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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

The development of UK government policy on citizens' access to public sector information

Buckley Owen, Barbara January 2011 (has links)
The aim of the research was to investigate the development of United Kingdom government policy on citizens' access to public sector information (PSI) from 1996 to 2010. In addition to a mapping of UK policy documents, the main research method was the undertaking of open and semi-structured interviews with influential experts and the analysis of interview transcripts. These experts came from both inside and outside government, including: policymakers and implementers; regulators and advisors; lobbyists and campaigners; academics; and the information profession. Main findings were: lack of co-ordination of information policy across government; new skills required within government to provide information in the Web 2.0 environment; uneven progress in the development of citizen-centric services; lack of information literacy policy; and low involvement of the information profession in driving forward the developments in the provision of PSI. A major gap identified was the lack of co-ordinated evaluation of information policy in general, and of the provision of PSI in particular. A framework for assessing implementation of policy was developed and tested against the Power of Information Taskforce recommendations, and suggestions were made for new measures. The research also charted the increase in the opening up of government data for re-use during 2009 and 2010, both during the run-up to the general election and subsequently when plans for transparency were put in place by the new Coalition government. It is considered significant that this increase in transparency, by both main political parties, should come at a time when trust in government was low, citizens' expectations of electronic access to information were rising and the technology was enabling new channels for engagement. The influence of individuals was found to be considerable, not least as exerted by Sir Tim Berners- Lee, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Tom Steinberg, Labour Digital Engagement Minister Tom Watson, and Natalie Ceeney at The National Archives. Recommendations to government address: policy co-ordination mechanisms: the role of the Office of Public Sector Information; and support for intermediaries. Those aimed at the information profession cover: new skills needed; co-ordination for lobbying on specific issues; and support for developing information literacy. This research has been the first within the information policy academic community in the UK to address how government is opening up its data in the wake of new technological innovations and is focussed on the needs of citizens.

Access to books for the visually impaired : moving from charity to choice

Whitehouse, Bradley G. January 2011 (has links)
This research aims to find ways of making access to copyrighted books for the visually impaired as much a matter of choice as possible by moving the provision of access away from models based on charity and of building the provision of access into the mainstream. The work of third sector organisations providing access and attempts by the visually impaired community itself to enhance access are described. Realities effecting support workers in universities who have to help visually impaired students investigated. Legal disputes relating to copyright and anti-discrimination law are discussed. Developments in the ebooks market are monitored with a particular reference to attempts to build accessibility into devices like the Kindle and Apple products. The research also looks at how best to secure access to online bookshops, web pages offering ebooks for download in public libraries and ebook libraries in academia. The current level of access being achieved in this area is assessed. Next ongoing attempts to improve access and differing views on the advisability of an approach based on enforcement of the Worldwide Web Consortium's accessibility guidelines or a more flexible approach emphasising user testing are discussed. Conclusions and recommendations: changes to copyright law and further development and clarification of anti-discrimination law as it applies to publishers are necessary. Libraries should adopt a more innovative approach and field some of the specialist provision currently undertaken by charitable organisations. Accessibility to relevant websites is probably best provided by a combination of ongoing relationship building and with web developers and a more flexible approach than rigid enforcement of accessibility guidelines. Further research is needed on exactly how libraries could undertake specialist transcription most efficiently and on how to bring multi-national companies like Adobe, Amazon and other manufacturers of ebooks reading devices unambiguously into the ambit of anti-discrimination.

An extended vector-based information retrieval system to retrieve e-learning content based on learner models

Osodo, Jennifer Akinyi January 2011 (has links)
No description available.

The promotion of reading on children's mobile libraries in the United Kingdom

Bamkin, Marianne R. January 2012 (has links)
Children s library services offer children a means of developing their reading skills through the provision of books and other resources. Children s library services might be operated by public libraries, school library services or schools. A small proportion of public library authorities in the UK choose to operate specialist mobile libraries which cater for children alone. Such vehicles deliver a library service to children across a range of geographic and socioeconomic areas with the stated aims of promoting reading and a love of books, and accessing children who would not otherwise use library services. This study evaluated whether children s mobile libraries (CMLs) across the UK reach those aims and examined the methods by which the aims were targeted. It was decided that the most appropriate research method was to take an inductive perspective and qualitative approach forming a constructivist methodology. The evaluation was achieved by the use of grounded theory as a general method together with ethnographic techniques, in order to observe and understand the interactions of social actors, and identify the processes used to encourage reading. Interviews with key individuals were primarily held to gain access into the field and inform the scope of the research. Participant observations were conducted on 12 of the 26 children s libraries operating in the UK and further interviews with children s mobile library (CML) operators and CML service managers were also carried out. Extensive field notes were taken, then coded and analysed by the grounded theory method in order to understand children s and adults perceptions of the value of a CML to their lives. A model of the influences on children s reading was developed to understand the place of a CML in children s literacy. Existing published research was used initially to set the context of the study, and then as data throughout the project. Published and recognised theories about literacy development, learning, and well-being were consulted at relevant points during the research. Analytical reports of children s library services, practitioner handbooks and professional magazines were searched along with unpublished documents provided by library authorities. Issues that were raised from these sources included: the role of untrained library staff; supplying library services to the socially excluded; working with other agencies and the use of reading intervention schemes. The history, function, purpose and definition of CMLs were outlined. Five theories of event , reach , resource , process and well-being emerged from the data and examples of best practice were identified. The daily operation of a CML was modelled using those five theories to create a transferable standard against which to judge similar children s provision. It was found that children s mobile libraries promote reading because of their transient nature; through the relationships of children with the staff who work on the vehicles; by the nature of the learning environment and specialist stock of the children s mobile library, and because they access children who would otherwise not use any other library service.

