User Access to Services Committee


OVERVIEW - Last update 07/31/00

The MARS User Access to Service Committee is interested in exploring the information-seeking behavior of our users in the current environment. While there is a large body of literature dealing with catalog use and end-user searching, there does not seem to be a comparable body of information reflecting more current issues--issues of user behavior with multiple citation databases, proliferating interfaces, and web access to an ever increasing body of information, good and bad. How are users making sense of the conflicting messages in an information environment in which the only constant seems to be change?

We have attempted to list on this Web site a range of studies that focus on user behavior in this environment, including, but certainly not limited to, Internet and web behavior. We have been interested in studies which look at such questions as, How do users make choices among databases? How do they move from one interface to another? How do they decide what is an appropriate source of information? We have not included catalog use studies, unless they discuss the catalog as a choice among or gateway to other databases. Also excluded are surveys of use of the Internet (or of other databases) by librarians, surveys of what kind of access is offered in various libraries, surveys which merely tell us that users prefer CDs to print indexes, those that deal with database tracking software, and so on. We have tended to exclude studies dealing with only a single database unless it dealt with infrequently studied user groups or raised significant questions.

This bibliography is an ongoing project. We welcome suggestions for additions to the bibliography and also include a form for researchers to record work in progress.

For more Information contact Sally J. Jacobs, Chair MARS/UAS Committee

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