<p>A study of the tree structures developed by Finkel and Bentley (3 & 4) was done and the results are documented in this report. These tree structures, i.e. the quad tree and the k-d tree, were especially developed for associative retrieval. A comparison of the above tree structures and the well known binary search tree is presented for exact match queries.</p> <p>An implementation of the insertion algorithms for each tree structure and a generalization of Aldon Walker's (9) display algorithm are given.</p> / Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
06 October 2006
In late 1990s, Gap theories and the LibQual model began to be widely accepted by research libraries in the U.S. Since then, library service evaluation and user satisfaction issues have been discussed in various aspects of both the research and professional literatures of library and information science. Although the research presented herein is concerned with the evaluation of library services from users perspectives -- like LibQual, for example -- it integrated other perspectives proposed in recent years by library researchers, including emotional and material satisfaction, service encounter and overall service satisfaction, and user satisfaction at the micro and macro levels. Specifically, the interrelationship of material and emotional satisfaction with the satisfactions at the micro and macro levels was investigated. In addition, this study sought to clarify factors or attributes of library services that contribute to user satisfaction at the micro and macro levels. Finally, the study examined how users emotional and material satisfaction contribute to overall user satisfaction and user behavior, including user library use behavior in the short term (immediate next time information seeking) and the long term (library use loyalty). In order to gather data on these user satisfaction issues, a Web survey of college students, a major academic library user group, was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh. Each participant completed a five section HTML survey questionnaire designed to collect information about their perception and attitude towards library resources and services. Specifically, the findings provide library professionals greater understanding of how users perceive their library use and how user satisfaction is formed and influenced, in terms of its formation, antecedent, and consequent impact. The research also provides librarians with what is hoped will be practical advice on what else they can or should do to improve library use. For instance, it is important to recognize users emotional experience in their library use because it determines their immediate next time library use behavior and service use loyalty; it is easier to achieve service use loyalty for repeat users in some specific services than to achieve general library use loyalty for them or occasional users.
La Rue, Elizabeth Marie
30 January 2007
As more users rely on web-based health information there is a growing need to identify reliable information sources. Currently there are a few evaluation approaches for web-based information but they require paper-based materials for note taking or require utilization on a subjective ranking system. In each case, these approaches require an extended period of time to assess the web page and do not provide a validated measure of accuracy or quality. The broad aim of this study was to measure the validity and the adoption, of the new web page assessment tool, SPAT. The mnemonic, SPAT, stands for Site, Publisher, Audience, and Text. As a web page assessment tool, SPAT cues individuals to analyze four components of a web page, each showing a sign of reliability. Once the individual inspects the web page with the SPAT criteria, they then make an educated assessment on the quality of the information presented. A cohort of certified diabetes educators were introduced to SPAT and tested its application. Results revealed that SPAT showed characteristics of validity and routine use. Within the convenience sample of certified diabetes educators there was 100% performance in evaluating a web page for an author and date. Analyzing the web page to perceive the intended web page audience also had 100% compliance while looking at the text of the web page occurred 90% of the time. This investigation was accomplished through the completion of a formal research process, each described within the body of this dissertation. The SPAT instrument would not only be of value for health care professionals but for general information consumers as well.
Accounting for Disposition: A Comparative Case Study of Appraisal Documentation at the National Archives and Records Administration in the United States, Library and Archives Canada, and the National Archives of AustraliaMarshall, Jennifer Alycen 02 February 2007 (has links)
Society delegates responsibility for the selection and preservation of records of continuing value to archivists. In accepting this charge, the archival profession enters into a relationship with society in which ensuring public trust through accounting to society for the responsible management of records becomes essential. For archivists to maintain this public trust and to be accountable for appraisal, they must create, maintain, and provide access to documentation of how this process is carried out and of why particular disposition decisions are reached. Documentation that reflects that archivists have weighed relevant legislation, institutional policies, professional best practice, and societal values during the appraisal decision-making process enables archivists to demonstrate that they have arrived at responsible decisions in their selection of records for disposal or for continued retention in archives. Appraisal documentation serves as a safeguard which ensures that disposition of records occurs according to standard procedures and protects against the arbitrary and capricious destruction of records. This dissertation explores the relationship between appraisal documentation and archival accountability through a comparative case study of the units tasked with making disposition decisions at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in the United States, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and the National Archives of Australia (NAA). The research developed detailed descriptions of how appraisal is documented at each of the host institutions. Using a content analysis of documentation and interviews with archivists at NARA, LAC, and NAA regarding the appraisal documentation produced by their respective institutions, the study also assessed archivists' views regarding what constitutes documentation of appraisal that is adequate to permit archivists to be held accountable for appraisal in government archives. This comparative analysis produced preliminary guidelines for accountable documentation of appraisal that serve as a starting point for future research related to archival accountability for this core professional function.
