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Psychological Processes in the Use of Electronic Journals

Paper presented at the UKSG 23rd Annual Conference, Keele, April 2000

Abstract:
Evidence of user behaviour with electronic journals from the SuperJournal project is reviewed to identify the psychological processes being employed. The article reviews patterns of use, the dominance of browsing as the means of seeking information, the depth, breadth and range of use and the tendency to print. The article concludes that the dominant user approach is a coping strategy that maximises success for minimum psychological effort.

PDF Link to Paper

Eason K.D. and Harker S.D.P. Psychological processes in the use of electronic journals, Serials 13(2) 67-72

The Use and Usefulness of Functions in Electronic Journals: The Experience of the Superjournal Project

Value to users of a range of functions of electronic journals and their usefulness in the specific context of the SuperJournal Project.

Abstract:
For the evaluation of each of the functions three types of data were analysed in relation to each other and in light of other contextual data: logged data of usage, survey data on user satisfaction, and survey data on the perceived importance of the function. The analysis shows that basic browsing, printing and search make up the core functions of electronic journals; other functions, such as saving of bibliographic data, alerting, customising, links with external resources and communication, serve as peripheral functions. The usefulness of both the core functions and the peripheral functions in a specific service is influenced by various implementation factors. However, it is the realised usefulness of the core functions which determines the use of a service.

Emerald Insight Link

Eason K. D. Yu, L. and Harker S.D.P. The use and usefulness of functions in electronic journals: The experience of the Superjournal Project. Program 34(1) 1-28

 

Patterns of Use of Electronic Journals

This paper classifies a spectrum of user behaviour with electronic journals into a typology of eight categories of user/use.

Abstract:
On the basis of a twenty‐two month transaction log of SuperJournal and using K‐Means cluster analysis, this paper classifies a spectrum of user behaviour with electronic journals into a typology of eight categories of user (or eight patterns of use): the searcher, the enthusiastic user, the focused regular user, the specialised occasional user, the restricted user, the lost user, the exploratory user and the tourist. It examines the background and experience with SuperJournal of each type of user to illuminate its formation. The examination shows that the contents (both coverage and relevance) and ease of use of a system as they were perceived by the user were the most significant factors affecting patterns of use. Users’ perceptions of both factors were affected by a range of intervening factors such as discipline, status, habitual approach towards information management, availability of alternative electronic journal services, purpose of use, etc. As any service is likely to attract a great variety of users, so will it lead to differing patterns of use. This paper demonstrates the need for a service to meet the requirements of users with these varied patterns.

Emerald Insight Link to Paper

EASON, K.D., RICHARDSON, S, YU, L., Patterns of use of Electronic Journals, Journal of Documentation, Vol 56(5) pp 477-504. ISSN 00220418.