Mashing up: Studying people, information and systems.
Information and Systems
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
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Towards a Profile of the Researcher of Today:
What Can We Learn from JISC Projects?
• Digital Information Seekers:
Report of findings from selected OCLC, JISC & RIN
User Behaviour Projec
• Funded by JISC
• Analysis of 12 user behaviour studies
• Conducted in US and UK
• Published within last 5 years
• Better understand user information-seeking
• Identify issues for development of user-focused
services and systems
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•The Digital Information Seeker:
• Report of Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and
JISC User Behaviour Projects
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“The majority of researchers in all disciplines have
adapted readily to the widespread availability of
digital content, accessible directly from their
(Consortium of University Research Libraries, and Research Information Network. 2007. Researchers' use of
academic libraries and their services: A report. London: Research Information Network and Consortium of
University Research Libraries (CURL), p. 23)
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• Convenience dictates choice
between physical & virtual library
• Very little time using content
• “Squirreling” of downloads
• Prefer quick chunks of
• Visit only a few minutes
• Use basic search
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• Use snippets from e-books
• View only a few pages
• Short visits
• Simple searching of Google-like
• Power browsing
• Value human resources
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• Desire Selective Dissemination of
• More digital content = Better
• Use less since Internet available
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• = Books
• School work or research
• Reliable information
• Breadth and depth of resources
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• Criticize physical library &
• Faculty praise physical
• Electronic databases not
perceived as library sources
• Frustration with locating and
accessing full-text copies
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User Literacy Skills
• Information literacy skills
• Not kept pace with digital
• Researchers self-taught &
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• Search engine first choice
• Starting point
• Easy and convenient to use
• Quick searches to become familiar
• Rate search engines better lifestyle fit
• Trust Google to understand
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• Search strategies differ by context
• Database interfaces hinder access
• Desire enhanced functionality & content to evaluate
• Prefer natural language
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• “It is very clear that Google has emerged as a real
force in the accessing and discovery of research
content which is rivalling university library
(Hampton-Reeves, Stuart, Claire Mashiter, Jonathan
Westaway, Peter Lumsden, Helen Day, Helen Hewerston, and
Anna Hart. 2009. Students’ use of research content in
teaching and learning: A report of the Joint Information
Systems Council (JISC), p. 30)
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• Value databases & other online
• Do not understand what resources
available in libraries
• Cannot distinguish between
databases held by a library & other
• Library OPACs difficult to use
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• Search behaviors vary by discipline
• Desire seamless process from D2D
• Sciences most satisfied
• Social Sciences & Arts & Humanities have serious
• Foreign language materials
• Multi-author collections
• Journal back files
• Lack of specialist search engines
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• Inadequately cataloged resources result in underuse
• Library ownership of sources essential data element
• Differences exist between the catalog data quality
priorities of users & librarians
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• “Google generation”
• Search engine speed
• Support for library OPAC advanced search options &
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• Simple searches & power browsing
• “Squirreling” of downloads
• Natural language
• Convenience very important
• Human resources valued
• D2D of full-text digital content desired
• Transparency of ranking results
• Evaluative information included in catalog
• More robust metadata
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• Preference for Independent Information seeking
• Confident in research abilities
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What Does This Mean for Libraries?
• Keep talking
• Keep moving
• Keep the gates open
• Keep it simple
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• Market services
• Better advertise library brand
• Provide search help at time of need
• Chat & IM help during search
• Provide more authoritative, reliable
• E-journals, data sets, VREs, open source
materials, multimedia objects, blogs
• Develop economic model for
Implications for Information Services
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Implications for Information Systems
• Make library experience more like the
• Google, Amazon.com, iTunes
• Build on & integrate search engine
• Adopt user-centered development
• Longitudinal data
• Talk to and listen to users
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Implications for Research
• Investigate how and why
people get information in
different contexts and
• Theoretical research combining
individual and social factors
that influence information-
• Longitudinal studies of users
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Why Visitors and Residents Project?
• If we build it, they will NOT come.
• Shifting changes in engagement with information environment
• Effect of larger cultural changes influenced by Web?
• New attitudes towards education?
• Gap in user behaviour studies – need for longitudinal studies
• Understand motivations for using and expectations of
technologies and spaces in information environment
• Inform project & service design to improve engagement &
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Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants
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Old people just
don’t get this stuff
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Research Addressing Digital Learners
• Need for a longitudinal study “to identify how individuals engage
in both the virtual and physical worlds to get information for
different situations” (Connaway & Dickey 2010, p.56).
• The information literacy of young people, has not improved with
the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility
with computers disguises some worrying problems (Centre for
Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research 2008).
