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Personal Research Collections: Examining Research Practices and User Needs in Art Historical Research

Kamposiori, Christina; (2018) Personal Research Collections: Examining Research Practices and User Needs in Art Historical Research. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the way that art historians build their personal information collections through focusing on how they gather, use and manage information in the context of their research and teaching projects. In recent years, the rapid technological advancements and the proliferation of digital resources have greatly affected the way scholars approach, create and manage information in the Arts and Humanities. Regarding art historians, most studies so far have looked at their information seeking behaviour. Therefore, there is little information available on how researchers in this area handle the information after discovery. This is the first study exploring this aspect of scholarship in the field of art history; for this purpose, individual interviews with twenty art historians were conducted along with observation of their personal information collections in the physical and digital environment. The results showed that certain areas in art history have still limited access to useful digital resources while there were certain factors- previously not thoroughly explored- influencing scholars’ trust of resources, such as the design of a resource. The emerging types of information objects used for research and teaching in the field, such as born digital data, were also linked to needs noted throughout the scholarly workflow that have not been met yet. Moreover, the two-phase gathering behaviour of scholars suggested that art historians have different information needs at different stages of the research process; an important issue considering that previous research has looked at this practice more as part of the initial stages of research in the field. Finally, examining the information management behaviour of scholars led to the identification of the implications for resource design to effectively facilitate research and pedagogical practice in this area; flexible designs, intuitive and visual interaction with information as well as simple interfaces were some the main things scholars needed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Personal Research Collections: Examining Research Practices and User Needs in Art Historical Research
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056757
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