ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

Trained vs. untrained searchers’ interaction with search features in digital libraries

Yuelin Li, Xiangmin Zhang, Jingjing Liu, and Ying Zhang

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


The purpose of this case study was to investigate how trained and untrained searchers would interact with search features in digital libraries. Trained searchers are those who have received professional training in information search. They are assumed to have better search skills and know more search tactics, and thus can search more effectively in digital libraries than untrained searchers. By comparing different types of users’ search interactions with a digital library, the study intended to inform search features design in digital libraries for supporting untrained users. The study was conducted with the IEEE Xplore digital library (v.2.0). The results indicate that the participants in the trained group overall made more uses of the search features in the IEEE Xplore digital library. They were able to manipulate advanced search and search fields better, and they realized that they could get more information about the retrieved items if changing result display format to “citation & abstract”. On the other hand, the untrained searchers, especially the UE group, did not seem to know to use these interaction features. Based on the findings, some suggestions on interaction design of the search feature in the IEEE Xplore digital library are proposed.

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