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Dissertation Information for Debra Jean Slone

NAME:
- Debra Jean Slone

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) (2001)

ADVISORS:
- Claudia J. Gollop

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Gary Marchionini
- Paul Solomon
- Barbara Marie Wildemuth
- Carol Tenopir

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Road maneuvers: Information-seeking behaviors of public library users on the Internet

Abstract: Current notions of online information seeking are, in part, shaped by our understanding of end-user interactions with traditional online catalogs. Numerous studies reveal users' conceptual and technical problems with online catalogs and foretell potential challenges with new technology. Thus, the commingling of online catalogs with the Internet calls for an examination of the effects of this merger on end-users.

Using in-depth interviews and observations, this study identified determinants of user maneuvers on the Information superhighway. Specifically, it examined the influences of goals and user understandings on user search patterns. In addition, it sought to understand how use of the Internet influences catalog use and vice versa. Thirty-one participants at Richard B. Harrison Library in Raleigh, North Carolina took part in the study. They were observed using the Internet and/or the Web catalog and interviewed before and after their sessions. Results identified four user categories, distinguished by the number of search approaches used. The approaches included, linking, use of search engines, URL use, online catalog use and searching within a web-site domain.

Understanding of the Internet affected the number of web-pages accessed, the number of search and navigational approaches used and the way Internet tools were used. Participants' goals affected the type of search approach used, the length of time online and scrolling and backtracking behaviors.

The study also found online catalog influences on Internet use and Internet influence on online catalog use. Some participants used one as a model for understanding the other. Some culled information from one system for use on the other. In addition, Internet links and online catalog navigational buttons influenced navigation between the systems.

The study suggests ways in which librarians can better prepare patrons for Internet interaction. It also offers assistance to interface designers by revealing areas of needed improvements on Web-based catalogs. For system developers, the study addresses cognitive and navigational issues involved in the use of multiple platform systems. The study also uses maximum variation sampling to insure a diverse group of end-users and introduces a new visualization tool, the Slone Spectrum, to represent and organize large amounts of qualitative data.

MPACT Scores for Debra Jean Slone

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:20:45

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Students under Debra Jean Slone

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None