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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) is a new conceptual model for representing the bibliographic universe with a strong user focus. Such a user focus offers opportunities for creating online catalogs that better support user information seeking. There have been a few online catalogs developed to explore effective implementations of FRBR. However, there has been a lack of user research of such prototype online catalogs. The major purpose of this study is to explore how well current FRBR-based catalogs support user tasks as defined by FRBR and how users interact with and evaluate the user interfaces in the FRBR-based catalogs. The FRBR-based online catalogs selected in this study include OCLC WorldCat.org, FictionFinder, and Libraries Australias FRBR prototype demonstration system. These three catalogs were evaluated by 75 users from both public libraries (40 participants) and academic libraries (35 participants). The user tasks for this study were designed around the four general user task categories as defined by FRBR. Users system interactions and feedback were captured through a multi-method approach, including screen captures, eye-tracking, think-aloud protocol, and survey interviews, as well as two focus groups of academic and public library users. Some preliminary findings show that there were noted differences in user success in completing various tasks in the FRBR-based catalogs. In terms of user interactions with the interface features provided in the catalogs, users chose different options for various tasks. The eye-tracking data and user input on interface features provided some helpful explanations to the user interactions and pointed to useful features and possible improvements of the individual catalog interfaces. The results of this study will help identify useful interface options for future FRBR implementation and contribute toward the development of more effective online catalogs that support various user tasks from users perspectives.


Background and Purpose

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) is a new conceptual model for representing the bibliographic universe (IFLA Study Group, 1998). At its core, FRBR was developed with a strong user focus by clearly defining four generic user tasks for using bibliographic information: find, identify, select, and obtain. Such a user focus offers opportunities for creating online catalogs that better support user information seeking (Le Boeuf, 2002; Tillett, 2005). Also, FRBR may offer possible solutions to some common problems users face using current catalogs, for example, when searching for materials with a known author and title (Yee, 2005). There have been a few online catalogs developed to explore effective implementations of FRBR. The study reported in this presentation is part of a three-year IMLS-funded project on the research and development of FRBR-based retrieval systems to support user tasks and facilitate effective information seeking. The major focus of this study is on how well the FRBR-based catalogs support user tasks as defined by FRBR and how users interact with and evaluate the user interfaces in the FRBR-based catalogs. The major goal is to identify useful options for FRBR implementation from user perspectives and to contribute toward the development of more effective FRBR systems in the future. In addition, FRBR user research and evaluation is essential to a better understanding of the FRBR model and further development of new cataloging standards and rules, which are currently lacking but particularly important in light of the proposed changes to cataloging standards and rules based on the FRBR model.

Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

The FRBR-based online catalogs selected for user evaluation in this study are OCLC WorldCat.org, FictionFinder, and Libraries Australias FRBR prototype demonstration system, all of which contain some FRBR-like features based on the model for end users and support similar user tasks. These three catalogs were evaluated by 75 users from both public libraries (40 participants) and academic libraries (35 participants) with each system being evaluated by a roughly equal number (24-26) of public and academic library users. the user tasks for this study were designed around the four general user task categories as defined by FRBR with a specific entity such as work, expression, manifestation, or item for each task: 1.Find a set of works (e.g., find any Harry Potter materials); 2.Find a work (e.g., find Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban); 3.Find an expression (e.g., find Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban in Spanish); 4.Find a manifestation (e.g., find Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban published by Arthur A. Levine Books in 1999); 5.Identify a work (e.g., identify Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte); 6.Identify an expression (e.g., identify Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte in English); 7.Identify a manifestation (e.g., identify the most recent publication of Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban); 8.Select an expression (e.g., select Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban in Spanish); 9.Select a manifestation (e.g., select the most recent publication of Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban); and 10. Obtain an item (e.g., obtain a copy of Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban). Users system interactions and feedback were captured through a multi-method approach, including screen captures, eye-tracking, think-aloud protocol, and survey interviews, as well as two focus groups of academic and public library users. Of particular interest to this study is the use and evaluation of a range of user interface options for various tasks as defined by FRBR. Therefore, the major data used for this study were the search screen captures with details of user choice of interface options for search and refinement, complemented with data from eye-tracking and post-task interviews.

Findings

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

The data analysis is still underway. Below are preliminary findings based on some of the user tasks with the complete analyses and results to be included in the presentation: There were noted differences in user success in completing various tasks in the FRBR-based catalogs, for example: Find a work tended to have the highest success rate among all tasks across systems. Find a set of works tended to be completed successfully. Find an expression appeared to be challenging, particularly in WorldCat.org. Find a manifestation was difficult, particularly in FictionFinder. Identify a manifestation based on a publisher was very difficult in all evaluated catalogs; Obtain an item tended to have the lowest success rate, with those using FictionFinder having the least success, followed by those using Libraries Australia. In terms of user interactions with the interface features provided in the FRBR-based catalogs, it was noted that users chose different options for various tasks, for example: For the Find a set of works task, a simple search was used as the dominant option by users in all systems while the advanced search option was used very limitedly in Worldcat.org and FictionFinder (Libraries Australia interface doesnt support advanced search). Title, author, and subject were used mostly for this type of task in all systems. For the find a work task, again, a simple search was used as the dominant option by users in all systems while the advanced search option was used only once in Worldcat.org alone. Interestingly, the FictionFinders subject cloud was also used a few times for the task. Title was used most often for this type of task followed by a few uses of author and a combination of author and title. When it comes to collocating a related work, the hyperlinked subject headings within records and simple search based on subject keywords were the two most common approaches. The eye-tracking data and user input on interface features provided some helpful explanations to the user interactions and pointed to useful features and possible improvements of the individual FRBR-based catalog interfaces.

Conclusion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

Data analysis is still ongoing. It is expected that results of this study will help identify useful interface options for FRBR implementation and contribute toward the development of more effective online catalogs that support various user tasks from users perspectives.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References

This study is part of a three-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (LG-0606-0073).

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Background and Purpose
  4. Methods
  5. Findings
  6. Conclusion
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. References
  • IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (1998). Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Final Report. UBCIM Publications-New Series. Vol. 19, Munchen: K.G. Saur. Available at: http://www.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr.htm
  • Le Boeuf, P. (2002). The impact of the FRBR model on the future revisions of the ISBDs: A challenge for the IFLA Section on Cataloguing. International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, 31(1), 36.
  • Tillett, B. (2005). FRBR and cataloging for the future. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 39(3/4), 197205.
  • Yee, M. M. (2005). FRBRization: A method for turning online public finding lists into online public catalogs. Information Technology and Libraries, 24(3), 7795.