ERIC Number: ED215683
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Measurement and Improvement of Subject Specialists Performance Searching Chemical Abstracts Online as Available on SDC Search Systems.
Copeland, Richard F.; And Others
The first phase of a project to design a prompting system to help semi-experienced end users to search Chemical Abstracts online, this study focused on the differences and similarities in the search approaches used by experienced users and those with less expertise. Four online searches on topics solicited from chemistry professors in small colleges--the target group for the prompting system--were conducted by each of the 12 participants, who were divided into three groups on the basis of their prior experience. Each participant received a packet of materials introducing the project, searching, and search aids, and SDC's chemistry manual, and a slide/tape presentation was shown at the time of the test. It was found that, for novice searchers, problems in interacting with the computer overshadowed all other concerns; semi-experienced searchers relied heavily on natural language searching; and experienced searchers focused on exploiting the structure of Chemical Abstracts within the capabilities of ORBIT. Problems with the search requests are discussed, as well as searching constraints and items peculiar to each searcher. Appendices include the pre-test handouts and narration for the slide/tape presentation, background on the searchers, search forms and search requests, online interaction, and searchers' comments. (RBF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Bethune-Cookman Coll., Daytona Beach, FL.