Att spara eller inte spara? : En kvantitativ enkätstudie av informationslagringssystem för vetenskapliga artiklar
This thesis aims to focus on how master students administer scholarly articles after they have found them. The purpose of the study is to detect how and to what extent people administer their articles from a personal information management-perspective (PIM).
To answer the research questions, a web-based questionnaire survey was distributed which was announced to around 2,000 master students from different universities in Sweden. Most of the items in the survey focused on individual storage methods. The respondents were asked to rate the frequency of their different information administration behaviors on a seven level Likert-type-scale. Subsequently, items concerning specific information administration behaviors were posed, followed by questions on the respondent's sociodemographic status. The results were based on overall 316 answers.
The quantitative data was analyzed using non-parametric tests such as Friedmans-test, Kruskal-Wallis-analysis, Wilcoxon-Signed Rank-test, Mann-Whitney-U-test and Chi-square-test with the statistical computer program SPSS.
The findings generally confirm that the majority of the surveyed graduate students are using scholarly articles. Regarding their information management, it is as usual to store the whole article as it is to store the reference. Further it is more common to choose electronic storage methods for articles and references than to use physical methods. The results highlight that most of the students use several method types and use them to varying extent. Neither age, computer skills, duration of study or satisfaction with their way of information storage influenced the quantity of used methods. Regarding specific handling, the storing of article copies on the computer’s hard drive were most frequently used. The respondents preferred furthermore to read the articles on a screen rather than printed paper versions. The influencing factors of gender, age, computer skills, subject discipline were affecting the choice of methods. General conclusions about these influencing factors are, however, complicated by possible occurring confounders. Moreover, the method types were used to different extents depending of subject discipline.
Most previous PIM research is concentrating on how people store information in general. The dealing and administrating with specific types of information are, however, rarely discussed. In the context of scholarly articles did research predominantly focus on seeking structures and reading patterns. The step between finding and reading an article has so far not directly been addressed in academic research. The study therefore is unique in addressing information storage systems of scholarly articles on such a large scale. Knowledge about storage patterns will help journal publishers and librarians to design more targeted solutions for journal systems and improve services like courses in information seeking.
Two years master’s thesis
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