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The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel

Automatic Language Identification for Metadata Records: Measuring the Effectiveness of Various Approaches

Description: Automatic language identification has been applied to short texts such as queries in information retrieval, but it has not yet been applied to metadata records. Applying this technology to metadata records, particularly their title elements, would enable creators of metadata records to obtain a value for the language element, which is often left blank due to a lack of linguistic expertise. It would also enable the addition of the language value to existing metadata records that currently lack a language value. Titles lend themselves to the problem of language identification mainly due to their shortness, a factor which increases the difficulty of accurately identifying a language. This study implemented four proven approaches to language identification as well as one open-source approach on a collection of multilingual titles of books and movies. Of the five approaches considered, a reduced N-gram frequency profile and distance measure approach outperformed all others, accurately identifying over 83% of all titles in the collection. Future plans are to offer this technology to curators of digital collections for use.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Knudson, Ryan Charles

Convenience to the Cataloger or Convenience to the User?: An Exploratory Study of Catalogers’ Judgment

Description: This mixed-method study explored cataloger’s judgment through the presence of text as entered by catalogers for the 11 electronic resource items during the National Libraries test for Resource Description and Access (RDA). Although the literature discusses cataloger’s judgment and suggests that cataloging practice based on new cataloging code RDA will more heavily rely on cataloger’s judgment, the topic of cataloger’s judgment in RDA cataloging was not formally studied. The purpose of this study was to study the differences and similarities in the MARC records created as a part of the RDA National Test and to determine if the theory of bounded rationality could explain cataloger’s judgment based on the constructs of cognitive and temporal limits. This goal was addressed through a content analysis of the MARC records and various statistical tests (Pearson’s Chi-square, Fisher’s Exact, and Cramer’s V). Analysis of 217 MARC records was performed on seven elements of the bibliographic record. This study found that there were both similarities and differences among the various groups of participants, and there are indications that both support and refute the assertion that catalogers make decisions based on the constructs of time and cognitive ability. Future research is needed to be able to determine if bounded rationality is able to explain cataloger’s judgment; however, there are indicators that both support and refute this assertion. The findings from this research have implications for the cataloging community through the provision of training opportunities for catalogers, evaluating workflows, ensuring the proper indexing of bibliographic records for discovery, and recommended edits to RDA.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hasenyager, Richard Lee, Jr.

Development and Validation of an Instrument to Operationalize Information System Requirements Capabilities

Description: As a discipline, information systems (IS) has struggled with the challenge of alignment of product (primarily software and the infrastructure needed to run it) with the needs of the organization it supports. This has been characterized as the pursuit of alignment of information technology (IT) with the business or organization, which begins with the gathering of the requirements of the organization, which then guide the creation of the IS requirements, which in turn guide the creation of the IT solution itself. This research is primarily focused on developing and validating an instrument to operationalize such requirements capabilities. Requirements capabilities at the development of software or the implementation of a specific IT solution are referred to as capabilities for software requirements or more commonly systems analysis and design (SA&D) capabilities. This research describes and validates an instrument for SA&D capabilities for content validity, construct validity, internal consistency, and an exploratory factor analysis. SA&D capabilities were expected to coalesce strongly around a single dimension. Yet in validating the SA&D capabilities instrument, it became apparent that SA&D capabilities are not the unidimensional construct traditionally perceived. Instead it appears that four dimensions underlie SA&D capabilities, and these are associated with alignment maturity (governance, partnership, communications, and value). These sub factors of requirements capabilities are described in this research and represent distinct capabilities critical to the successful alignment of IT with the business.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pettit, Alex Z.

Factors Associated with Behavioral Intention to Disclose Personal Information on Geosocial Networking Applications

Description: Information privacy is a major concern for consumers adopting emerging technologies dependent on location-based services. This study sought to determine whether a relationship exists among factors of personalization, locatability, perceived playfulness, privacy concern and behavioral intention to disclose personal information for individuals using location-based, geosocial networking applications. Questionnaire responses from undergraduate students at a 4-year university provide insight into these relationships. Multiple regression results indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between the four significant predictor variables and the dependent variable. Analysis of beta weights, structure coefficients, and commonality analysis shed light on the variance attributable to the predictor variables of the study. Findings provide understanding of the specific factors examined in the study and have implications for consumers, businesses, application designers, and policymakers. The results from this study contribute to an understanding of technology acceptance theory and offer insight into competing beliefs that may affect an individual’s behavioral intention to disclose personal information. Knowledge gained form the study may be useful for overcoming challenges related to consumer adoption of location-based services that require disclosure of personal information.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Cox, Trissa

In Pursuit of Image: How We Think About Photographs We Seek

Description: The user perspective of image search remains poorly understood. the purpose of this study is to identify and investigate the key issues relevant to a user’s interaction with images and the user’s approach to image search. a deeper understanding of these issues will serve to inform the design of image retrieval systems and in turn better serve the user. Previous research explores areas of information seeking behavior, representation in information science, query formulation, and image retrieval. the theoretical framework for this study includes an articulation of image search scenarios as adapted from Yoon and O’Connor’s taxonomy of image query types, Copeland’s Engineering Design Approach for rigorous qualitative research, and Anderson’s Functional Ontology Construction Model for building robust models of human behavior. a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with expert-level image users. Interviewees discussed their motivations for image search, types of image searches they pursue, and varied approaches to image search, as well as how they decide that an information need has been met and which factors influence their experience of search. a content analysis revealed themes repeated across responses, including a collection of 23 emergent concepts and 6 emergent categories. a functional analysis revealed further insight into these themes. Results from both analyses may be used as a framework for future exploration of this topic. Implications are discussed and future research directions are indicated. Among possibilities for future research are investigations into collaborative search and ubiquitous image search.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Oyarce, Sara

