ERIC Number: ED265888
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-31
Reference Count: N/A
End User Behavior on the Ohio State University Libraries' Online Catalog: A Computer Monitoring Study. Research Report.
Borgman, Christine L.
This report describes a computer-monitoring study of users of the Ohio State University Libraries' online catalog, an established and heavily used information retrieval system. Designed for end users, online library catalogs require little or no formal training, and often replace an existing manual system. Data were gathered unobtrusively by monitoring all transactions from 45 terminals on 5 of the Ohio State University campus libraries. The terminals were monitored online for 3 weeks in each of the winter, spring, and autumn terms and 2 weeks of the summer term 1981, and observation data were used to define user sessions. The study characterizes user behavior in terms of types of searches done, patterns of use, time spent on searching, errors, and system problems. Preliminary results suggest that users have much shorter sessions on online-catalog systems than on other types of retrieval systems. Patterns of use vary between campus libraries, academic quarters, and between short and long sessions. Results of the study will be applied to improving the user interface and other system features. (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., Dublin, OH.