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Toward an Effective Understanding of Website Users: Advantages and Pitfalls of Linking Transaction Log Analyses and Online Surveys

Auteur : Harley Diane Henke Jonathan
Année de Publication : 0
Type : Article
Thème : Sites Web

Résumé/Sommaire :


Almost every American research university and library has made significant investments in digitizing its intellectual and cultural resources and making them publicly available. There is, however, little empirical data about how these resources are actually used or who is using them (Harley, 2007). Those who fund and develop digital resources have identified the general lack of knowledge about the level and quality of their use in educational settings as pressing concerns. As part of a larger investigation into use and users of digital resources (Harley et al., 2006),1 we conducted an experimental analysis of two commonly-used methods for exploring the use of university-based Web-based resources: transaction log analysis (TLA) and online site surveys. In this article, we first provide an overview of these two methods, including their key challenges and limitations. We then describe an implementation of TLA and online surveys in combination on two local sites and the results of that test, including an exploration of the surveys' response rates and bias. From that test, we draw conclusions about the utility of these two methods and the particular analytic methods that may provide the most valuable and efficient results.

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