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Creating a Criterion-Based Information Agent Through Data Mining for Automated Identification of Scholarly Research on the World Wide Web

Description: This dissertation creates an information agent that correctly identifies Web pages containing scholarly research approximately 96% of the time. It does this by analyzing the Web page with a set of criteria, and then uses a classification tree to arrive at a decision. The criteria were gathered from the literature on selecting print and electronic materials for academic libraries. A Delphi study was done with an international panel of librarians to expand and refine the criteria until a list of 41 operationalizable criteria was agreed upon. A Perl program was then designed to analyze a Web page and determine a numerical value for each criterion. A large collection of Web pages was gathered comprising 5,000 pages that contain the full work of scholarly research and 5,000 random pages, representative of user searches, which do not contain scholarly research. Datasets were built by running the Perl program on these Web pages. The datasets were split into model building and testing sets. Data mining was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, nonparametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. The models were created with the model datasets and then tested against the test dataset. Precision and recall were used to judge the effectiveness of each model. In addition, a set of pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified with the models. The classification tree created the most effective classification model, with a precision ratio of 96% and a recall ratio of 95.6%. However, logistic regression created a model that was able to correctly classify more of the problematic pages. This agent can be used to create a database of scholarly research published on the Web. In addition, the technique can be used to create a ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Nicholson, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment

Description: There has been a long history of studying library users and their information seeking behaviors and activities. Researchers developed models to better understand these information seeking behaviors and activities of users. Most of these models were developed before the onset of the Internet. This research project studied faculty members' use of and their information seeking behaviors and activities on the Internet at Angelo State University, a Master's I institution. Using both a quantitative and qualitative methodology, differences were found between tenured and tenure-track faculty members on the perceived value of the Internet to meet their research and classroom information needs. Similar differences were also found among faculty members in the broad discipline areas of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Tenure-track faculty members reported a higher average Internet use per week than tenured faculty members. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven tenured and seven tenure-track faculty members, an Internet Information Seeking Activities Model was developed to describe the information seeking activities on the Internet by faculty members at Angelo State University. The model consisted of four basic stages of activities: "Gathering," "Validating," "Linking" with a sub-stage of "Re-validating," and "Monitoring." There were two parallel stages included in the model. These parallel stages were "Communicating" and "Mentoring." The Internet Information Seeking Activities Model was compared to the behavioral model of information seeking by faculty members developed by Ellis. The Internet Model placed a greater emphasis on validating information retrieved from the Internet. Otherwise there were no other substantive changes to Ellis' model.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Fortin, Maurice G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

University Students and the Internet: Information Seeking Study

Description: This study explored university students' information needs and seeking behaviors on the Internet. A Web-based survey was administrated one time. Two hundred responses were received from the target sample within the two weeks period of the study. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and graphical representation. The study explored various issues related to the usability, preferences, and activities of the Internet, such as searching tools, e-mail, search engines, and preferred primary sources of everyday-life information needs. The study explored the perceptions of the students toward the Internet and the traditional library. Kuhlthau's model of the information-seeking process, which includes six stages and affective components, was utilized and modified in the construction of the Web survey. A study by Presno (1998), which includes the four types of Internet anxiety, was utilized in the construction of the Web survey. With regard to the six stages of Kuhlthau model, the majority of the respondents experienced stage 5, which was about information gathering; stage 3 had the next highest number of respondents. Very few respondents experienced stages 1 and 2. There was a systematic pattern in which, the earlier the stages the respondents were in, the more negative adjectives they selected, and vice versa. The feeling adjectives section showed a difference in the behavior between males and females. The results indicated that most students had Internet time delay anxiety. In general, the study found that students have a great interest in the Internet and consider it an important source of information for their personal, educational, and communication activities.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Shamo, Esmaeel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Three-dimensional Information Space : An Exploration of a World Wide Web-based, Three-dimensional, Hierarchical Information Retrieval Interface Using Virtual Reality Modeling Language

Description: This study examined the differences between a 3-D, VRML search interface, similar to Cone Trees, as a front-end to Yahoo on the World Wide Web and a conventional text-based, 1-Dinterface to the same database. The study sought to determine how quickly users could find information using both interfaces, their degree of satisfaction with both search interfaces, and which interface they preferred.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Scannell, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accessing Information on the World Wide Web: Predicting Usage Based on Involvement

Description: Advice for Web designers often includes an admonition to use short, scannable, bullet-pointed text, reflecting the common belief that browsing the Web most often involves scanning rather than reading. Literature from several disciplines focuses on the myriad combinations of factors related to online reading but studies of the users' interests and motivations appear to offer a more promising avenue for understanding how users utilize information on Web pages. This study utilized the modified Personal Involvement Inventory (PII), a ten-item instrument used primarily in the marketing and advertising fields, to measure interest and motivation toward a topic presented on the Web. Two sites were constructed from Reader's Digest Association, Inc. online articles and a program written to track students' use of the site. Behavior was measured by the initial choice of short versus longer versions of the main page, the number of pages visited and the amount of time spent on the site. Data were gathered from students at a small, private university in the southwest part of the United States to answer six hypotheses which posited that subjects with higher involvement in a topic presented on the Web and a more positive attitude toward the Web would tend to select the longer text version, visit more pages, and spend more time on the site. While attitude toward the Web did not correlate significantly with any of the behavioral factors, the level of involvement was associated with the use of the sites in two of three hypotheses, but only partially in the manner hypothesized. Increased involvement with a Web topic did correlate with the choice of a longer, more detailed initial Web page, but was inversely related to the number of pages viewed so that the higher the involvement, the fewer pages visited. An additional indicator of usage, the average amount ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Langford, James David
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