Information systems and organisational change : the case of flexible specialisation in Cyprus

Chrysochos, Neophytos Elia January 1999 (has links)
This research examines the relationship between organisational change and information systems development in the case of an effort to implement flexible specialisation in Cyprus. In the centre of this research are the inter-organisational relationships developed in the flexible specialisation initiative and the role IT played in the formation of such relationships. Successively, the kind of organisational changes that take place as well as the driving force(s) of such changes are examined. In order to study and analyse such a complicated socio economic phenomenon an interpretive epistemology was adopted. Analysis of the empirical work draws mainly from theories concerning information systems while insights are drawn from disciplines that have studied organisational change and the concept of flexible specialisation in particular, such as industrial economics, geography and organisational theory. The research method followed is a multiple case study analysis. One case study was conducted in Emilia-Romagna and provides a point for reference for the cases of flexible specialisation in Cyprus, which is the main focus of the research. The case study in Cyprus was conducted over a period of three years, while the case study in Emilia-Romagna was done at one particular point in time. The key contribution of this research is the suggestion that the use of information and communication technologies depends on the complexity of the inter-organisational activities, rather than causing them, as the information systems literature tends to suggest. Furthermore, the case study demonstrates the significance of institutional and cultural factors for the non-emergence of inter-organisational complexity, and subsequent limited role attributed to IT in the flexible specialisation experiment.

A Theoretical Model of the Retrieval Characteristics of Information Retrieval Systems

Robertson, S. E. January 1975 (has links)
The formal testing of IR systems involves setting up an experimental corpus (test collection, indexing, test questions etc.) and measuring performance under specific experi~ental conditions. However, the object of any IR test is to make a prediction, extrapolating from the test conditions, about a different situation. Up to now, this extrapolation has been made on the assumption V1at the relative performance of different systems is independent of the situation; but in some recent reported experiments, the assumption has been found not to hold. A more formal theory, indicating how the performance of a system varies according to the conditions, is therefore· needed. Elements of such a theory are proposed and discussed. Particular areas identified as being of concern to such a theory are: the nature of relevance, the various possible forms of the Sw·ets 'control variable', and the psychology of the searching process. The basic quantitative concept used in the theory is the probability, for each question, that the system Vlill retrieve a document of a given de~ree of relevance to that question. Present methods of estimating these probabilities appear to be inadequate; a new method based on a Bayesian approa.ch is developed. The method involves a prior assumption about the distribution of these probabilities over different questions, and makes use of this distribution in estimating them.~ The new method is tested on a variety of sets of data from published tests. The results appear satisfactory, and in some cases suggest new ways of looking at the data. They also indicate that some quantitative aspects of the theory will need modification. Further developments of the theory include: an indication of the possible uses of simulation models, and an application of the theory to the problem of how to make best use of relevance feedback data.

An exploration of the rational-basis for how people search online consumer reviews

Lelis, Stylianos January 2009 (has links)
This thesis examines the rational basis for how people search online consumer reviews in service of purchasing decisions. It considers the questions of (1) how prior uncertainty about the relative value of alternatives affects the depth of opinion search (2) whether people have a preference to obtain more reviews for one of the alternatives under consideration, and (3) whether people have a tendency to obtain specific reviews, and take varying time to read reviews, depending on reviews rating. Two sequential sampling probabilistic models are proposed to describe opinion seeking behaviour. The central assumption in both models is that people consult online opinions to discriminate between the choice's alternatives. The first model examines only when opinion seeking ceases. The second model, extends the first, and additionally examines what information people gather, by proposing an Optimal Experimental Design theory which operationalises the value of information as the extent that it discriminates between alternatives. It is also sensitive to the shape of the distribution of review ratings in the world. Model predictions are generated, and tested in five controlled experiments. The work demonstrates that viewing online opinion search as optimally increasing the discrimination between alternatives by acquiring reviews, explains the effect of prior relative uncertainty on the depth of information search, and the preferences for which alternative to seek information. It also explains the preference to obtain reviews of lower rating, and to take more time to inspect them for inferior alternatives. However, it does not explain what appears to be a similar tendency to take more time to inspect a review with lower rating for the best alternative under consideration - which is explained however by an outcome maximisation search strategy. It is suggested that a new Optimal Experimental Design theory that takes into account the value of information in both discriminating between alternatives and maximizing choice outcome may offer a comprehensive account of the data. 10

