Designing an Evaluation Process for Resource Discovery Tools

Designing an Evaluation Process for Resource Discovery Tools

David Bietila (University of Chicago, USA) and Tod Olson (University of Chicago, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1821-3.ch008
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This chapter discusses a process that can be used by libraries to evaluate the current generation of resource discovery tools. The process considers a three-tiered approach to the application, considering technical, functional, and usability layers. Because the current generation of discovery tools is very flexible, the process discussed uses an initial pass of evaluation to gain insight into the abilities of the tool and how users approach it. This leads to a further evaluative iteration, mainly at the usability level, where the user observations from the first iteration are used to inform more refined use cases.
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Background And Literature Review

The University of Chicago is a research and educational institution with over 5,000 undergraduates; 10,000 graduate, professional, and other students; and 2,200 faculty and other academic personnel. The University is well-known for intensive research activity in diverse areas such as economics, law, medicine, sociology, the physical sciences, and a number of other fields. The University of Chicago Library serves the needs of University researchers and students; it is a single administrative unit with a physical presence in six buildings. In addition to a physical collection of some 8.5 million items, the Library maintains access to over 57,000 individual e-journal titles and over a million e-books.

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