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Europeana: What Users Search For and Why

This presentation describes the work reported in Clough et al. (2017): Europeana: What Users Search For and Why in TPDL 2017. It analysed the search tasks carried out by 240 Europeana users, and categorised the subject content of the search requests. Users' motivation of searching is also analysed in this study.

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Europeana: What Users Search For and Why

  1. 1. Europeana: WhatUsersSearch for andWhy Paul Clough1,Timothy Hill2, Monica Lestari Paramita1, and Paula Goodale1 1 University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK 2 Europeana,The Hague, Netherlands
  2. 2. Introduction  Users from diverse backgrounds are coming to cultural heritage websites and information services with increasingly varied goals, tasks and information needs (Skov & Ingwersen, 2008).  Having a better understanding of the users, their goals and tasks, can help inform the design of more effective information systems.  The aim of this study is to investigate:  the broad type of search tasks  the subject content of searches  motives for searching and uses of the information found 2
  3. 3. Europeana Portal: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en
  4. 4. Research Questions What information do users search for using Europeana? What do users use this information for? 4
  5. 5. RelatedWork Information needs in cultural heritage  Information seeking behaviours of cultural heritage experts were studied in Amin et al. (2008).  A majority of search tasks were complex information gathering (e.g., finding information to compare similarities and differences between objects).  Meanwhile, Skov (2013) found that casual users (e.g., general museum visitors) often have different (and less-complex) information needs  They often search for well-defined known items, and do fewer exploratory tasks. 5
  6. 6. RelatedWork Europeana users  Previous surveys/studies carried out in Europeana have also identified two distinct user types, referred to as “culture vultures” and “culture snackers”.  The “culture vultures” are dedicated enthusiasts and professionals:  They have domain expertise and likely lifelong enthusiasts of cultural heritage.  The “culture snackers” are more representative of the novice or general user:  They come with lower levels of technical/domain expertise and typically engage for general interest. 6
  7. 7. Methodology  We designed a pop-up web survey in order to gather responses from actual Europeana users as they carried out their search activities.  We proposed a scheme for categorising the search tasks and information use in Europeana. 7
  8. 8. Pop-upSurvey Questions (1/2) 1. How often do you visit Europeana? 2. How would you identify yourself? 3. How did you get to Europeana today? 4. What information are you looking for right now? 5. Why are you looking for this information? 6. After finding this information, you will: _______ 8
  9. 9. Pop-upSurvey Questions • (e.g. “I want to find an image of the Mona Lisa”, “I’m trying to explore what’s available in Europeana on World War I”, “I am looking for photographs of Sheffield in the 1980s”, “I am looking for artworks by Leonardo daVinci”, or “Don’t know or nothing specific”) Q4: “What information are you looking for?” • (e.g., “To create a presentation for my student class”, “To write an article”, “To help plan a visit toTurin and want to know about artworks to visit whilst there”, “To learn about the history of English folk music”, “General interest / no specific reason”) Q5: “Why are you looking for this information?” 9
  10. 10. Pop-upSurvey Questions (2/2) 7. How would you rate your level of subject knowledge for your current activity? 8. For your current activity, please rate the importance of the following Europeana functionalities: _______ 9. What other features could be added / improved to help you complete your current activity? 10. If you have any other comments about Europeana: _______ 10
  11. 11. Results 11
  12. 12. 12  The pop-up survey ran for 2 weeks (21 March – 4 April 2017)  240 users of Europeana from 48 different countries  48.8% participants came directly to the site, 34.2% arrived via a search engine link, and 10.8% via social media link and a teaching resources link
  13. 13. Participants 13
  14. 14. Q4:“Whatinformationareyoulookingforrightnow?” Mean=10.1 words (min=1, max=49) I am trying to explore images of objects and monuments from ancient Italy and the Roman Empire. I am looking for the 1919 film "Les fetes de la victoire". I'm looking for traces of Russian émigrés from 1917 to the 1930s : art, photographs, or maps. I´m trying to find reusable patterns to use in a fabric screenprinting project. 14
  15. 15. Q5:“Whyareyoulookingforthisinformation?” Mean=8.3 words (min=1, max=72) To write a book.I want to use the excerpt to illustrate a university lecture. I am going to attend a course in screenprinting this autumn and need to prepare some ideas.To help plan an exhibition for an International summit. 15
  16. 16. ResearchQuestion 1 “What information do users search for using Europeana?” 16
  17. 17. Analysis of the Search Requests  We performed two different categorisations: 1. Categorisation based on search tasks 2. Categorisation based on mode/facet analysis 17
