ITAL Volume 21, Number 4, December 2002

Table of Contents

Editorial

Looking at the Publishing Process
DAN MARMION

Feature Articles

An Empirical Analysis of Web Catalog User Experiences
DENNIS HALCOUSSIS, ANIKO L. HALVERSON, ANTON D. LOWENBERG, AND SUSAN LOWENBERG

Analysis of Web-based Information Architecture in a University Library: Navigating for Known Items
DAVID ROBINS AND SIGRID KELSEY

E2M: Automatic Generation of MARC-Formatted Metadata by Crawling E-Publications
SIEW-PHEK T. SU, YU LONG, AND DANIEL E. CROMWELL

Library Systems and Unicode: A Review of the Current State of Development
LAURA TULL

Communications

A Resource Description Device Used for More Efficient Library Services
MARKOS DENDRINOS AND STELIOS BAKAMIDIS

Software Reviews

Software Reviews

Index to Advertisers

Axonix

Library Technologies

LITA


Editorial

   Editorial: Looking at the Publishing Process (p. 146)
DAN MARMION

Editor's Note: The full text of this editorial is available.


Feature Articles

   An Empirical Analysis of Web Catalog User Experiences (p. 148)
DENNIS HALCOUSSIS, ANIKO L. HALVERSON, ANTON D. LOWENBERG, AND SUSAN LOWENBERG

Data from an observation study of a Web catalog in a small private arts college library are used to analyze the determinants of user success and satisfaction. Multiple regression models are estimated to identify the most important causative factors determining catalog user success in finding information, user attitudes to catalog organization, and user ability to navigate the catalog. It is found that subject-search users are more likely to assign a low score to catalog organization and to encounter difficulty navigating the catalog than users of known item and other search methods. These findings accord with the extensive literature on the problems associated with subject searching. Also, it is found that the more time spent searching and the larger the number of search results, the more likely it is that the user would report difficulty navigating the catalog. A significant result is that although the user's perception of success or failure of the search is the most important factor determining both the user's evaluation of the catalog organization and the navigability of the catalog, the success or failure of the search itself is not explained by any other variables included in the model. This exogeneity of search success has important implications for library instruction because it suggests that a user's perception of success is dependent on the expectations the user brings to the search rather than specific features of the catalog design.

Dennis Halcoussis (dennis.halcoussis@csun.edu) is Professor, Department of Economics, California State University, Northridge; Aniko L. Halverson (coco@calarts.edu) is Reference Coordinator and Instruction Librarian, Division of Library and Information Resources, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Anton D. Lowenberg (anton.lowenberg@csun.edu) is Professor, Department of Economics, California State University, Northridge; and Susan Lowenberg (susan@calarts.edu) is Associate Dean, Division of Library and Information Resources, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia.



   Analysis of Web-based Information Architecture in a University Library: Navigating for Known Items (p. 158)
DAVID ROBINS AND SIGRID KELSEY

This paper presents a descriptive study of the Louisiana State University Libraries' Web site. The intent of the study was to gain some idea of user demographics and satisfaction with the site at a given point in time and to test the site's navigation system. We wished to find out who was using the site, why they were using it, and to what extent they were satisfied with the site's navigation. We then assigned tasks (searching for known items) to subjects to better determine the extent to which the site's navigation system facilitated locating information on the site. Evaluation of the navigation system was based on a ratio of correct clicks to the sum of incorrect and back button clicks. This ratio may be compared to some predetermined optimal number of clicks needed to retrieve a known item. The implications of this research are both theoretical and practical. These models of in-house, Web-based information seeking may be used by other institutions of a similar nature that seek to provide useful Web sites for their users as well as to provide a basis for further research on the problem of Web-based development of information retrieval systems.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

David Robins (drobins@pitt.edu) is Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences; Sigrid Kelsey (skelsey@lsu.edu) is Electronic Reference Services and Web Development Coordinator at Louisiana State University Libraries, Baton Rouge.



   E2M: Automatic Generation of MARC-Formatted Metadata by Crawling E-Publications (p. 171)
SIEW-PHEK T. SU, YU LONG, AND DANIEL E. CROMWELL

This paper presents a system called E-pub to MARC (E2M), which automatically generates MARC-formatted metadata by crawling e-publications. The functions of its two key components, the Web Crawler and the MARC Converter, are introduced. The paper presents the methods and tools used for building the system. The process of crawling and gathering pertinent metadata stored in the e-publications and the transformation of the metadata into MARC-formatted records are described in detail. The complexity of the crawling and the record generation processes are also described. A comparison between the cataloging process of e-publication using the computer-aided E2M process and manual cataloging is presented to illustrate that the E2M process is a more cost effective and efficient method of organizing and proving access to e-publications.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

Siew-Phek T. Su (pheksu@mail.uflib.ufl.edu) is Associate Chair for Central Bibliographic Services, George A. Smathers Libraries and Yu Long (yul@ufl.edu) is Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville; Daniel E. Cromwell (fcldec@nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu) is LMS Field Specialist, Technical Services, Florida Center for Library Automation, Gainesville.



   Library Systems and Unicode: A Review of the Current State of Development (p. 181)
LAURA TULL

Unicode, a standard developed in 1991, defines a universal character set for encoding the characters in the scripts of the world's languages. Unicode implementation has been gaining momentum in recent years especially in the software and computer industry. Academic libraries with collections of materials in multiple languages will want to take advantage of Unicode for display and searching of materials in non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Chinese. The focus of this article is a review of Unicode and its incorporation in library systems.

Laura Tull (tull.9@osu.edu) is Systems Librarian at The Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus.

Communications

   A Resource Description Device Used for More Efficient Library Services (p. 186)
MARKOS DENDRINOS AND STELIOS BAKAMIDIS

A special portable device designed for retrieving concise library resource descriptions by the user is presented in this article. The device reads a bar code attached to the back of the resource and searches for the corresponding information stored in a nonvolatile, rewritable memory. The information retrieved by the device can also be used in the loaning process. Resource descriptions can be simultaneously visual and dictated through a speech synthesizer, constituting a valuable tool for individuals with special needs, including the deaf and blind.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

Markos Dendrinos (mdendr@teiath.gr) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library Studies in the Technological Educational Institution of Athens (TEI-A), Greece, and a Researcher in the Speech Technology Department of the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), Athens, Greece. Stelios Bakamidis (bakam@ilsp.gr) is the Head of the Speech Technology Department of the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), Athens, Greece.


Software Reviews (p. 189)

   Since this column will appear in the December issue, following is a trio of useful applications suitable for holiday gifts for yourself and others. They all have the advantage of being free or inexpensive.

Editor's note: The full text of this article is available.