OCLC awards three research grants

DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 14, 1994--The OCLC office of research has awarded three Library and Information Science Research Grants (LISRG) to university researchers for 1994.

"We are pleased to be able to support these projects," said Terry Noreault, director, research and special projects. "University-based research adds an important dimension to our research agenda, and these projects promise findings that should be of broad interest to the library and information science community."

The grant recipients and their projects are:

  • Alexandra Dimitroff, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Dietmar Wolfram, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Graduate School: "Hypertext Bibliographic Retrieval: A Comparison of Linkage Environments."

    This research will investigate the effectiveness of different types of hypertext linkages in two hypertext-based information retrieval systems for bibliographic records. A user study comparing search effectiveness for novice and experienced searchers will be carried out for both systems. Results of the study will have applications in the design of bibliographic-based information retrieval systems by determining how the richness of linkage options and what types of linkages provide the searcher with the most effective search environment.

  • Karen M. Drabenstott, Ph.D., associate professor, and Amy J. Warner, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Michigan: "End-user Understanding of Subject Headings."

    The purpose of this project is to study end-user understanding of subject headings. The researchers will formulate questionnaires displaying subject headings in different contexts and forms, recruit end users, catalogers and reference librarians in public and academic libraries, and ask them to provide the meaning of subject headings. The findings of the project will give direction for improving controlled vocabularies in the area of end-user understanding. Furthermore, recommended improvements will feature computer-based techniques that could be applied to existing files of subject headings in lieu of expensive, time-consuming, manual editorial changes.

  • Lei Zeng, Ph.D., assistant professor, Kent State University: "Developing Control Mechanisms for Intellectual Access for Discipline-based Virtual Libraries--A Study of the Process."

Control mechanisms for intellectual access in a virtual library environment are very important factors. This study proposes to identify basic and important considerations as part of the process of developing such control mechanisms; to explore new approaches in knowledge organization; and to present a model which demonstrates one of the approaches for developing such mechanisms. The research will focus on an examination of the mechanisms to access information sources in the client services area in a prototype Environmental Sciences Virtual Library. It will investigate approaches used by various sources, examine semantically cohesive categories in environmental sciences and related fields, and develop a broad scheme of concept categories. A draft model designed for virtual libraries will be revised and tested through an examination of the collected data. An access control mechanism for the library will be designed and initial work plan proposed.

The OCLC Library and Information Science Research Grant program awards grants of up to $10,000 to help foster quality research by faculty in schools of library and information science. Projects are generally completed within one year, and findings are published in the OCLC Research Report series and in the public domain. Application materials for 1995 will be available this November. For more information, contact the Office of Research.