Evaluating the Impact of Semantic Technologies on Bibliographic Systems: A User-Centered and Comparative Approach
17 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2019 First Look: Accepted
Semantic and linked-data technologies are currently used by several cultural heritage institutions to make their content available through the Web. Although these technologies are heavily oriented towards data reuse and integration, one clear benefit highlighted by recent literature is the enhancement of human cultural consumption and user experience through the development of novel cultural end-user applications like Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs). However, to the best of our knowledge, studies into the impact of these technologies on end-user applications are scarce. In order to address this lack, we report the results of two within-group user-centred studies of two online bibliographic systems in a realistic setting – using a widely deployed OPAC and its counterpart linked-data based system, datos.bne.es. The results of our first within-group study show that users of the system based on linked data required significantly less time and visited fewer pages to complete a typical search and retrieval activity. Additionally, the results of our user satisfaction tests also provided significantly better results for this new system. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that semantic technologies applied to library catalogues provide an enhancement that helps satisfy users’ information needs.
Keywords: User-centered evaluation, Usability, Cultural heritage, Digital humanities, Linked data, Ontologies
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