• Avoiding the Great Data-Wipe of Ought-Three: Maintaining an Institutional Record for Library Decision-Making in Threatening Times

      Nicholson, Scott (2003)
      Because of the USA PATRIOT Act and similar legislation that allows the government to track the actions of individuals suspected of terrorist activities, many librarians are concerned about protecting information about library use at any cost. Some propose that the solution is to delete all data from the operational databases whenever possible; in fact, a recent New York Times article discusses daily shredding of library records from the Santa Cruz Public Library System (“Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to New F.B.I. Powers”, Apr. 7th, 2003). However, deleting all data associated with library transactions will make data-based evaluation and justification of library services difficult; therefore, libraries must seek a balance between protecting the privacy of patrons and maintaining a history of library transactions.
    • The Basis for Bibliomining: Frameworks for Bringing Together Usage-Based Data Mining and Bibliometrics through Data Warehousing in Digital Library Services

      Nicholson, Scott (2005-05)
      Preprint - For final version, see Nicholson, S. (2006). The basis for bibliomining: Frameworks for bringing together usage-based data mining and bibliometrics through data warehousing in digital library services. Information Processing and Management 42(3), 785-804. Over the past few years, data mining has moved from corporations to other organizations. This paper looks at the integration of data mining in digital library services. First, bibliomining, or the combination of bibliometrics and data mining techniques to understand library services, is defined and the concept explored. Second, the conceptual frameworks for bibliomining from the viewpoint of the library decision-maker and the library researcher are presented and compared. Finally, a research agenda to resolve many of the common bibliomining issues and to move the field forward in a mindful manner is developed. The result is not only a roadmap for understanding the integration of data mining in digital library services, but also a template for other cross-discipline data mining researchers to follow for systematic exploration in their own subject domains.
    • Bibliomining for Automated Collection Development in a Digital Library Setting: Using Data Mining to Discover Web-Based Scholarly Research Works

      Nicholson, Scott (2003-12)
      This research creates an intelligent agent for automated collection development in a digital library setting. It uses a predictive model based on facets of each Web page to select scholarly works. The criteria came from the academic library selection literature, and a Delphi study was used to refine the list to 41 criteria. A Perl program was designed to analyze a Web page for each criterion and applied to a large collection of scholarly and non-scholarly Web pages. Bibliomining, or data mining for libraries, was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, non-parametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. Accuracy and return were used to judge the effectiveness of each model on test datasets. In addition, a set of problematic pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified using the models. The resulting models could be used in the selection process to automatically create a digital library of Web-based scholarly research works. In addition, the technique can be extended to create a digital library of any type of structured electronic information.
    • The Bibliomining Process: Data Warehousing and Data Mining for Library Decision-Making

      Nicholson, Scott (2003)
      The goal of this brief article is to explain the bibliomining process. Emphasis is placed on data warehousing and patron privacy issues because they are required before anything else can begin. It is essential to capture our data-based institutional records while still protecting the privacy of users. By using a data warehouse, both goals can be met. Once the data warehouse is in place, the library can use reporting and exploration tools to gain a more thorough knowledge of their user communities and resource utilization.
    • Building Bridges for Collaborative Digital Reference between Libraries and Museums through an Examination of Reference in Special Collections

      Lavender, Kenneth; Nicholson, Scott; Pomerantz, Jeffrey (2005)
      While a growing number of the digital reference services in libraries have become part of collaborative reference networks, other entities that serve similar information-seeking needs such as special collections and museums have not joined these networks, even though they are answering an increasing number of questions from off-site patrons via the Internet. This article examines the differences between questions asked electronically of traditional reference services and those asked of special collections services; it further explores how a better understanding of digital reference in special collections will facilitate the development of the tools and models needed to create a bridge between digital human intermediation at general academic libraries, special collections, and museums.
    • A Conceptual Framework for the Holistic Measurement and Cumulative Evaluation of Library Services

      Nicholson, Scott (2004)
      This conceptual piece presents a framework to aid libraries in gaining a more thorough and holistic understanding of their users and services. Through a presentation of the history of library evaluation, a measurement matrix is developed that demonstrates the relationship between the topics and perspectives of measurement. These measurements are then combined through evaluation criteria, and then different participants in the library system view those criteria for decision-making. By implementing this framework for holistic measurement and cumulative evaluation, library evaluators can gain a more holistic knowledge of the library system and library administrators can be better informed for their decision-making processes.
    • The Current State of Digital Reference: Validation of a General Digital Reference Model through a Survey of Digital Reference Services

