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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.

Reducing information overload by optimising information retrieval approaches

Smith, Stephen C. January 2010 (has links)
The information within an organisation forms a fundamental part of its success. In recent years the volume of information housed and processed by organisations has increased exponentially and grown to such a rate that it can be difficult to harness and make successful use of that information. This growth of information has led to the increasing prevalence of the concept of information overload. Although information overload is not a new concept, it is still considered a large-scale problem, with its effect upon the workplace and employees becoming increasingly detrimental. With the increase in available information comes the potential for increased overload. This research addresses some of the potential barriers that may exist preventing effective discovery, storage and sharing of information and thus increasing the information overload problem.

Integration of distributed terminology resources to facilitate subject cross-browsing for library portal systems

Si, Libo (Eric) January 2009 (has links)
With the increase in the number of distributed library information resources, users may have to interact with different user interfaces, learn to switch their mental models between these interfaces, and familiarise themselves with controlled vocabularies used by different resources. For this reason, library professionals have developed library portals to integrate these distributed information resources, and assist end-users in cross-accessing distributed resources via a single access point in their own library. There are two important subject-based services that a library portal system might be able to provide. The first is a federated search service, which refers to a process where a user can input a query to cross-search a number of information resources. The second is a subject cross-browsing service, which can offer a knowledge navigation tree to link subject schemes used by distributed resources. However, the development of subject cross-searching and browsing services has been impeded by the heterogeneity of different KOS (Knowledge Organisation System) used by different information resources. Due to the lack of mappings between different KOS, it is impossible to offer a subject cross-browsing service for a library portal system.

Information behaviour in accounts of the menopause transition

Yeoman, Alison January 2009 (has links)
This study examined women’s information behaviour and decision-making during the menopause transition. The findings were compared with expectations from McKenzie’s Model of Information Practices in Everyday Life Information Seeking (developed from a study of twin-pregnancy). Methods: There were two strands to the study: 1) An evaluation of the service provided by a community menopause clinic. For this strand 199 patients registered at the clinic completed questionnaires (response rate 92.1%) giving their views about the clinic and data about their information practices relating to the menopause. Six GPs based locally to the clinic were interviewed by telephone. 2) Thirtyfive telephone/face-to-face interviews were carried out with midlife women to investigate their information behaviour relating to the menopause. Analysis: Descriptive statistics were used for the questionnaire, the interview transcripts were analysed qualitatively using NVIVO software. Findings: The menopause can be a challenging time and finding advice/information that is tailored to a woman’s individual set of circumstances can be challenging in itself. Women particularly value other women’s ‘menopause stories’ which provide validation and context for their own experiences. Testing the McKenzie model in a different, yet related, context demonstrated that it is robust and flexible enough to permit adaptation. However it did not provide sufficient scope for the fluidity of information practices in the complex context of the menopause in which women often engage in mutual exchanges of support and may themselves take on the role of ‘expert’. Conclusions: This study looked beyond information-seeking to how women use information to inform their decisions. The process of testing the McKenzie model contributes to theory development. Further testing in different contexts would support the development of a more generic model and could contribute to a discussion of whether gender can justifiably be considered as a variable in information behaviour.

Updating searches for systematic reviews

Sampson, Margaret Joan January 2009 (has links)
Introduction: This thesis examines methods for updating searches for systematic reviews of healthcare interventions. Systematic reviews endeavour to find and synthesize all relevant research as a basis for the practice of evidence-based medicine. They are more useful if they are complete and up-to-date. Materials and Methods: The sample was 93 meta-analyses in allopathic medicine. Newer randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were sought through MEDLINE searches, and were assessed for relevance by physicians. Two Boolean searches, two similarity searches and one non-database search approach were tested. The Boolean searches were based on a simple subject search paired with a filter selecting only RCTs from Abridged Index Medicus journals or with the balanced Clinical Query. The two similarity searches were Support Vector Machine (SVM) and a Related Article search of PubMed based on the three newest and three largest studies from the original review. Main Results: Clinical Query provided good recall but with large retrievals. Abridged Index Medicus RCT had smaller retrieval sizes and lower recall, but did detect many large studies. The Related Article search showed the highest recall. Recall with SVM was lower, but retrievals were smaller. RCTs that cited the systematic review being updated were also tested but identified only a small proportion of new evidence. Relative performance of the test searches was consistent regardless of whether the intervention was a drug, device or procedure. All searches showed variability across clinical areas, but Related Articles RCT showed the most consistency. The pairing of Related Article RCT and Clinical Query gave excellent recall of new relevant material. Conclusions: Meta-analysts can identify new evidence through a simple structured Boolean search paired with a related articles protocol. By building on the evidence base formed in the original review, related article searching may replace time-consuming nondatabase methods necessary in conducting original reviews.

