of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Information and Library Science
INLS 500, Human Information
Interactions, Fall 2006
On this page:
Citation Patterns / Asking Questions
/ Observing an Information Interaction / Term
Project / Class Participation
/ Schedule / Class
This assignment will give you the
opportunity to closely examine one instance of a citation network.
- Select one journal article that
you've read since you arrived at SILS. It can be an article that particularly
interested you, an article that bored you -- it's up to you. It should be
published prior to 2003 and have at least 6 citations to it.
- Identify the citations to it,
using ISI's Web of Science (available via UNC libraries), the Scopus index
(available at scopus.com), and Google Scholar (available at scholar.google.com).
Do NOT include documents that are not available (e.g., Google Scholar "hits"
that lead to 404 errors) or listings on course syllabi. For each citation
to the original document, note which indexes included that citation. (If your
document has been cited more than 50 times, record only the first 20 identified
from each index.) Record this information in a table, either in a spreadsheet
or a document. In the attached example, this table is on the first two pages.
- Go back to the original article
you selected for the analysis. From its list of references, select the oldest
and the most recent. Using ONE of the citation indexes, find out how many
times these two articles have been cited. In the attached example, the two
selected references are listed on the second page, with the number of citations
that a search of the ISI Web of Science yielded.
- Now that you're familiar with
how the citation indexes work and what they yield, write a brief statement
(a paragraph or two) about how citation searching might complement other types
of searching and/or how your instance of a citation network represents the
impact and research context of the original article selected. In the Citation
Pattern Assignment Example (a word document), this discussion is included
on the fourth page; the map on the third page of the sample is NOT a required
part of this assignment.
The three products of this assignment
are: (1) a table of the citations to the original document; (2) the summary
(i.e., numeric) results from a citation search of two references cited in the
original document; and (3) a brief discussion of your understanding of citation
searching and citation networks, based on this exercise. They are due
on September 19. These four products will be evaluated together, in
terms of their completeness and accuracy, their clarity, and the depth of understanding
demonstrated. This assignment will account for 10% of the course grade.
- Consider four kinds of questions
that might be asked in a library or search engine: known information/fact
retrieval (e.g., who, when, where), knowledge acquisition/generation (e.g.,
what, why, how), navigational (how to get to a place or answer), and transactional
(where to take an action such as make a purchase on a commerce site). For each of these question types, produce a question
and express it in three different ways: in 1 or 2 words, in 3-9 words, and
in 10 or more words (see the grid below).
1 or 2 words
10 or more
- Consider a case when the question
had to be expressed using a cell phone's keyboard. How would this affect the
person asking the question? How would it affect the person or the system responding
to the question?
- Consider a case when the question
was related to a known item request for a piece of music for which you only
recall a melody or few non-title words. How would you like to be able to express
a query for this music?
- Consider a case when the question
was related to a visual scene (e.g., photograph, painting, film sequence)
for which you only recall color, style, or object depicted. how would you
like to be able to express a query for this scene?
Answer each of the four parts of
this exercise (the assignment in a Word document is available here).
Your response is due on September 28. It will be evaluated
in terms of your understanding of the variety of ways that questions may be
asked/answered, and the implications of that variety for information services
and systems. This assignment will account for 10% of the course grade.
an Information Interaction (20%)
In this exercise, you will interact
with an information system and will observe a classmate interacting with an
information system. You'll record and discuss your observations.
- Pair up with one other person
in the class.
- Select from the following interactions
(each member of the pair should choose a different interaction):
- Go to the Mazda website and
interact with the 360° view of the interior of the RX-8 or one of
their other cars.
- Go to the Lands' End website
and order a customized shirt or blouse. (Do NOT complete the purchase unless you really want to that item!)
- Go to http://www.shockwave.com/
or http://games.msn.com and play any
game of your choice (can be single or multiple player). Note that a media
player is required for most games and some want you to pay, so simply
back out before paying or subscribing. New windows are sometimes launched
that offer prizes (gimmicks) or other services, so BE CAREFUL! If you
go to MSN, you will need to use IE to play the free online games.
