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User preferences for virtual information retrieval: a qualitative study.

MacLennan, Alan


Alan MacLennan


Anthi Katsirikou

Christos Skiadas


This paper presents results of a piece of research conducted in order to determine user preferences as to the nature of virtual worlds to be used as an environment for information retrieval. A study was carried out amongst postgraduate students and staff at Robert Gordon University, using a Grounded Theory methodology. Over one hundred interviews were carried out, in three cycles of interviewing, analysis, and integration with literature. The findings revealed that user preferences were determined less by structural features than by affective factors, such as familiarity, organisation, assistance, and quality of information and presentation.

Start Date May 25, 2010
Publication Date Aug 31, 2011
Publisher World Scientific Publishing
Pages 279-285
ISBN 9789814350297
Institution Citation MACLENNAN, A. 2011. User preferences for virtual information retrieval: a qualitative study. In Katsirikou, A. and Skiadas, C. (eds.) New trends in qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries: selected papers from the proceedings of the 2nd International conference on qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries (QQML2010), 25-28 May 2010, Chania, Greece. London: World Scientific [online], pages 279-285. Available from:
Keywords Virtual worlds; Information retrieval; Grounded theory; User study; VRML


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