ERIC Number: ED337163
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Keyword/Boolean Searching on an Online Public Access Catalog: Patrons and Their Perceptions.
This report presents the results of a study which explored how patron perceptions and demographics related to keyword/Boolean searching on Indiana State University's (ISU) Library User Information System (LUIS), the online public access catalog (OPAC). Two general theses guide the study: (1) whether the use or non-use of keyword searching on LUIS is related to variables such as age, computer experience, subject area, status, and frequency of and experience in searching LUIS; and (2) whether there are certain measures ISU Libraries can take to increase the chance that patrons will use assistance in keyword searching to improve the quality of their keyword searching. An introduction to the study, a review of the literature, an overview of the study methodology, and the survey instrument precede the study results. These results are divided into two major sections: (1) demographic and other user characteristics for all LUIS users; and (2) characteristics of LUIS users who have done keyword searching. One finding of this study is that a majority (80%) of ISU LUIS users have done keyword searching and only 2.5% say that they do not plan to do it in the future. However, most users do not see themselves performing keyword searching most of the time. Few (11%) felt that keyword searching was a superior search method, although 30% said that they use it every time they use LUIS. It is noted that knowledge about keyword searching is not as widespread as it should be. Only half of the users understood that subject (s=) searching uses only Library of Congress Subject Headings. The study also presents evidence that the instructional method used to learn keyword searching--e.g., library instruction classes, keyword help screens, library handouts--is connected with better performance on study questions which determine keyboard knowledge. It is suggested that more effort needs to be concentrated on terminal independent instruction options that are geared more toward user needs. A copy of the patron questionnaire is included. (35 selected readings) (MAB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boolean Operators; Indiana State University; Keywords
Note: 8-1/2x14 questionnaire converted to 8-1/2x11 (overlapping) and inserted after Table of Contents.