ERIC Number: ED379001
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Dynamic Modelling of User Decision-Making in Selecting Information Services at a University Research Center.
Evans, John E.
This research is concerned with the pragmatic performance characteristics of competing information technologies (ITs) and services in the university research center, as measured by user demand and choice. Technologies and services studied include: (1) mediated search service operating at cost recovery, open to all; (2) end-user service collecting token charges; and (3) CD-ROM based research work stations freely available. Recorded data from the administrative information system was gathered over 15 years in an "ex post facto" analysis of the levels and patterns of use of the three competing information services. This data was supplemented by surveys of 186 graduate students concerning the values assigned to activities, perceived problems, and reported failures and successes. It was discovered that monetary cost, convenience of access, and time spent are the central factors which determine student selection and use of ITs. Users are willing to subordinate certainty of success, precision, recall, authority and currency for services which are convenient and largely free of cost. This study proved that information content is of minor importance when compared to other features such as cost and convenience when selecting an IT or service. Data is presented in three tables. (Contains 27 references.) (MAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Memphis State Univ., TN. Univ. Libraries.
Note: Paper originally presented at the International Symposium for Information Science (ISI) (4th, Karl-Franzens Universitat, Graz, Austria, November 2-4, 1994).