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Dissertation Information for Somporn Puttapithakporn

NAME:
- Somporn Puttapithakporn

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Indiana University (USA) (1994)

ADVISORS:
- Debora Shaw
- Verna Leah Pungitore

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Ivor Davies
- Thomas E. Nisonger

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: A qualitative analysis of user error in searching an online public catalog system

Abstract: Two commonly-used criteria to identify user errors in online public catalog (OPAC) searching are based upon the consequences of undesirable actions: zero-hit searches and information overload.

This study analyzed user error of an OPAC system based upon both users' think-aloud protocols and monitoring records of user input and system output. Two groups of participants, four novice and three experienced users, all undergraduates at Indiana University, searched six predetermined queries. Protocol analysis technique was used to analyze and infer cognitive processes. Resulting errors were considered with respect to Reason's (1990) Generic Error-Modelling System (GEMS).

Three types of errors were discussed: skill-, rule- and knowledge-based errors. Skill-based errors mostly involved typography and spelling. The rule- and knowledge-based errors were associated with the problem-solving process: formulation of goals and subgoals, setting and execution of action plans, and review and evaluation. Experienced searchers had a larger and more extensive collection of solution rules than novices. However, when searching a difficult query, experienced searchers made the same errors as novices.

Errors found in the study occurred either singly or as a chain of events. The degrees of severity of errors related to two elements of the error phenomenon: detection and correction. The majority of rule- and knowledge-based errors were not detected and corrected by users whereas over 98% of skill-based errors were. Some errors helped searchers in the learning process and skill development. Reported errors elicited from post-search interviews reflected only the problems of which searchers were aware. Recommendations for system and interface design, user education and librarians' and information professionals' role were discussed.

MPACT Scores for Somporn Puttapithakporn

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-04-20 14:35:05

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Students under Somporn Puttapithakporn

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None