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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3160

Title: An investigation of image users across professions: a framework of their image needs, retrieval and use
Authors: Beaudoin, Joan Elizabeth
Keywords: Information science;Information behavior;Library science
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2010
Abstract: The primary objectives of this qualitative research study were the identification, description and explanation of image users’ behaviors. The research examined the image needs, the methods of image retrieval, image selection criteria, and the use of visual materials among several professional image user groups. Also explored were the difficulties these users experienced in their work with visual materials. The findings of the study provide information professionals with the fundamental details of image users’ behaviors. The research presented here should prove useful to system designers, image librarians and collection managers. The study also serves as a framework against which future research can be conducted. Twenty participants from across four professional image user groups, archaeologist, architect, art historian and artist, were recruited for the study. The user groups were selected based on their similarly strong reliance on images of cultural materials in their work. It was believed that selecting users of similar visual materials would clarify the differences discovered among the groups. Data was collected from the participants through a survey and one-on-one semistructured interviews and analysis was completed using case-ordered displays and the constant comparative method. The findings of the study revealed several variations in the image behaviors of the user groups. These consisted of variations in: the reasons behind why images were needed, the kinds of images they sought, their resource preferences, the factors used in image selection, their search techniques, how they incorporated images into their work processes and how images were used. While variation in the image behaviors across the four user groups were found, an overarching theme of frustration was discovered among all of the study’s participants. The reasons behind the frustration the image users experienced were also explored.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3160
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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