The friend justifies the means : how modern friendship is effected, and affected, by the use of online social networks

Merry, Sarah Kate January 2014 (has links)
This thesis explores UK Internet users’ experiences of creating and maintaining friendships on social networking sites and online communities, with a particular focus on how online friendships compare to and affect participants’ face-to-face social networks. There is a large body of literature regarding online friendship and the use of online social networks. However, significantly less research has been published which focuses on UK-based users or on ‘online-to-offline’ friendships: relationships which begin online and move offline, becoming incorporated into participants’ everyday social circles. This study contributes to the literature in these under-researched areas. The study used a mixed-methods research design: an online questionnaire provided data which facilitated the purposeful selection of participants for face-to-face interviews. Although both quantitative and qualitative methods were used for data collection and analysis, the emphasis of the research is qualitative. Much of the current research into online interaction and friendship has been limited by the use of quantitative methods (Amichai-Hamburger, Kingsbury & Schneider, 2013). The qualitative focus of this research resulted in rich and deep data about participants’ experiences of online friendship. The results show that a significant majority of participants had made new friends on the Internet, and that online communities such as LiveJournal are more likely to foster new friendships than social networking sites such as Facebook. It was clear that online friendships are evaluated and measured in the same way as ‘traditional’ friendships. The migration of online friends into offline, everyday social circles was widely reported, suggesting that it is a frequent occurrence among the wider user population. Additionally, the migration of offline friends into online social networks was described by a number of participants, illustrating the use of online social networks to maintain and sustain offline, everyday friendships.

A descriptive profile of process in serendipity : a narrative and network study of information behaviour in context

McBirnie, Abigail January 2012 (has links)
This research describes information behaviour in context: experiences of serendipity in research. The study contributes to the understanding of serendipity as a complex phenomenon by looking at process in serendipity through a relational, phenomenological and sociological lens. The research asks: what linked events of doing and happening do people recount when they talk about their experiences of serendipity? and, how do they make sense of the circumstances surrounding these events? The research investigates a sample of fty rst-person narratives of lived experiences of serendipity recounted in the Citation Classics online dataset. A mixed methods parallel conversion design operationalises the research: one strand of the study focuses on description of contextual data, the other, on descriptions of two di erent event structure models. To meet its descriptive aims, the research draws on multiple methods: narrative approaches, network analysis and statistical techniques, including network topology inference and motif detection. A descriptive pro le of process in serendipity, a portfolio, which collects the network drawings and data for the one hundred event structures modelled by the study, and a research credibility audit stand as the study's substantive outcomes. The research fi ndings make a four-fold contribution to serendipity theory: they provide new insight into experiences of process in serendipity; add concrete, precise detail to fuzzy, abstract processrelated serendipity constructs; highlight problems with existing theoretical assumptions; and present evidence for normality in serendipity. Methodologically, the research opens alternative avenues into serendipity's complexity and brings fresh perspectives to the practice of serendipity research.

How academic librarians use evidence in their decision making : reconsidering the evidence based practice model

Koufogiannakis, Denise Ann January 2013 (has links)
The model for evidence based library and information practice makes assumptions about the way librarians should use evidence to inform decisions. This study explores how academic librarians actually use evidence in their practice, the types of evidence that are useful to them, and whether the decision making model upon which EBLIP is based fits with the ways academic librarians actually incorporate research. A grounded theory methodology was used, within a pragmatic philosophical approach. The 19 study participants were academic librarians in Canada. Data was gathered via online diaries and semi-structured interviews over a 6 month period in 2011. Findings encompass three main areas: 1) the concept of evidence and the sources of evidence that are used by academic librarians in their decision making; 2) how academic librarians use evidence, namely to convince in individual or group decision making; and 3) determinants of evidence use in decision making. Several elements of the existing EBLIP model were identified as being insufficient, and based on the findings, a revised model of EBLIP is proposed. The new model is more inclusive of different types of evidence that are important for librarians, explicitly includes the professional knowledge of librarians, and accounts for the context in which decision making occurs. This study is the first to focus on how academic librarians use evidence in their decision making; to determine what types of evidence they use; and to consider whether the existing EBLIP model is one that is applicable for academic librarians. The findings highlight the impact of collaboration and organisational dynamics upon decision making and evidence use. Convincing emerged as the main theoretical concept in relation to how evidence is used. The new model proposed in this thesis is grounded in the research data from this study and is more applicable to the needs and realities of academic librarians than the current model that was adopted from medicine.

