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An Analysis of Cross-Document Linking Mechanisms

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Physical and digital documents do often not exist in isolation but are implicitly or explicitly linked. Previous research in Human-Computer Interaction and Personal Information Management has revealed certain user behaviour in associating information across physical and digital documents. Nevertheless, there is a lack of empirical studies on user needs and behaviour when defining these associations. In this paper, we address this lack of empirical studies and provide insights into strategies that users apply when associating information across physical and digital documents. In addition, our study reveals the limitations of current practices and we suggest improvements for associating information across documents. Last but not least, we identify a set of design implications for the development of future cross-document linking solutions.

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An Analysis of Cross-Document Linking Mechanisms

  1. 1. 2 December 2005 An Analysis of Cross-Document Linking Mechanisms Ahmed A.O. Tayeh and Beat Signer Web & Information Systems Engineering Lab Department of Computer Science Vrije Universiteit Brussel WEB & INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
  2. 2. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 2June 4, 2018 Documents are not Isolated  Explicitly or implicitly linked  links and footnotes  similarity of content  Simple link models offered by different document formats  embedded and unidirectional in most document formats  external and multidirectional in Xlink standard  Annotation tools and link services  Sun’s Link Service  Microcosm  Annotea CISA Human-Machine & Human-Information Interaction Information Systems & Management Information Visualisation & Navigation
  3. 3. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 3June 4, 2018 User Behaviour in Associating Information  General findings from different research domains  digital documents - annotations - digital folders  physical documents - annotations - physical folders  Lack of empirical studies investigating user behaviour when linking information within and across documents  Our Goal: investigate user behaviour in associating information within and across digital and physical documents
  4. 4. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 4June 4, 2018 Methodology  Qualitative approach using a multi-case design  Online survey investigating  whether users associate information in six different scenarios  why they associate information  which mechanisms are used by users to associate information  users’ appreciation and criticism  238 participants: 23 Master’s students, 169 PhD students and 46 holding a PhD degree single physical (SP) multiple physical (MP) single digital (SD) multiple digital same (MDS) multiple digital different (MDD) digital physical (DP)
  5. 5. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 5June 4, 2018 Methodology…  Interviews  investigate some answers of the survey’s participants  get detailed insights about their information association behaviour  12 participants  unstructured open questions  performed either face-to-face or via Skype single physical (SP) multiple physical (MP) single digital (SD) multiple digital same (MDS) multiple digital different (MDD) digital physical (DP)
  6. 6. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 6June 4, 2018 Results: Users Associating Information
  7. 7. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 7June 4, 2018 Results: Frequency of Associations
  8. 8. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 8June 4, 2018 Annotation and Highlighting Mechanisms
  9. 9. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 9June 4, 2018 Single Physical (SP)
  10. 10. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 10June 4, 2018 Multiple Physical (MP)
  11. 11. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 11June 4, 2018 Single Digital (SD)
  12. 12. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 12June 4, 2018 Multiple Digital Same (MDS)
  13. 13. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 13June 4, 2018 Multiple Digital Different (MDD)
  14. 14. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 14June 4, 2018 Digital Physical (DP)
  15. 15. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 15June 4, 2018 User Satisfaction
  16. 16. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 16June 4, 2018 User Satisfaction…  Complaints  wasted time in creating & refinding associations  not easy to track the linked documents  not efficient & mostly relies on memory  digital & physical folders are not organised well  losing the context of association  …
  17. 17. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 17June 4, 2018 The Need for a Linking Tool  75% indicated the need for a tool to associate information  Suggestions  web links  integration of linking into workflow  easy to use and learn  navigation of links  search and manage hyperlinks  integrating physical and digital media  …
  18. 18. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 18June 4, 2018 Design Implications  DI1: Granularity of the associations  DI2: Bidirectional associations  DI3: Documents side by side  DI4: Linking across physical & digital media  DI5: Management of the associations
  19. 19. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 19June 4, 2018 Our Link Service
  20. 20. Ahmed A.O. Tayeh - Department of Computer Science - atayeh@vub.be 20June 4, 2018 Conclusions  Investigated user behaviour in associating information within and across documents  Revealed a number of association mechanisms and some of their characteristics  General findings about user’s appreciation and criticism about their used mechanisms  Design implications for cross-document linking solutions

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