• Academic staff perceive students as being more digitally capable
than is really the case (Beetham, McGill, and Littlejohn 2009).
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Mark Bullen, Tannis Morgan, and Adnan Qayyum:
a. Institutional e-mail account No association
b. Personal e-mail account No association
c. Instant messaging No association
d. Text message (via phone) No association
e. Facebook/MySpace No association
f. Talking via phone No association
g. Talking in person No association
h. WebCT Association
Communication Mode with Instructors:
Significant association between age & use?
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“I think that lots of like companies and people away from my generation
think that we rely and we’re obsessed with gadgets and gizmos and
everybody has to buy the newest iPhone and iPad and newest
everything. At the end of the day, as a student, are you really know is
that is what the internet is for. How you get to it – it doesn’t matter if
you don’t own a computer and you have to come to the library to use it.
Um…like it’s available to you and you don’t care like how you get it.”
(WorldCat.org Focus Group Interview UKU4th year university student)
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“…our generation isn’t technology orientated. I think
it’s always a stereotype.”
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Visitors and Residents:
What motivates engagement with the digital
• Funded by
• Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
• Oxford University
• David White
• University of North Carolina,
• Donna Lanclos, Ph.D.
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• Eliminate assumed links between
age and technological engagement
• Create a matrix of
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Do individuals develop personal engagement strategies
which evolve over time and for specific needs and goals,
or are the educational contexts the primary influence on
their engagement strategies?
Are modes of engagement shifting over the course of
time, influenced by emergent web culture and the
availability of ‘new’ ways to engage, or are the
underlying trends and motivations relatively static within
particular educational stages?
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Phase 1 Pilot stage: Months 1-6
• Transitional educational stage
• 31 participants
• 16 in the US
• 15 in the UK
• Quantitative data: Demographics, number of
occurrences of technologies, sources, and behaviors.
• Qualitative data: Themes and direct quotes.
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US vs. UK Participant Genders
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US vs. UK Participant Ages
16 years old 17 years old 18 years old 19 years old 20-30 years
30+ years old
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US vs. UK Participant Ethnicity
0 1 00
Caucasian Caucasian/Thai Hispanic Undeclared
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US vs. UK Participant University Majors
US (9 of 16)
• 5 Engineering
• 1 Political Science
• 1 Pre-Business
• 1 Sociology/Gerontology
• 1 Undeclared
UK (7 of 16)
• 3 Teaching
• 1 Chemical Biology
• 1 Chemistry
• 1 History
• 1 Languages
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Participant Interview Questions
1. Describe the things you enjoy doing with technology
and the web each week.
2. Think of the ways you have used technology and the
web for your studies. Describe a typical week.
3. Think about the next stage of your education. Tell
me what you think this will be like.
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Participant Interview Questions, cont.
4. Think of a time when you had a situation where you
needed answers or solutions and you did a quick
search and made do with it. You knew there were
other sources but you decided not to use them.
Please include sources such as friends, family,
teachers, coaches, etc.
5. Have there been times when you were told to use a
library or virtual learning environment (or learning
platform), and used other source(s) instead?
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Participant Interview Questions, cont.
6. If you had a magic wand, what would your ideal way
of getting information be? How would you go about
using the systems and services? When? Where? How?
7. What comments or questions do you have for me? Is
there anything you would like me to explain? What
would you like to tell me that you’ve thought about
during the interview?
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Facebook is for administration &
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The Free Encyclopedia
3 642 000+ articles
750 000+ 記事
Die freie Enzyklopädie
1 233 000+ Artikel
La enciclopedia libre
761 000+ artículos
1 106 000+ articles
714 000+ статей
803 000+ voci
A enciclopédia livre
685 000+ artigos
802 000+ haseł
De vrije encyclopedie
688 000+ artikelen
Don’t mention Wikipedia!
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Are they as confident as they say?
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•6 US and 6 UK transitional stage
situations each month
•Communicate them in any format
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All selected EMAIL
“It’s for formal communication”
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Current Project Status
•Completed 31 interviews Transitional Stage students
•Collected 12 diaries for 4 months
•Developed code book
•Analyzed 31 interviews
•Begun 30 interviews
• Establishing Stage students
• Embedding Stage students
• Experienced scholars
•Collecting 30 diaries for 6 months
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• Phase 2: Months 7-12
• Establishing, Embedding, and Experienced
• Add 30 to original 31 = 61 participants
• Phase 3: Months 13-24
• Track 24 participants
• Online survey of 400 students and scholars
• Phase 4: Months 25-36
• 6 students
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Beetham, Helen, Lou McGill, and Allison Littlejohn. Thriving in the 21st Century: Learning Literacies
for the Digital Age (LLiDA Project). Glasgow: The Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian
University, 2009. http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/llida/LLiDAReportJune2009.pdf.