Work in Motion / Assessment at Rest: An Attitudinal Study of Academic Reference Librarians A Case Study At Mid-Size University (MSU A)Gerlich, Bella Karr 06 February 2007 (has links)
It is reasonable to assume the existence of a new "dynamic" that influences how to measure reference services in libraries and how we evaluate the reference librarians who provide those services. Traditional, face-to-face delivery of reference services is reported to be declining, and there is myriad evidence, albeit largely uncollated and little evaluated, that suggests reference librarians are delivering significant and increasing amounts of the services they render in network environments. These trends raise questions, in turn, about how well we understand the current state of affairs in reference services, particularly where the management and evaluation of reference services in network environments are concerned. The purpose of this study is to investigate relevant circumstances and conditions bearing -- directly and indirectly -- on changes in the nature, form, substance, and effects of reference services -- through the reference librarian experience. Specifically, this attitudinal study will account for and assess changes in reference services (in the context of a medium-sized private university with a national reputation for successfully integrating information technologies into the educational process), with the further aim of developing an understanding of how to capture statistics and evaluate reference services and personnel in this dynamic environment. Reference librarians at a second mid-sized public university library were also interviewed for comparative data analysis in this study.
Abdulla, Abdulnasir Taleb
30 January 2007
This study focused on journalists, who are constantly seeking, processing, evaluating and packaging information, in order to shed light on their information behaviors, and contribute to the development of efficient information behaviors. The examination focused on the information behaviors of journalists as they relate to the Internet and information technologies. The population included all print journalists in Kuwait, and was examined using a self-administered questionnaire and interviews by E-mail. Information behaviors were examined from three perspectives: Access and Internet usage, evaluation and purpose, and information technology skills. Access and Internet usage was related to obstacles preventing Internet use, and usage patterns of popular Internet applications such as E-mail. Evaluation and purpose was related to information evaluation criteria, the Internet for conducting journalistic tasks, and the use of the Internet to seek specific types of information. In terms of skills, the examination focused on the skills of journalists in using 21 information technology tools and applications, and their usage patterns of information technology devices. Results showed that print journalists in Kuwait were lacking efficient information behaviors in relations to the Internet and information technology. Their usage of the Internet was limited to the most popular applications such as E-mail, search engines, and the World Wide Web. Female journalists were found to be more skilled, and more utilizing, of the Internet than males. Data revealed a large gap in terms of information behaviors between the youngest journalists and the rest of the population. The youngest journalists were found to be more skilled in using the Internet, and relied more heavily on the medium than others. Other results showed that graduates from educational institutions in Kuwait, and Kuwaiti citizens, relied more heavily on the Internet for conducting journalistic tasks than others. Further, results identified age, educational level, journalism experience and Internet experience as important factors that affected information behaviors. Improved behaviors for journalists in Kuwait require interventions on three fronts: education and curricula, training, and workplace practices. These interventions can pave the way for an efficient journalism industry in Kuwait which utilizes the Internet and information technology to its benefit.
Currier, James David
29 June 2007
Aptly describing himself as greedy for facts and exercising industry in observing and collecting facts, Charles Darwin passionately sought and assiduously organized, managed, communicated, and used information throughout his life. From a 21st-century information age perspective, Darwin can be seen as a pre-Melvil Dewey, multidisciplinary, Victorian era proto-information manager, whose skillfully-employed information behaviors were fundamental to realizing his seminal Origin of Species (1859) and in influencing his life-long scientific development. A large body of research about Darwin exists but little has been written in the library and information science (LIS) field regarding Darwin and his pivotal relationship with information. Human information behavior (HIB) is an emerging LIS subfield, which has principally studied the information needs and information seeking behaviors of modern era human beings. Cambridge University is the foremost provider of print and electronic access to more than 14,000 transcribed and edited extant letters written by and to Darwin. Using historical case study methodology, this dissertation applies an HIB-oriented approach to investigate and inventory Darwins information needs and behaviors through analysis of his surviving correspondence and other primary and secondary Darwin-related scholarly sources. A general framework is developed, designating five interrelated, broad context information behavior (BCIB) classification categories for conceptualizing Darwins information behavior roles: as information seeker, organizer, manager, communicator, and user. In the vein of Ellis et al.s (1993) study designating eight information seeking behaviors exhibited by contemporary British scientists, this dissertation utilizes grounded theory to derive and explain more than fifty descriptive information behaviors (DIBs) exhibited by Darwin. DIBs are conceptual constructs which are used to specify and describe, via words and examples from Darwins correspondence and writings, the relevant characteristics and nuances of his diverse information behaviors. A case study examines and explicates the crucial ways in which Darwins information behaviors proved instrumental in preserving priority for his evolutionary ideas during a crisis period involving rival evolutionary theorist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858. An information-related timeline of Darwins life, graphic models, and digital photographs illustrating his information behaviors are presented. Limitations of the study and areas for further research are also discussed.
