Blanford, Ann; Adams, Anne; Attfield, Simon; Buchanan, George; Gow, Jeremy; Makri, Stephann; Rimmer, Jon and Warwick, Claire
The PRET A Rapporter framework: Evaluating digital libraries from the perspective of information work.
Information Processing & Management, 44(1) pp. 4–21.
The strongest tradition of IR systems evaluation has focused on system effectiveness; more recently, there has been a growing interest in evaluation of Interactive IR systems, balancing system and user-oriented evaluation criteria. In this paper we shift the focus to considering how IR systems, and particularly digital libraries, can be evaluated to assess (and improve) their fit with users’ broader work activities. Taking this focus, we answer a different set of evaluation questions that reveal more about the design of interfaces, user–system interactions and how systems may be deployed in the information working context. The planning and conduct of such evaluation studies share some features with the established methods for conducting IR evaluation studies, but come with a shift in emphasis; for example, a greater range of ethical considerations may be pertinent. We present the PRET A Rapporter framework for structuring user-centred evaluation studies and illustrate its application to three evaluation studies of digital library systems.
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