Bullen, Mark, Tannis Morgan, and Adnan Qayyum. Digital Learners in Higher Education: Generation
is Not the Issue. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 37, no. 1 (Spring 2011).
Calhoun, Karen, et al. Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want: An OCLC Report. Dublin,
Ohio: OCLC, 2009. http://www.oclc.org/us/en/reports/onlinecatalogs/default.htm.
Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research. Information Behaviour of the
Researcher of the Future: A CIBER Briefing Paper. London: CIBER, 2008.
Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Timothy J. Dickey. The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the
Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects. 2010. London: HECFCE.
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Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Timothy J. Dickey, and Marie L. Radford. “‘If it is too inconvenient I’m
not going after it:’ Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-seeking Behaviors.” Library
& Information Science Research 33, no. 3 (2011): 179-90.
Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Chandra Prabha, and Timothy J. Dickey. Sense-making the Information
Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User Satisficing of Information
Needs. Phase III: Focus group Interview Study. Report on National Leadership Grant LG-02-03-
0062-03, to Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, D.C. Columbus, Ohio:
School of Communication, The Ohio State University, 2006.
Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Marie L. Radford. Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and
Recommendations for Virtual Reference. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research, 2011.
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Consortium of University Research Libraries, and Research Information Network. Researchers‘
Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services: A Report. London: Research Information
Network and Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL), 2007.
De Rosa, Cathy. College Students‘ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report
to the OCLC Membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, 2006.
De Rosa, Cathy. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report to the OCLC
Membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, 2005.
Dervin, Brenda, CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Zack Y. Kerr, Mei Song, and Fei C. Shen, eds. Sense-
making the Information Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User
Satisficing of Information Needs. Phase II: Sense-making Online Survey and Phone Interview
Study. Report on National Leadership Grant LG-02-03-0062-03 to Institute of Museum and
Library Services, Washington, D.C. Columbus, Ohio: School of Communication, Ohio State
University, 2006. http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/imls/default.htm.
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Hampton-Reeves, Stuart, Claire Mashiter, Jonathan Westaway, Peter Lumsden, Helen Day, Helen
Hewerston, and Anna Hart. Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning: A Report
of the Joint Information Systems Council (JISC). 2009.
JISC and UCL. JISC National e-Books Observatory Project: Key Findings and Recommendations: Final
Report. 2009. http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/imls/default.htm.
Nicholas, David, Ian Rowlands, and Paul Huntington. Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the
Future: A CIBER Briefing Paper. London: CIBER, 2008.
Prabha, Chandra, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, and Timothy J. Dickey. Sense-making the Information
Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User Satisficing of Information Needs.
Phase IV: Semi-structured Interview Study. Report on National Leadership Grant LG-02-03-0062-
03, to Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, D.C. Columbus, Ohio: School of
Communication, The Ohio State University, 2006.
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Radford, Marie L., and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference
Services from User, Non-user, and Librarian Perspectives: IMLS Final Performance Report. Report
on Grant LG-06-05-0109-05, to Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, D.C. Dublin,
Ohio: OCLC Online Computer Library Center, 2008.
Research Information Network. E-journals: Their Use, Value and Impact. London: Research
Information Network, 2009. http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/communicating-and-disseminating-
Research Information Network. Researchers and Discovery Services: Behaviour, Perceptions and
Needs. London: Research Information Network, 2006. http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/using-and-
Warwick, Claire, Isabel Galina, Melissa Terras, Paul Huntington, and Nikoleta Pappa. “The Master
Builders: LAIRAH Research on Good Practice in the Construction of Digital Humanities Projects.”
Literary and Linguistic Computing 23, no. 3 (2008): 383-96. http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/13810/.
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White, David , and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement
with the Digital Information Environment. 2011. Funded by JISC, OCLC, and Oxford University.
White, David S., and Alison Le Cornu. “Visitors and Residents: A New Typology for Online
Engagement.” First Monday 16, no. 9 (2011).
Wong, William, Hanna Stelmaszewska, Nazlin Bhimani, Sukhbinder Barn, and Balbir Barn. User
Behaviour in Resource Discovery: Final Report. 2009.
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The researchers would like to thank Dr. Alison LeCornu for
her assistance in keeping the team organized, scheduling and
conducting interviews, analyzing the data, and disseminating
the results of the Digital Visitors and Residents project.