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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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries