tsunami disaster. The study combined the historical and political economy analyses in explaining factors influencing the growth of information workforce and the development of ICT in Thailand. Interviews conducted in 2007-08 revealed the Thai information society responded to the 2004 Tsunami - the first global internet-mediated natural disaster - in two areas: on-site assistance in collecting and recording identification information of tsunami disaster victims and on-line dissemination of disaster relief information. The effectiveness of ICT institutions in providing the tsunami disaster relief efforts and increasing the development of the information society were assessed using statistical procedures analyzing the perceptions of the Internet-based survey respondents. The disaster effects on survey respondents were also assessed. The study's findings include: (1) the Thai information sector development pattern confirmed a key difference between development patterns of information sectors in developed and developing countries, (2) the increasing number of Thai information workers was due more to the expansion of government than the expansion in the manufacturing and service sectors during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, (3) Thailand's expansion of ICT infrastructure was influenced not only on the basis of economic profitability but also by political desirability, and (4) volunteers were crucial in humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Aswalap, Supaluk Joy

Using Diffusion of Innovations to Explore Digital Gaming in Undergraduate Library Instruction

Description: Digital games and simulations are receiving considerable notice within the Library and Information Science (LIS) community. This study adds to the depth of knowledge in this area by providing research on the likelihood a hypothetical digital game delivery method for library instruction achieves sufficient adoption to justify its development. Furthermore, this knowledge will assist decision making processes for individuals debating the current or potential role of digital gaming at their institutions. In this mixed methods study, over 300 undergraduates were surveyed about their technology preferences, including digital gaming, for delivery of two forms of academic library instruction. The two forms of library instruction were (a) providing users with spatial information on physical library layout, and (b) educating users on information literacy topics and skills. Observational data was collected during the survey sessions, occurring at face-to-face library instruction sessions. Self-selected survey participants were also interviewed to further probe their survey responses. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations was the theoretical foundation to this research. The primary innovation of study was the digital game delivery method. Detailed analysis of the survey-based data set included three nonparametric scaling methods: 1) rank-sum scaling; 2) circular triad analysis; and 3) multidimensional preference mapping. Content analysis of the observations and semi-structured interviews also occurred. Major outcomes were 1) the digital game delivery method achieved mediocre preference across both questions; 2) the audiovisual delivery method received the highest overall preference ranking; and 3) overall preference for the audio-only delivery method was remarkably low. The most important theme across the observational data was the participants' waning attention during the face-to-face library instruction sessions. The most important outcome from the semi-structured interviews was interviewees' stated appreciation for useful technologies. Over 95% of participants were so-called digital natives, that is, born post-1980. Rogers' assertion that age plays a minor role in predicting ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Robertson, Michael James