20 September 2007
As we strive to identify useful information sifting through the vast number of resources available to us, we often find that the desired information is residing in a small section within a larger body of content which does not necessarily contain similar information. This can make this Information Fragment difficult to find. A Web search engine may not provide a good ranking to a page of unrelated content if it contains only a very small yet invaluable piece of relevant information. This means that our processes often fail to bring together related Information Fragments. We can easily conceive of two Information Fragments which according to a scholar bear a strong association with each other, yet contain no common keywords enabling them to be collocated by a keyword search. This dissertation attempts to address this issue by determining the benefits of enhancing information management and retrieval applications by providing users with the capability of establishing and storing associations between Information Fragments. It estimates the extent to which the efficiency and quality of information retrieval can be improved if users are allowed to capture mental associations they form while reading Information Fragments and share these associations with others using a functional registry-based design. In order to test these benefits three subject groups were recruited and assigned tasks involving Information Fragments. The first two tasks compared the performance and usability of a mainstream social bookmarking tool with a tool enhanced with Information Fragment Association capabilities. The tests demonstrated that the use of Information Fragment Association offers significant advantages both in the efficiency of retrieval and user satisfaction. Analysis of the results of the third task demonstrated that a mainstream Web search engine performed poorly in collocating interrelated fragments when a query designed to retrieve the one of these fragments was submitted. The fourth task demonstrated that Information Fragment Association improves the precision and recall of searches performed on Information Fragment datasets. The results of this study indicate that mainstream information management and retrieval applications provide inadequate support for Information Fragment retrieval and that their enhancement with Information Fragment Association capabilities would be beneficial.
RECORDS AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF VIOLENT EVENTS: ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTATION, HISTORICAL PERCEPTION, AND THE NO GUN RI MASSACRE IN THE KOREAN WARSinn, Donghee 31 January 2008 (has links)
The archival community has long shown an interest in documenting history, and it has been assumed that archival materials are one of the major sources of historical research. However, little is known about how much impact archival holdings actually have on historical research, what role they play in building public knowledge about a historical event and how they contribute to the process of recording history. The case of the No Gun Ri incident provides a good example of how archival materials play a role in historical discussions and a good opportunity to look at archival contributions. This dissertation examines how archival materials were discovered and used in the process of identifying the controversies raised in No Gun Ri research by examining the earliest to the most recent publications, their authors¡¯ patterns of conducting their research and their perceptions on using archives. In doing so, a content analysis of No Gun Ri publications was employed and interviews with No Gun Ri researchers were conducted for this study. In No Gun Ri research, archival documents were essential source materials for details about the incident and a major player in stimulating heated controversies and discussions and, consequently, provided the impetus for further publications by No Gun Ri researchers. Archival documents were especially critical for specific details of the incident as well as a good source for background and circumstantial information. General record keeping situations - such as missing documents - also provided a circumstantial context of the incident. However, No Gun Ri researchers agreed that oral history was the most valuable and influential evidence for their major ideas and used archival documents to provide hard facts about the details of oral history. There are some unique research patterns of No Gun Ri researchers identified in this study which are different from typical assumptions of archivists. Archival programs should have an accurate understanding about how their holdings are used (or not used) and why; consequently, this study regarding the use of archival materials in the evolution of the discussion of the No Gun Ri massacre will provide the fundamental information within an empirical framework.
HUMAN PRIORITIZING AND COORDINATING INFORMATION BEHAVIOR DURING INFORMATION SEEKING AND RETRIEVAL IN THE WEB ENVIRONMENTPark, Minsoo 10 June 2008 (has links)
The primary goals of this research were to: 1) understand general characteristics of human prioritizing and coordinating information behaviors in Web information seeking and retrieval contexts; 2) identify the factors, influencing the processes of prioritizing multiple information tasks; and 3) obtain a multidimensional understanding of human prioritizing and coordinating information behavior with a focus on perception, effort, emotion, time and performance. The sample consisted of twenty volunteers drawn from diverse academic disciplines at the University of Pittsburgh. The study was conducted in a laboratory setting. Subjects were asked to perform four different information tasks (three assigned and one non-assigned) using a PC with the time limit of one hour. The data collected included think-aloud utterances during the searches, pre/post questionnaires, search logs, and post-search interviews. The data was analyzed using content analysis and quantitative analysis techniques. Major findings of this study include: 1) people are different in dealing with multiple information tasks in terms of the task they engage in and their backgrounds, e.g., age, gender, status, and disciplines; 2) human prioritizing behavior is affected by multiple factors, such as task attributes, emotion, and time; and 3) dynamic interactions exist among the components of human prioritizing and coordinating information behavior. This research indicates that effort, time, or perception may all be necessary factors in producing good performance in dynamic and complex information situations, but how we manage our emotions ultimately yields successful performance. A model was developed from the results of this study to depict the dynamic internal and external processes people employ in order to efficiently and effectively deal with their multiple information tasks while interacting with the Web. It offers a deep insight into how multidimensional components of an individualÕs behavior of managing multiple information tasks are functionally coordinated and put into effect. This model will make a major contribution by enlightening the existing areas of human information interaction. In addition, the model can be employed as a theoretical base for designing human-friendly user interfaces, which function as intelligent and affective central mechanisms and help users to prioritize, monitor and coordinate their needs/tasks/goals effectively and efficiently.
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