E-books and academic libraries

Vasileiou, Magdalini January 2011 (has links)
This study contributes to knowledge and practice in the area of e-book management in academic libraries. The thesis is a three part study, two preliminary studies and the main study, with each part making a distinct contribution. As practitioners and researchers embark on a more extensive engagement with e-books and while the e-book market is developing rapidly, it is increasingly important that some agreement is reached regarding the definition of the term 'e-book'. Hence, the first study reported a content analysis of 36 e-book defmitions in order to determine a valid and representative definition of 'e-book'. The study proposed a two-part definition of the term reflecting both the persistent characteristics of e-books, and their dynamic and developing nature, driven largely by the changing technologies. Despite the growth in the e-book market, the e-book industry has been researched much less than the e-journal market. An overview of the e-book marketplace is a valuable starting point for academic library decision making about the management of e-book collections. Hence, the second study provided an overview of key e-book marketplace players and their services, by analysing the web sites of nine publishers and eleven aggregators as a basis for profiling their main services. The findings showed that the e-book market is changing. The majority of ebook vendors market typically to libraries, and publishers are increasingly using e-aggregators to distribute their titles. Collections of e-books are expanding gradually and e-book business models are complex and range considerably. Academic libraries are changing and e-books have been incorporated into their collections. The demand for e-books by library users is increasing and academic librarians are planning expansion of their e-book holdings. E-books are an exciting and controversial area for librarians but they pose various challenges to academic libraries. Nevertheless, the impact of ebooks on collection management practices is under-documented. Furthermore, the future of ebooks in academic libraries is a topic that has not been extensively investigated in the current literature. Therefore, the main study of this thesis provided in-depth insights into e-book management activities and what are the associated issues and challenges faced by the librarians. In addition, the study identified and validated the main stages of the e-book management process in academic libraries. Moreover, the main study gathered opinions on the factors that will affect the future and adoption of e-books in academic libraries. The survey approach was employed for the main study. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 librarians working in seven UK academic libraries, each with different sizes and with different levels of engagement with providing e-book services. The card-game method was incorporated into the interview process mainly in order to test and establish the process of e-book management in academic libraries. Overall, the findings confirmed past and recent studies on the management of e-books, whilst offering additional insights into specific practices and challenges. The central and most significant part of the study is the proposed e-book management framework of activities and the associated issues and challenges in academic libraries. The e-book management process is complex and practice needs further development at all the stages of the process

An approach to efficiently curating digital metadata to aid effective long-term data preservation and re-use

Shaon, Arif Bin Siraj January 2008 (has links)
Well managed and good quality metadata plays a vital role in long-term data curation by capturing information necessary for the efficient functioning of different curation operations, such as data preservation and provenance tracking. For data preservation in particular, metadata can be used to record information required to reconstruct or at least understand the reconstruction process for digital resources on future technological platform. However, without curation, metadata itself may deteriorate in terms of its quality and integrity over time. Therefore, a digital curation process needs to incorporate the curation of metadata along with that of data in order to ensure the accurate description of data over the long-term. Unfortunately, no comprehensive method for effective curation of metadata for long periods of time is known to exist at present. Even the Reference Model for Open Archival Information System (OAIS), despite being the most comprehensive and widely adopted framework for long-term data preservation, does not address the requirements of long-term metadata curation in a comprehensive and unambiguous manner. This thesis presents an approach that aims to fill the void for an efficient strategy for curating digital metadata over the long-term. The approach involves the use of a "Metadata Curation Record" and a "Metadata Curation Model". The former is a curarion-aware metadata specification that captures additional statements about both data objects and associated metadata to aid long-term digital curation, while the latter is a specialised version of the "Data Management" module of the OAIS reference model, dedicated to the purpose of long-term metadata curation. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated by a number of case studies and a web services based prototype system for metadata curation. In addition, this thesis outlines the main requirements of long-term metadata curation and presents an indepth assessment of the current state of play.

Developing information services for special library users in Libya by designing a low cost digital library

Elaiess, Ramadan F. M. January 2011 (has links)
No description available.

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