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Nicholson, Scott; Belanger, Yvonne (2005)
      This paper describes a study conducted to determine the paths digital reference services take through a general process model of asynchronous digital reference. A survey based on the general process model was conducted; each decision point in this model provided the basis for at least one question. Common, uncommon, and wished-for practices are identified, as well as correlations between characteristics of services and the practices employed by those services. Identification of such trends has implications for the development of software tools for digital reference. This study presents a snapshot of the state of the art in digital reference as of late 2001 â early 2002, and validates the general process model of asynchronous digital reference.
    • Digital Library Archeology: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Library Use through Artifact-Based Evaluation

      Nicholson, Scott (2005)
      Archeologists have used material artifacts found in a physical space to gain an understanding about the people who occupied that space. Likewise, as users wander through a digital library, they leave behind data-based artifacts of their activity in the virtual space. Digital library archeologists can gather these artifacts and employ inductive techniques, such as bibliomining, to create generalizations. These generalizations are the basis for hypotheses, which are tested to gain understanding about library services and users. In this article, the development of traditional archeological methods is presented and used to create a conceptual framework for the artifact-based evaluation in digital libraries.
    • Digital Reference Triage: An Investigation Using the Delphi Method into the Factors Influencing Question Routing and Assignment

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Nicholson, Scott; Lankes, R. David (2003)
      This article describes a Delphi study conducted to determine factors that affect the process of routing and assigning reference questions received electronically by digital reference services, both to experts within the service and between services. Fifteen factors were determined, by expert consensus, to be important at the conclusion of this study. These fifteen factors are divided into three groups: 1) general factors, 2) factors in routing the question to an individual, and 3) factors when routing the question to another service. These factors were ranked in order of importance and grouped according to the recipient of the question. These fifteen factors need to be taken into account when automating the triage process. This article has laid out a methodology for investigating other digital reference processes so that those processes amenable to automation may be automated, and expertsâ talents and time may be best used.
    • Distance Education at Syracuse Universityâ s School of Information Studies

      Nicholson, Scott (2005)
      This presentation has 14 slides and was given at the 2005 ALISE Conference, Session 1.1 - The Pedagogies of Library and Information Science Distance Education Programs. It introduces Syracuse University's experience in the development and application of distance education. The presentation reviews how distance education has been incorporated into the regular curriculum at Syracuse, and talks about the appropriateness of managing residence and non-residency programs. According to the author, distance education should be handled as an integrated part of the university community. The author also identifies the directions for future development of distance education.
    • Exploring the Future of Digital Reference through Scenario Planning

      Nicholson, Scott; Lankes, R.D.; Nicholson, S.; Goodrum, A. (2003)
      The scenario planning method is used to explore several possible futures for digital reference services. Using two dimensions - funding sources and automation - four different scenarios are developed. Common needs across all four scenarios drive a discussion of both current and future research needs, and are used to position all components from this digital reference research agenda book in a common context.
    • Gaining Strategic Advantage through Bibliomining: Data Mining for Management Decisions in Corporate, Special, Digital, and Traditional Libraries

      Nicholson, Scott; Stanton, Jeffrey M.; Nemati, H.; Barko, C. (Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing, 2003)
      Library and information services in corporations, schools, universities, and communities capture information about their users, circulation history, resources in the collection, and search patterns (Koenig, 1985). Unfortunately, few libraries have taken advantage of these data as a way to improve customer service, manage acquisition budgets, or influence strategic decision-making about uses of information in their organizations. In this chapter, we present a global view of the data generated in libraries and the variety of decisions that those data can inform. We describe ways in which library and information managers can use data mining in their libraries, i.e. bibliomining, to understand patterns of behavior among library users and staff members and patterns of information resource use throughout the institution. The chapter examines data sources and possible applications of data mining techniques and explores the legal and ethical implications of data mining in libraries.
    • GIF versus JPEG: Choosing a Graphics Compression Format for Web Publications

      Nicholson, Scott (1998)
      Currently, there are two formats for graphics that are used in Web publications: GIF (officially pronounced "jif") and JPEG (also known as JPG, and pronounced "jay-peg"). Each of these standards takes a computer image and compresses it up to 100 times. Today's browsers have built-in decompressors for each format, so many Web page creators do not know which one to use. The common myth is that JPEG creates smaller files, but this is not always true. The intention of this article is to help Web page creators make an informed decision when selecting a format for each graphic in a Web publication.
    • How Much of It is Real? Analysis of Paid Placement in Web Search Engine Results