The "Just-in-Time" (JIT) information librarian consultation service

McGowan, Jessie January 2009 (has links)
Background: This thesis is based on the “Just-in-Time information” (JIT) librarian consultation service project. The project was designed to test if a library-related service could be used to address an information gap in primary healthcare by assisting clinicians in answering their questions. The project specifically tested whether or not a librarian consultation service could have a positive impact in two delivery methods for primary care practice in Ontario, Canada. Design: Randomized controlled trial (RCT) with additional qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The literature review section includes two systematic reviews. Methods: The primary method of this thesis is RCT of clinical questions posed by primary care professionals who participated in the JIT librarian consultation service. The thesis also discusses the project’s service delivery model and its implementation, which was developed to support the RCT. Other elements broader than the RCT, such as a librarian survey, have also been developed and included to explore factors contributing to the success or failure of the librarian consultation service. It evaluates potential positive impacts in terms of costs (saving time, workload issues), patient care decision-making, and improved access to information by using such a service. Results: The JIT service was implemented and run for one year prior to the RCT phase of the project with 88 individuals who participated in the RCT. The primary outcome was time to receive a response; whether time for JIT librarians to locate information to provide a response to a question, or a participant’s time to search for the information. Librarians provided their responses to clinical questions in less than fifteen minutes. This time was quicker than the response time of the participants. Of the responses provided to intervention questions, participants rated 63% as having a highly positive impact. Of the responses provided to control questions, participants rated 24.8% as having no impact, and 44.9% as having a negative impact on decision-making. Most participants rated their level of satisfaction with the service as having a positive impact (86%) on the care they provided to their patients and 83% assessed the service as providing relevant information to their questions in an appropriate time frame. Most participants would consider using a similar service, and most participants preferred this service to be delivered by a hand-held wireless device or web interface. Discussion and conclusions: This thesis demonstrates the development and implementation of a cost-effective and user-friendly librarian consultation service that provided primary care professionals with information to assist them in answering their questions arising from patient visits. Using a librarian to respond to clinical questions may allow primary care professionals to have more time in their day, thus potentially increasing patient access to care. Participation in this RCT decreased the use of consultations with other practice physicians, return patient visits, referrals, and other actions in the control group; reductions in these areas decrease costs. The application of the RCT design by combining librarianship with health services research is unusual. The use of the response to a clinical question as the unit of randomization and allocation is also innovative.

Business process modelling for Academic Libraries

Tbaishat, Dina Mansour January 2012 (has links)
This study examines business process modelling for academic libraries. Background: Pressures on commercial organisations to be more efficient and effective in their information management have led to interest in the modelling of business processes, to help ensure that information systems – manual and computerised – genuinely support effective operations. Academic libraries have seen huge changes with the growth of the Internet and easier access to information, but examination of library functions and activities, in terms of process architecture has been limited. Aims and objectives: This research investigates academic library processes using a business process modelling method called Riva. The university libraries selected are four cases from two contrasting sites: Jordan and the UK. Methods: The literature review covered academic libraries and their history, the concept of role, operational research and business process modelling. Interviews with library staff (n = 47) were conducted, to learn about library processes. After analysing the information gathered, with consultation of documents, a Process Architecture Diagram and a set of Role Activity Diagrams for selected functions were derived. Results: Models of RADs were provided, demonstrating the processes selected. A comparison between the two sites in terms of application of these processes along with their associated challenges was also provided. Improvements could be extracted from the process models, as they pinpointed some inefficiencies and also helped to raise questions about procedures through comparisons. Conclusions: It seems fair to conclude that the modelling technique used was feasible, as it was able to visualize processes within academic libraries and provide a basis for improvement and management by supporting the analysis of process performance and behaviour. A limitation to this method is that library managers might need to learn new techniques

Archival activism and mental health : being participatory, sharing control and building legitimacy

Sexton, A. K. January 2016 (has links)
The research underpinning this thesis takes a practical approach to engaging with the concept of a ‘participatory archive’. It uses the process of constructing the Archive of Mental Health Recovery Stories (https://mentalhealthrecovery.omeka.net) as a basis for exploring and challenging participatory rhetoric. The disentangling of ‘control’ running through the participatory process has emerged as a dominant theme: who has controlled the construction of the archive? Who has controlled the resulting knowledge production? To what extent can either the construction, or the research around the construction be seen as ‘participatory’? ‘Legitimacy’ is also a central theme: how has legitimacy in and for this work been built, negotiated and contested? How does the grounds for legitimacy alter across different contexts and situated positions? Another strand emerges around the question of ‘activism’ in archival frameworks: to what extent is deep engagement a necessary pre-requisite for archival practice that seeks to embrace social justice as a central aim? To what extent is archival activism possible in mainstream cultural institutional contexts? The narrative leads to a final unraveling of the central contradictions inherent in practices underpinned by participatory discourses, with an articulation of what unraveling these contradictions means for me as I move forward. Whilst beginning from ‘I’, my writing draws directly on reflections from the contributors to the archive, as well as reflections from staff at my host institution (Wellcome Library). As well as addressing the central themes outlined above, I use this thesis to explicitly surface the process of self-negotiation that I have entered into as part of the process. I seek to disentangle the roles and relationships that I have embodied as I have undertaken this research, and I address the discomfort that I have experienced in the collision between my professional, academic and collaborative ‘selves’. In summary, this thesis is about the ‘we’ of participation, but it also seeks to explore how this ‘we’ has affected ‘I’.

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