ERIC Number: ED367339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Retrieval Results of Unassisted Searches of Two General Periodical Indexes.
Blackburn, Jennifer O.
A survey of public library users was conducted regarding retrieval results of unassisted user searches in general periodical indexes. The data were analyzed to evaluate the impact or lack of impact of searching a CD-ROM index with loosely-controlled vocabulary and expanded-search capabilities (i.e., InfoTrac-General Periodicals Index) versus a print index with a more highly-controlled vocabulary (i.e., Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature). Statistics include the age of the searcher, the experience with searching indexes, the experience with computers, recall and precision retrieval results, and user satisfaction with retrieval results. Problem areas considered in InfoTrac were variant headings assigned for one individual and one heading assigned to two different people. The results of the study indicate higher user satisfaction with the electronic index even when recall and precision rates are lower than when using the print index. Overall results indicate users' precision scores are lower when multiple variant headings are used with no cross-references and that users are not aware of the inaccuracies of their searches. The user questionnaire is included in the appendix. (Contains 24 references.) (Author/JLB)
Descriptors: Authority Control (Information), Comparative Analysis, Databases, Indexes, Online Searching, Optical Data Disks, Problems, Public Libraries, Questionnaires, Relevance (Information Retrieval), Subject Index Terms, User Needs (Information), User Satisfaction (Information), Users (Information)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: InfoTrac System; Printed Materials; Readers Guide to Periodical Literature
Note: M.L.S. Research Paper, Kent State University.