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Dissertation Information for Ellen Crosby

- Ellen Crosby

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Indiana University (USA) (1991)

- George Whitbeck

- Debora Shaw
- N. John Castellan
- Lee H. Ehman
- Charles Davis

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: User interaction with an online catalog: Measures of success

Abstract: The successful use of a library catalog has traditionally meant simply finding a citation. Finding the citation, however, may involve several contributing factors. This study developed a model to investigate the relationships among several variable using path analysis techniques. The model included catalog users' library experience and their computer experience as exogenous variables. Endogenous variables were the duration of the searches, search accuracy, search efficiency (number of commands), and users' perception of the search process.

Sixty-nine undergraduate students searched the Indiana University Library NOTIS online catalog in a controlled setting for answers to six questions supplied by the researcher. A fifteen-minute training task preceded the experimental session. For this group, library experience was correlated with computer experience (r =.37, p $<$.01). Results of the path analysis indicated that greater computer experience predicts shorter elapsed time. Search efficiency is predicted by elapsed time (beta =.86, p $<$.01), but more computer experience leads to less efficiency (beta =.22, p $<$.01). Accuracy of results was not related to search efficiency. Efficiency was not related to perception of searching.

Factor analysis was performed on scores on the perception instrument and four factors emerged. Two factors showed significant relationships to other variables. Participants who were accurate perceived the online catalog as a useful way of finding information (beta =.25, p $<$.05). Searches of short duration predicted perception of usefulness (beta = $-$.22, p $<$.05) and perception of self-sufficiency (beta = $-$.49, p $<$.05). Previous library experience did not contribute significantly to the model. The factors related to liking of the online catalog and liking of the search process did not contribute to the model.

It is concluded that instruction in using online catalogs should concentrate more on computer skills than on skills involved in interpreting the catalog record. Relatively naive users are able to be successful in using an online catalog. Future research should provide further definition of elements involved in catalog users' perceptions of the search process.

MPACT Scores for Ellen Crosby

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:07:49

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Students under Ellen Crosby

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