Institutional Repositories: Investigating User Groups and Comparative Evaluation Using Link Analysis

Wells, Paul Institutional Repositories: Investigating User Groups and Comparative Evaluation Using Link Analysis., 2009 MSc Thesis thesis, University of the West of England. [Thesis]

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English abstract

The aim of this investigation was to look at user groups of institutional repositories. Past research on repository users has focused on authors and depositors at the expense of other users, and little is known about what types of user groups are associated with institutional repositories. This investigation used the research techniques of link analysis and content analysis to investigate links to institutional repository websites and determine what types of user groups are using repositories. These techniques were also examined for their use in providing a comparative evaluation of institutional repositories. After an initial pilot study, four UK institutional repositories were selected for investigation. A link analysis was carried out using dedicated software. The results of the link analysis were then subjected to a content analysis to provide additional context. The findings of the research were able to partially answer the research questions. Using link analysis alone it was not possible to gather detailed enough data to identify distinct user groups. When combined with content analysis, broad user groups were identifiable. The user groups shown in the results included those identified elsewhere in the literature, such as authors, academics and repository administrators. In addition, there was evidence of use by teaching and research related users, professional and public users. It was found that link analysis of institutional repositories was not suitable for comparative analysis, as results were more closely linked with the age of the repository than other factors. The results sample available for content analysis was found to be too small to produce suitable results for comparative evaluation, although a larger sample size would be able to overcome this in any further studies.

Item type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: lexiURL searcher
Subjects: H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HS. Repositories.
E. Publishing and legal issues. > EZ. None of these, but in this section.
B. Information use and sociology of information. > BI. User interfaces, usability.
Depositing user: Paul Wells
Date deposited: 22 Jul 2009
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:14
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/13347

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