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Dissertation Information for Heiko Haubitz

- Heiko Haubitz

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Texas, Austin (USA) (2005)

- Philip Doty

- Hsin-liang Chen
- Mary Lynn Rice-Lively
- Mary Erin Porter

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The use of public Web portals by undergraduate students

Abstract: The study explored how and why 144 randomly selected undergraduates' from a large university in the U.S. use public Web portals such as Yahoo! or MSN. Demographic and use variables regarding information about particular portal features were collected with a standardized questionnaire including open-ended and closed questions from June to October 2002. All but two respondents were users of public Web portals. A second phase consisted of eight tape-recorded focus groups with 42 participants. In addition, 39 individual follow-up interviews were conducted. The questionnaire data were analyzed using Chi-Square (α = 0.05) to test hypotheses for statistical significance. The focus groups, interviews, and open-ended questions were content analyzed and identified a variety of problems that undergraduates faced using portals.

The study provides empirical data about undergraduates' characteristics, e.g., gender, major, classification, GPA, computer and network experience, times of portal use, and use of personalization in relation to the use of public Web portals and the possession of personal home pages. The study sheds light on why and how undergraduates seek information on public Web portals, what they do on these sites, and reasons for using and not using portals and particular portal features.

According to the introduced Popularity Index of Public Web Portals , Yahoo! and MSN were the most popular portals, while searches, e-mail, world and national news were the most popular features for undergraduates using these sites. About 50% of the participants used personalization. Personalizers used portals to a greater extent and were satisfied. Lack of personalization and other factors were a reason for limited use of portals. Demographic variables such as gender, age, and major did not show statistical significance for the use of public Web portals, while use variables such as Internet access at home, frequency of portal use, and the possession of a personal home page showed significant relationships. Frequent redesign, privacy concerns, and unsolicited advertising were among reasons for limited use.

The study's results contribute to a better understanding of undergraduates' information needs and behavior on public Web portals. The findings have implications for libraries, universities, governments, Web content developers, and marketers.

MPACT Scores for Heiko Haubitz

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:33:06

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Students under Heiko Haubitz

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