Digital libraries' support for the user's information journey

Adams, Anne and Blandford, Ann (2005). Digital libraries' support for the user's information journey. In: JCDL 2005, 7-11 Jun 2005, Denver, CO, USA.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/1065385.1065424

Abstract

The temporal elements of users' information requirements are a continually confounding aspect of digital library design. No sooner have users' needs been identified and supported than they change. This paper evaluates the changing information requirements of users through their 'information journey' in two different domains (health and academia). In-depth analysis of findings from interviews, focus groups and observations of 150 users have identified three stages to this journey: information initiation, facilitation (or gathering) and interpretation. The study shows that, although digital libraries are supporting aspects of users' information facilitation, there are still requirements for them to better support users' overall information work in context. Users are poorly supported in the initiation phase, as they recognize their information needs, especially with regard to resource awareness; in this context, interactive press-alerts are discussed. Some users (especially clinicians and patients) also require support in the interpretation of information, both satisfying themselves that the information is trustworthy and understanding what it means for a particular individual

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