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Dissertation Information for Carol A. Hert

- Carol A. Hert
- (Alias) Carol Hert

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Syracuse University (USA) (1995)

- Jeffrey H. Katzer

- Cynthia L. Lopata
- Robert Oddy
- Michael Nilan
- Anne Looney Shelly
- David Harry Stam

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Exploring a new model for the understanding of information retrieval interactions

Abstract: This study had the goal of developing a description of users' interactions with an online public access catalog (OPAC). The specific question asked was: What is the set of generalizations which usefully organizes the search behaviors employed during the course of users' interactions with an online public access catalog?

Data were collected from a total of 30 respondents using the Syracuse University online public access catalog during 1993 and 1994 using a variety of data collection techniques (verbal protocols, transaction logs, post-search interviews and a demographic questionnaire). Using inductive analytic techniques (the constant comparative technique), the data were analysed to develop a generalization which represented the respondents' experiences and perceptions. The generalization developed in response to the research question is: An OPAC interaction is a series of situated actions on the part of the user. By situatedness is meant that as a user moves through an interaction, his or her actions are not completely predetermined, instead elements of the situation are utilized to influence action. An interaction may be partitioned into three components: the goal, the searching process, and a decision to stop searching. It is possible to understand these components in terms of a set of elements associated with the user, the project or problem in which the user was engaged, and the system response. While all elements are available to be used throughout the search, it was found that certain elements predominated at various points in the interaction. Additionally, qualitative differences were found in the way in which elements were used in the 3 components.

It is suggested that these findings have a number of implications for information retrieval theory and information seeking and use theory. Additionally, the results indicate some ways in which the OPAC might be improved and provide guidance for a reconsideration of information retrieval system design.

MPACT Scores for Carol A. Hert

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:12:17

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Students under Carol A. Hert

- None

- Makiko Miwa - Syracuse University (2000)
- Kristin Eschenfelder - Syracuse University (2001)