ERIC Number: EJ887526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Users of EAD Finding Aids: Who Are They and Are They Satisfied?
Coats, Lisa R.
Journal of Archival Organization, v2 n3 p25-39 2004
User studies have been conducted for many years in the information and library science fields. In the archival world, this phenomenon has not been as common and less emphasis has been placed on collecting and studying the user's perspective in general. However, there are studies showing the "use" of these types of studies, particularly in the justification for, and explanation of, archival resources. This review article will present the literature on user studies of archival finding aids, while incorporating some of the preliminary user theory that led to, and resulted from, archival user studies. It will then focus more specifically on Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids, arguing that the lack of user studies in EAD has been a possible determinant to the more widespread acceptance of this descriptive standard among archivists. Have some well-intentioned archivists prematurely put the under-developed cart before fine-tuning the horse? Perhaps this will prove harmless in the long run, not alienating users from future online archival displays that use EAD. Perhaps users will easily learn how to use EAD finding aids and come to appreciate their unique qualities. This article explores what archival colleagues think and what they are advocating. (Contains 41 notes.)
Descriptors: Archives, Standards, Coding, Metadata, Access to Information, Information Retrieval, Electronic Publishing, Indexing, Online Searching, Use Studies, User Satisfaction (Information)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A