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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.

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

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.
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.

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

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.

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

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

News photography image retrieval practices: Locus of control in two contexts.

Description: This is the first known study to explore the image retrieval preferences of news photographers and news photo editors in work contexts. Survey participants (n=102) provided opinions regarding 11 photograph searching methods. The quantitative survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while content analysis was used to evaluate the qualitative survey data. In addition, news photographers and news photo editors (n=11) participated in interviews. Data from the interviews were analyzed with phenomenography. The survey data demonstrated that most participants prefer searching by events taking place in the photograph, objects that exist in the photograph, photographer-provided keywords, and relevant metadata, such as the date the picture was taken. They also prefer browsing. Respondents had mixed opinions about searching by emotions elicited in a photograph, as well as the environmental conditions represented in a photograph. Participants' lowest-rated methods included color and light, lines and shapes, and depth, shadow, or perspective. They also expressed little interest in technical information about a photograph, such as shutter speed and aperture. Interview participants' opinions about the search methods reflected the survey respondents' views. They discussed other aspects of news photography as well, including the stories told by the pictures, technical concerns about digital photography, and digital archiving and preservation issues. These stated preferences for keyword searching, browsing, and photographer-provided keywords illustrate a desire for a strong internal locus of control in digital photograph archives. Such methods allow users more control over access to their photographs, while the methods deemed less favorable by survey participants offer less control. Participants believe they can best find their photographs if they can control how they index and search for them. Therefore, it would be useful to design online photograph archives that allow users to control representation and access. Future research possibilities include determining the preferences of other image retrieval system ...
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Neal, Diane Rasmussen

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.

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