ERIC Number: ED258577
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Feedback and Exploratory Mechanisms for Assisting Library Staff Improve On-Line Catalog Searching. Final Report.
Martin, Thomas H.; Wyman, John C.
The purpose of this research project was to develop techniques for analyzing user searches of the Syracuse University Libraries Information Retrieval Systems (SULIRS) to enable library staff to identify and test potentially high payoff modifications to the system and/or to user documentation. The first task was an exploratory analysis of recorded user searches to identify the patterns that occur most often. The outcome was a model of user interactions, frequency data, and guidelines for designing an automatic analyzer of recorded searches. The second task was to develop the automatic analyzer, which is now able to summarize the frequency of use of various search codes and the average number of search terms used. It is also able to separate library staff use, library patron use, and external library use. The final task was to vary the versions of user documentation at terminals to determine whether changes in assistance lessened the occurrence of problems. Modifications based on the findings of this study will be introduced into SULIRS, and it is expected that the automatic analyzer will be used to determine how user behavior changes in response to system modifications. Sample printouts from the transaction log are appended. (BBM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Council on Library Resources, Inc., Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Syracuse Univ., NY.