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Student user preferences for features of next-generation OPACs: a case study of University of Sheffield international students

By W. Tam, A.M. Cox and A. Bussey

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this study is to identity the features that international student users prefer for next generation OPACs.\ud \ud Design/ methodology/ approach. 16 international students of the University of Sheffield were interviewed in July 2008 to explore their preferences among potential features in next generation OPACs. A semi-structured interview schedule with images of mock-up screens was used. \ud \ud Findings. The results of the interviews were broadly consistent with previous studies. In general, students expect features in next generation OPACs should be save their time, easy to use and relevant to their search. This study found that recommender features and features that can provide better navigation of search results are desired by users. However, Web 2.0 features, such as RSS feeds and those features which involved user participation were among the most popular. \ud \ud Practical implications. This paper produces findings of relevance to any academic library seeking to implement a next-generation OPAC.\ud \ud Originality/value. There have been no previous published research studies of users’ preferences among possible features of next-generation OPACs.\u

Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:10259

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