  18. 18. SearchTasks Definitions Examples Specific-item search Search for specific item (i.e., known- item) typically expressed precisely “I am looking for the 1919 film ‘Les fetes de la victorie’.” By named author Search for information by a specific named author or provider “to look for paintings by Henriette Ronner”, “I am searching for … artifacts from the Regional Archaeological Museum Plovdiv” Specific-subject search Find information for specified (or named) subject (i.e., person, place, location, etc.) forming the main subject of the request “I am looking for pictures of Stuttgart” General topical search Find information for general subject “Italian medieval illuminations”, “Looking at examples of art made by women” Browsing or exploring Used to identify searches where the user has no specific goal “I am just browsing your collections” Ambiguous or unclear The search request is unclear or difficult to determine category “I am anOpera lover”, “book” 18
  19. 19. Categorisation ofSearchTasks 19
  20. 20. Categorisation Based on Mode/Facet Analysis Armitage and Enser (1996): analysing the subject content of user requests for still and moving visual images. Panofsky-Shatford’s modes of image analysis in the form of mode/facet analysis.  Who, What, Where and When 20
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  22. 22. Specific General Person/group E.g., “Saint Francis of Assisi” E.g., “working women”, “historical figure” Object/thing E.g., “Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7, by Frederic Chopin” E.g., “paintings” Location E.g., “Spain”, “Norfolk” E.g., “public places” Event/action E.g., “Great War”, “black death” E.g., “working”, “privatisation of school system” Time E.g., “1940”, “XIX century” E.g., “medieval” General subject E.g., “art”, “history” Creator E.g., “paintings byVan Gogh” Provider E.g., “I am searching for images from the Regional Archeological Museum Plovdiv.” Nationality E.g., “Icelandic artworks” Language E.g., “books written in Italian” Availability E.g., “free open-source 3d models” Response E.g., “looking for a nice painting” Medium E.g., “image”, “video”, “text” AdditionalCodesPanofsky-ShatfordCodes 22
  23. 23. Example (1/3) “I am looking for artworks by Leonardo daVinci” 23
  24. 24. Example (1/3) “I am looking for artworks by Leonardo daVinci” Creator General object/thing 24
  25. 25. Example (2/3) “I’m looking for GreatWar photographs taken on exactly 100 years ago” 25
  26. 26. Example (2/3) “I’m looking for GreatWar photographs taken on exactly 100 years ago” Specific event Specific time Medium 26
  27. 27. Example (3/3) “I am looking for images of cats in art or culture to post about on my blog - but they must be in the public domain as I am scrupulous about image rights” 27
  28. 28. Example (3/3) “I am looking for images of cats in art or culture to post about on my blog - but they must be in the public domain as I am scrupulous about image rights” Medium General object/thing Availability 28
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  30. 30. Categorisation Based on Mode/Facet Analysis The most common combinations are:  “Creator + Specific object/thing” (9 occurrences)  E.g. “I want to find some information about a painting ofWillem van de Helde: ‘Het kanonschot’”  “Creator + General object/thing” (8 occurrences)  E.g. “I am looking for artworks by Leonardo da Vinci” 30
  31. 31. ResearchQuestion 2 “Why are users searching for this information?” 31
  32. 32. Categorisation of Motives and Uses  We created a new scheme to categorise the information use for Europeana:  To create a new work  Professional activity  This category captures the activity of academics and CH professionals where the focus is purely research or monitoring oriented, and no precise output from the search is anticipated  Personal interest  Teaching  Other 32
  33. 33. Categorisation of Motives and Use 33
  34. 34. Categorisation of Motives and Use: “Create new work” (37.1%)  Task-closure:  83.9% were involved in “open-ended” tasks (e.g. scholarly research”), 14.9% in “closed” tasks.  Modification:  36.8% represent “unmediated” cases, i.e. the information found will be used without modification (e.g., to illustrate a presentation), and 57.5% are “remediated” cases.  Type of output:  64.4% would be textual in form (e.g., academic article), 6.9% in a visual form, 3.4% in audiovisual form 34
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  36. 36. Conclusion and Future Work  We have investigated the type of searches conducted on Europeana and common uses of the information found.  We have proposed a scheme for categorising search tasks and information use in the cultural heritage domain.  These results help better understand search tasks more generally in cultural heritage across a wider range of users.  Future work is planned to further validate the categorisation scheme and conduct a deeper analysis of the current dataset.  We also plan to gain deeper insights into aspects of users’ search activity using data derived from other sources (e.g., search logs, and diary studies). 36
  37. 37. Acknowledgments This study was funded by the European Commission under ‘Europeana DSI-2’. We thank Europeana users for participating in the online survey. 37
  38. 38. Thank you Dataset available for download from: http://bit.ly/europeanaSearchTasks https://doi.org/10.15131/shef.data.5411194 38

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