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{LibraryFind:} System design and usability testing of academic metasearch system

Title{LibraryFind:} System design and usability testing of academic metasearch system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJung, S, Herlocker, JL, Webster, JG, Mellinger, M, Frumkin, J
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology
Keywordsend user searching, meta search engines, usability, user preferences, {ACADEMIC} libraries, {ACADEMIC} libraries – Software, {ACCESS} points (Indexing), {COMPUTER} network resources, {ELECTRONIC} records, {FEDERATED} searching, {INTERNET} searching, {LIBRARY} resources, {OREGON} State University, {ORTHOGRAPHY} & spelling – Software, {SEARCH} engines, {STUDENTS}, {UNDERGRADUATES}, {USER-centered} system design
AbstractUsing off-the-shelf search technology provides a single point of access into library resources, but we found that such commercial systems are not entirely satisfactory for the academic library setting. In response to this, Oregon State University ({OSU)} Libraries designed and deployed {LibraryFind}, a metasearch system. We conducted a usability experiment comparing {LibraryFind}, the {OSU} Libraries Web site, and Google Scholar. Each participant used all three search systems in a controlled setting, and we recorded their behavior to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of each search system. In this article, we focus on understanding what factors are important to undergraduates in choosing their primary academic search system for class assignments. Based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results, we found that mimicking commercial Web search engines is an important factor to attract undergradu-ates; however, when undergraduates use these kinds of search engines, they expect similar performance to Web search engines, including factors such as relevance, speed, and the availability of a spell checker. They also expected to be able to find out what kinds of content and materials are available in a system. Participants' prior experience using academic search systems also affected their expectations of a new system. [{ABSTRACT} {FROM} {AUTHOR]} Copyright of Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)