The Information Politics Assessment Scale (Ipas): Developing and Testing an Instrument to Measure and Identify the Information Politics of Organizations

Description: Information politics is a concept widely acknowledged in several disciplines. However, scant empirical evidence exists in the literature that codifies or measures information politics as a construct. This exploratory study developed and tested the Information Politics Assessment Scale (IPAS), a survey instrument that measured individual perceptions of organizational information artifacts as indictors of its information politics. Data collected with the IPAS was examined to investigate the latent structure of the information politics variable, determine information politics models, and explore the relationship between information politics, strategy, and organization effectiveness. A purposive sample of 240 participants from a cross-section of organizations completed the IPAS in an online administration. Exploratory factor analysis generated three factors, labeled Behavioral Flexibility (BF), Environmental Sensitivity (ES), and Structural Autonomy (SA), suggesting three dimensions of the information politics variable. Cluster analysis of aggregate scores on the BF, ES, and SA factors together resulted in determining four distinct information politics models. Crosstab and ANOVA, respectively, enabled explaining the relationship between strategy and information politics, and how it influenced organization effectiveness. This study breaks ground by broadening the theoretical and empirical understanding of information politics in confirming the proposition that an organization’s information artifacts are measureable and reliable indicators of its information politics. Further, it supports the efficacy of the IPAS to identify the information politics model operating in a given organization.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Reed, Richard

Information Seeking Behaviors in a Population of Assistive Mobility Device Users

Description: The author explores the current state of information exchange and access in the procurement process for mobility assistive equipment. While the idealized model is of a linear process starting with a need and ending with the purchase, in practice the procedures for acquiring a device such as a wheelchair or electric scooter can be a time consuming task that involves client, family, medical care specialists, vendors, manufacturers, insurance companies and possibly alternate sources of funding. This study utilized Participatory Action Research (PAR) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data about information sources such as the Internet, the medical community, and vendors. The findings of this study suggest that in spite of the presence of the Internet, overall primary sources are similar to the traditional model and that for most there is no one source that could be easily accessed for information. A brief examination is made of the “Information landscape” utilized in the process and a brief discussion of two relatively unmentioned information sources: expos and the wheelchair sports community.
Date: May 2014
Creator: White, Mel

Patient Family and Hospital Staff Information Needs at a Pediatric Hospital: an Analysis of Information Requests Received by the Family Resource Libraries

Description: This research explored the information needs of patient families and hospital staff at a pediatric hospital system in Dallas, Texas. Library statistics recorded in four hospital libraries from 2011 - 2013 were used to analyze the information requests from patient families and hospital staff. Crosstabulations revealed the extent to which patient families and hospital staff used the libraries to satisfy their information needs. The data showed that patient families used the libraries very differently than hospital staff. Chi-square tests for independence were performed to identify the relationships between the Classification (Patient Family, Hospital Staff) and two descriptors of information needs (Request Type, Resources Used). There were a total of 1,406 information requests analyzed. The data showed that patient families and hospital staff information requests differed greatly in the number of information requests, the type of information requested, the resources used and the time the library staff spent on the requests. Chi-square analyses revealed relationships statistically significant at the p < .05 level; however, the strength of the relationships varied.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Rutledge, M. Hannah

The Role of Tasks in the Internet Health Information Searching of Chinese Graduate Students

Description: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between types of health information tasks and the Internet information search processes of Chinese graduate students at the University of North Texas. the participants' Internet information search processes were examined by looking at the source used to start the search, language selection, use of online translation tools, and time spent. in a computer classroom, 45 Chinese graduate students searched the Internet and completed three health information search tasks: factual task, interpretative task, and exploratory task. Data of the Chinese graduate students’ health information search processes were gathered from Web browser history files, answer sheets, and questionnaires. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses were conducted to test the relationships between the types of tasks and variables identified in the search process. Results showed that task types only had a statistically significant impact on the time spent. for the three tasks, the majority of Chinese graduate students used search engines as major sources for the search starting point, utilized English as the primary language, and did not use online translation tools. the participants also reported difficulties in locating relevant answers and recommended ways to be assisted in the future when searching the Internet for health information. the study provided an understanding of Chinese graduate students' health information seeking behavior with an aim to enrich health information user studies. the results of this study contribute to the areas of academic library services, multilingual health information system design, and task-based health information searching.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Pan, Xuequn

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

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

Toward a Grounded Theory of Community Networking

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

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

Description: The concept of the invisible college is a key focus of scientific communication research with many studies on this topic in the literature. However, while such studies have contributed to an understanding of the invisible college, they have not adequately explained the interaction of social and structural processes in this phenomenon. As a consequence, past research has described the invisible college differently based on researchers’ perspectives, resulting in misinterpretations or inconsistent definitions of the relevant social and structural processes. Information science and related disciplines have focused on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works while placing less emphasis on the social processes. To advance understanding of the invisible college and its dimensions (including both social processes and structural processes), a proposed model (Modern Invisible College Model, MICM) has been built based on the history of the invisible college and Lievrouw’s (1989) distinction between social and structural processes. The present study focuses on the social processes of informal communication between scholars via social media, rather than on the structural processes that lead to scholarly products or works. A developed survey and an employed quantitative research method were applied for data collection. The research population involved 77 scholars from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), in Saudi Arabia. Descriptive statistics, frequency and percentage were conducted for each statement. Means and standard deviations were calculated. The results indicate that the majority of participants heavily use social media for scientific communication purposes. Also, the results confirm that scholars consider social media to be an effective and appropriate tool for scientific communication. Seven factors were found in the findings to have positive correlations with uses and gratifications theory and the use of social media. This research contributes to and benefits scholars, reference groups (i.e., the invisible college itself), and institutions, and provides ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Algarni, Mohammed Ayedh