Graduate Students' Perceptions of Federated Searching - Sarah Baker, Alisa Gonzalez


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Presented at the 2010 Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference.

Sarah Baker, Alisa Gonzalez, New Mexico State University

Abstract: If you build it, hey will come, but will a federated search help students to find the information they need? In this presentation we will discuss federated searching after the implementation honeymoon is over, to see how graduate students use this tool and what conclusions we can draw from their experiences.

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Graduate Students' Perceptions of Federated Searching - Sarah Baker, Alisa Gonzalez

  1. 1. Graduate Students’ Perceptions of Federated Searching Sarah Baker, Education Librarian New Mexico State University Alisa C. Gonzalez, Reference Coordinator New Mexico State University
  2. 2. One Search Text
  3. 3. Previous ResearchImplementation• (Gerrity, Lyman & Tallent,2002) (Ellis, Hartnett & Waldman, 2008)Usability• (Lampert & Dabbour, 2007) (Belliston, Howland & Roberts, 2007) (Tallent, 2004)Student Information Seeking Behavior• (Kuhlthau, 1991) (Sadler & Given, 2007)• (Barrett, 2005) (George, Bright, Hurlbert, et al., 2006)
  4. 4. “Student Feedback on Federated Search Use, Satisfaction, and Web Presence Qualitative Findings of Focus Groups” (Williams, Bonnell, & Stoffel, 2009)Study focused on: • Use • Satisfaction • Website Integration (p.134) • Graduate and Undergraduate Students
  5. 5. Similarities in Our Findings• Majority of students were satisfied• Preferred Advanced Search• Federated Search was used in conjunction with other resources• Disliked • “logic of results” • lack of instruction
  6. 6. Differences in Our Study• We only interviewed graduate students with significant experience using One Search.• We asked students about their experience with library instruction.• Students demonstrated how they had answered a previous research question.• Students described their research process, in general.
  7. 7. Methodology• Participants completed a brief online survey• Participants selected were current graduate students with experience using One Search• 13 individual semi-formal interviews.• Asked ten questions with follow up questions.• Preliminary findings gathered by note analysis
  8. 8. Demographic Information New Mexico State University • 51 master’s degree programs • 24 doctoral programs in the colleges of Engineering,!Business Administration and Economics, Education, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Arts and Sciences and Health and Social Services" " " " Source:
  9. 9. Demographic Information !"#$"%&"()*+),-./(-#)"),-./0) %"#$ !"#$ ()*+,-./$ %&#$ 0)1-/211$ 3451-*+6$7*-2/*21$ %&#$ 7.*-+6$7*-2/*21$ 8)9+/-,-21$ !"#$
  10. 10. Demographic InformationMaster’s vs. Doctorate !"#$""% !%"• 11 master’s students !#" !$" #"• 2 doctoral students " 12-+2*)3" &" !!" 4)0+5*0" %" #" $" ()*+,-,.)/+0"Male vs. Female• 4 male (#" (%" !"#$"%&• 9 female #" ($" " 2*34" &" 546*34" !" #" %" $" )*+,-.-/*0,1"
  11. 11. Survey Questions• What level are you at in your graduate studies?• What is your discipline?• How many instruction sessions have you attended in your undergraduate and graduate studies?• I rate my internet research skills as…• I rate my library research skills as…• How often have you used One Search?• How did you find out about One Search?• How important is the library to your research?
  12. 12. Interview Questions Preliminary Findings
  13. 13. How do you conduct research?What resources do you consult?• Brainstorm with Google or Wikipedia then use One Search or separate library databases to find articles.• Browse One Search for abstracts then use the Internet if their search fails.• Will use specific databases if they know the subject well, otherwise One Search or Google Scholar.
  14. 14. How do you conduct research?What resources do you consult?Consult with: • Professors • Advisors • Other students
  15. 15. What methods do you use to findacademic/scholarly information? • Internet, One Search and books to find article citations • Look up citations in traditional library resources (subject specific databases, catalogs) • Faculty, advisors and other students
  16. 16. What methods do you use to findacademic/scholarly information?PhD students: • Perform more focused research • Search within a particular journal • Develop research strategy with cohort
  17. 17. What do you expect to find when searching One Search? • Abstracts • Full text journal articles • Students look for books but find mostly articles. • Most students prefer searching the library catalog separately for books.
  18. 18. Describe a research question that you tried to answer using One Search?• Most students use the Advanced Search.• Limit search by selecting databases by subject• Refine search by topic clusters, date, source• Scan abstracts to see if results were relevant, if not, will change search• Some students were apprehensive about the quality of their search skills.• Confusion over selecting keyword, subject or title fields
  19. 19. What are the strengths?• Easy to find lots of information• Searching reliable sources• Searchable abstracts• Sort by year• View results by journal and database• Convenient• User friendly• Good starting point for research
  20. 20. What are the weaknesses/limitations? • Not intuitive • Slow in searching/processing • Problems accessing full text • Shows too many results, overwhelming • Outdated interface design • Doesn’t search phrases well • Defaults to title search • “Wish I had faith in how it is searching”
  21. 21. Are you satisfied with the results?• Yes• For the most part• Not completely, not bad• Sometimes, not all of the time• No• It has great potential
  22. 22. How did students rate One Search? " &"!"#$%&()*+",%-+. %" $" #" !" #" $" %" &" " (" )" *" +" #!" /0+1-2 Average rating = 7.7
  23. 23. What kinds of information can beeffectively found using One Search?• Abstracts• Books• Background information• Scholarly journal articles/literature reviews• Very specific information when using narrow search terms
  24. 24. Individual Databases vs. One Search +" *" )"!"#$%&()*+",%-+. (" " &" %" $" #" !" ,-."/.0123" 4-56765809":0;0<0=.="0-5" :.A.-5=" >0;09?@="
  25. 25. The Next Steps...• Change interface design• Provide search tips on One Search interface• Market One Search• Incorporate in library instruction• Publish findings
  26. 26. ReferencesBarrett, A. (2005) The information seeking habits of graduate student researchers in the humanities. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31(4), 324-331Belliston, C. J., Howland, J. L., & Roberts, B. C. (2007). Undergraduate use of federated searching: A survey of preferences and perceptions of value-added functionality. College & Research Libraries, 68(6), 472-486.Ellis, L. A., Hartnett, J., & Waldman, M. (2008). Building Bearcat. Library Journal, 133, 6-8.George, C., Bright, A., Hurlbert, T., Linke, E. C., St. Clair, G., & Stein, J. (2006). Scholarly use of information: graduate students information seeking behaviour. Information Research, 11(4), 14-14.Gerrity, B., Lyman, T., & Tallent, E. (2002). Blurring services and resources: Boston Colleges implementation of MetaLib and SFX, Reference Services Review, 30, 229-241.Kuhlthau, C. C. (1991). Inside the search process: Information seeking from the users perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 361-371.Lampert, L. D., & Dabbour, K. S. (2007). Librarian perspectives on teaching metasearch and federated search technologies. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 12(3/4), 253-278.Sadler, E., & Given, L. M. (2007). Affordance theory: a framework for graduate students information behavior. Journal of Documentation, 63(1), 115-141.Tallent, E. (2004). Metasearching in Boston College libraries — a case study of user reactions. New Library World, 105 (1/2), 69-75.Williams, S. C., Bonnell, A., & Stoffel, B. (2009). Student Feedback on Federated Search Use, Satisfaction, and Web Presence: Qualitative Findings of Focus Groups. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 49(2), 131-139.
  27. 27. Questions?Contact us!Alisa C. Gonzalez acgonzal@lib.nmsu.eduSarah Baker