      Nicholson, Scott; Sierra, Tito; Eseryel, U. Yeliz; Park, Ji-Hong; Barkow, Philip; Pozo, Erika J.; Wan, Yunzhen "Jane" (2005)
      Most Web search tools integrate sponsored results with results from their internal editorial database in providing results to users. The goal of this research is to get a better idea of how much of the screen real estate displays â realâ editorial results as compared to sponsored results. The overall average results are that 40% of all results presented on the first screen are â realâ results, and when the entire first Web page is considered, 67% of the results are non-sponsored results. For general search tools like Google, 56% of the first screen and 82% of the first Web page contain non-sponsored results. Other results include that query structure makes a significant difference in the percentage of non-sponsored results returned by a search. Similarly, the topic of the query can also have a significant effect on the percentage of sponsored results displayed by most Web search tools.
    • Indexing and Abstracting on the World Wide Web: An Examination of Six Web Databases

      Nicholson, Scott (1997)
      Web databases, commonly known as search engines or web directories, are currently the most useful way to search the Internet. In this article, the author draws from library literature to develop a series of questions that can be used to analyze these web searching tools. Six popular web databases are analyzed using this method. Using this analysis, the author creates three categories for web databases and explores the most appropriate searches to perform with each. The work concludes with a proposal for the ideal web database.
    • Integrating Digital Reference Service into the Digital Library Environment

      Pomerantz, Jeffrey; Lankes, R. David; Nicholson, Scott; Goodrum, Abby (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2003)
      The difference between a digital library and a library with which a digital reference service is affiliated is discussed, and digital reference in these contexts is defined. There are several issues involved in integrating digital reference service into a digital library environment, but two that are unique to the intersection between digital libraries and digital reference: collection development of previously-answered questions, and presentation of specialized subsets of the materials in the digital library's collection. These two issues are explored.
    • Management of the Digital Library: New Techniques for a New Technology

      Nicholson, Scott (1995)
      The digital library is a user-based library service that seamlessly connects users to the information they need electronically, regardless of source. The new technologies and higher costs cause management new difficulties in five areas: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. The purpose of this report is to collect these problems from the literature and offer solutions when possible. The three largest problems facing the manager of digital library services are cost recovery, copyright issues, and training. Mangers must determine a way to recover the constant costs incurred by the technologies used to run the digital library through increased funding or charging users. Until copyright issues are dealt with, no copywritten material can be placed in a digital library. Constant training requires a commitment of money and time, yet is the most important change a manager can make to guarantee the success of the digital library. These issues must not be avoided, and require managers to re-think traditional management strategies. In order to handle these and other problems and successfully manage a digital library, managers require new tools for a new technology.
    • Organizational Cultures of Libraries as a Strategic Resource

      Kaarst-Brown, Michelle L.; Nicholson, Scott; von Dran, Gisela M.; Stanton, Jeffrey M. (2004)
      Theorists have suggested that organizational culture is a strategic resource that has value in ensuring the continuing existence and success of organizations (Michalisin, Smith, & Kline, 1997; Barney, 1986, 1991; Hult, Ketchen, & Nichols, 2002; Gordon, 1985). This assertion is supported by various studies that have linked organizational culture to broad strategic outcomes such as an organizationâ s ability to manage knowledge (Davenport, Long, & Beers, 1998; Storck & Hill, 2000), innovation capability (Hauser, 1998), and strategic management of information technology (Kaarst-Brown & Robey, 1999; Reich & Benbasat, 2000; Schein, 1985). Based on this research, we suggest that there are characteristics of organizational cultures in information-based organizations that lead to increased collaboration, collegiality, and organizational effectiveness.
    • A Proposal for Categorization and Nomenclature for Web Search Tools

      Nicholson, Scott; Thomas, A.; Shearer, J. (2000)
      Ambiguities in Web search tool (more commonly known as "search engine") terminology are problematic when conducting precise, replicable research or when teaching others to use search tools. Standardized terminology would enable Web searchers to be aware of subtle differences between Web search tools and the implications of these for searching. A categorization and nomenclature for standardized classifications of different aspects of Web search tools is proposed, and advantages and disadvantages of using tools in each category are discussed.
    • Raising Reliability of Web Search Tool Research through Replication and Chaos Theory

      Nicholson, Scott (2000)
      Because the World Wide Web is a dynamic collection of information, the Web search tools (or "search engines") that index the Web are dynamic. Traditional information retrieval evaluation techniques may not provide reliable results when applied to the Web search tools. This study is the result of ten replications of the classic 1996 Ding and Marchionini Web search tool research. It explores the effects that replication can have on transforming unreliable results from one iteration into replicable and therefore reliable results after multiple iterations.