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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1812/215

Title: A Study into Usability of Tools for Searching and Browsing E-books with Particular Reference to Back-of-the-Book Index
Authors: A.Noorhidawati
Keywords: e-book
Back-of-the-Book Indexes
Online library catalog system
Issue Date: 19-Dec-2008
Abstract: This thesis presents research on the usage and usability of e-books in a Higher Education environment. This research was motivated by the evidence of contradicts findings of e-books use and varied perceptions about e-books amongst users. The proposition behind this research was that there are different forms of e-book use (e.g. for reference purposes or for extended reading) and that usability evaluations of e-books therefore need to start by identifying and defining these different types of use. The research had three main objectives: to investigate current e-book usage patterns; to investigate students’ perceptions and reactions towards e-books in depth; to measure how usable three browsing and searching tools - Back of the Book Index (BoBI), Table of Contents (ToC), and Full-Text Search - were for finding information within e-books. In order to meet these objectives three methods have been employed: a Web survey, a follow-up study and an e-book usability evaluation. The Web survey revealed low e-book awareness and usage levels and that e-books were used primarily for identifying relevant content of e-books and looking for specific information, and that e-books were not used for extended reading. Based on these results, a follow-up study was designed to investigate in more depth users’ perceptions and reactions towards e-books focusing particularly on general browsing and searching tasks within e-book environment. The follow-up study confirmed the Web survey in that e-books were primarily used for reference purposes. An e-book usability evaluation was then designed in order to study the use of e-books for reference purposes in greater detail. This was achieved by comparing the effectiveness and efficiency of the three search tools listed above. The e-book usability evaluation indicated that a BoBI was significantly more efficient (faster) and useful compared to a ToC and Full-Text Search for finding information in an e-book environment. These findings suggest that there is a need to develop an enhanced online library catalogue system or e-book collection management system that incorporates browsable and searchable BoBIs and ToCs, in order to improve users’ abilities to find and access relevant e-books and paper books and their content in a library.
URI: http://dspace.fsktm.um.edu.my/handle/1812/215
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses : Computer Science

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