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Dissertation Information for Kathleen Garland

- Kathleen Garland

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1980)

- William M. Shaw Jr.

- Phyllis A. Richmond
- Robin Lake
- Miranda Pao

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: An Application of Information Theory for Materials Selection and Collection Evaluation

Abstract: This study addresses the problem of selecting materials for a subject collection in a university library. An objective, quantitative method was tested which classified books in a sample collection of science books and which was used to assess the collection and to aid in the selection decision. Relatedness of documents in a subject collection was presented as a selection and assessment criterion. Single-link clustering and Brillouin information measure comprised the methodology.

A sample of 416 documents representing a subject collection was clustered at six thresholds using the single-link method. These clusters were examined to discover whether or not a relationship existed between them and their respective Library of Congress subclasses and to determine which threshold provided the best compromise between relatedness, and uniqueness of clusters. The Brillouin formula was used to measure the degree of diversity, or relatedness, of the sample collection and to measure the change in relatedness which would have resulted from the addition of a document considered for purchase. Finally, relatedness of documents was examined in its relationship to the two variables, document age and number of years since document last circulated. Results of the experiment showed that 1) a hierarchical subject classification of documents could be produced at a particular threshold by clustering documents on the basis of keywords (i.e. title words and subject headings), 2) a relationship was found to exist between keyword-based clusters and Library of Congress-based groupings of the same documents, and 3) the impact of an added document on the diversity or relatedness of the sample subject collection could be assessed, using the Brillouin information measure. In this experiment, diversity or relatedness of the sample subject collection was independent of both use and age of documents.

Three implications arose from this study: 1) for search strategy and assignment of subject headings in computerized card catalogs, 2) for automatic hierarchical classification of documents, and 3) for materials selection and collection evaluation.

MPACT Scores for Kathleen Garland

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:01:18

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Students under Kathleen Garland

- None

- Larry Allen Kroah - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1993)
- Della Lea Ann McGaugh - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1994)