- Go to the NC State University
library website. Search for a couple of books or journals there. Be sure
to include both fiction and non-fiction. Be sure to search by subject
heading for at least some of them.
- Carefully observe the person-system
interaction of your partner. Ask him or her to "think aloud" during
the interaction, so that behaviors, cognition, and affect are all relatively
- Record what you observe by taking
notes. For example, you may wish to record the number of turns taken by the
person and by the system (defining what you mean by a turn, e.g., a turn by
the person involves entering a value or clicking on a link while a turn by
the system is a response or prompt or mode change/initiation of a new action).
You may wish to record the points in the interaction that were problematic
for the person, i.e., when errors seem to have occurred in the interaction.
You may wish to record when and why the person expressed strong emotions (positive
or negative) during the interaction.
- Write up your observations in
a brief report (maximum of 4 pages, single-spaced). Describe the behaviors,
thoughts, and feelings that you observed in the observation. Discuss the possible
explanations for why these behaviors, thoughts, and feelings occurred. If
possible suggest ways in which the interaction might be improved, either through
changes in the system or changes in the person.
Develop your report without consulting
your partner. When it is complete, give it to your partner (in electronic form)
to add brief comments about the quality of your observations (their validity,
their completeness). You should give your observation to your partner
by October 24 and the partner should use "track changes" to show their
comments; the report with the observed person's comments are due
on October 31. Your efforts will be evaluated in terms of the richness
of your description of the interaction and the quality of your insights into
how it could be improved. This assignment will account for 20% of the course
Each member of the class will complete
a term project, either individually or in a small team (your option). You have
three different options for the project:
- Empirical investigation and report
(e.g., survey, citation analysis, content analysis). For example, you could:
- Update and extend the graphs
in the Pierce paper (update to most recent data, extend to new media, comment
- Analyze some of the usage data
that you collect or is publically available for analysis.
- Set up and operate a blog or
wiki, observe people using it, and collect and analyze those observations.
- Conduct a case study of an online
- Assess/compare a set of websites.
- Original presentation/construction
in a non-print medium (e.g., video, online). This option is most flexible
and meant to stimulate innovative communication expressions. For the purposes
of evaluation, the instructors may involve class input or advice from experts
outside the class, but will be solely responsible for the assigned grade.
- Scholarly paper (i.e., integrative
literature review) related to course themes and linked to ongoing research
(e.g., master's paper or dissertation. Students are encouraged to think broadly
when proposing topics. Example topics (strictly to suggest the range of topics)
include electronic publishing, history of telephonic communication, multi-linguality
in the WWW, biological communication (e.g., DNA), mental telepathy, literacy
in an electronic age, etc.
Students choosing one of the first
two options are strongly encouraged to form small teams (of 2-4 people) and
produce a collaborative project. All project plans must be approved by the instructors.
Project ideas will be presented informally
on September 14, and commitments will be presented on October 10. Final oral
presentations/descriptions of the projects will take place on November
30 and December 5. On one of those days, each project
will have 10-15 minutes to present the outcomes of the work. The written/recorded
final product is due by 3:00 on December 12.
Each project will be evaluated in
terms of its scope, originality, significance to the field, the appropriateness
of the methods used to carry it out, and the completeness and clarity of the
final product. For team projects, all team members will receive the same grade.
This assignment will account for 40% of the course grade.
Each class member is expected to
contribute to class discussions, both during the class period and via the class
blog. Each person is expected to post 3 questions related to ONE assigned reading
of your choice for each day, and/or respond in a substantive way to a classmate's
posting. Class participation will account for 20% of the course grade.
/ Schedule / Class
This page was last modified
on August 22, 2006, by Gary Marchionini or Barbara M. Wildemuth.
Address all comments and questions
to Gary Marchionini at march, ils.unc.edu, or to Barbara M. Wildemuth at wildem,
© Gary Marchionini and
Barbara M. Wildemuth, 2006. All rights reserved.