The effects of conceptual description and search practice on users' mental models and information seeking in a case libray with a best match search mechanism
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of conceptual description and search practice on users' mental models and information seeking in a case library with a best match search mechanism. This study also seeks to understand how the presence of a mental model affects the users' search performance and satisfaction in this case library. The study results reveal that the conceptual description and search practice treatments do not have significantly different effects on the types of user's mental models, search correctness, and search satisfaction. However, search practice group spent significantly less time than conceptual description group in finding the results. Qualitative analysis reveals that subjects in the conceptual description group seem to have more complete mental models of the best match system than those in the search practice group. This study also finds that subjects with the best match models have significantly higher search correctness and search result satisfaction than subjects without the best match models. However, best match mental models do not guarantee less search time in finding results. This study did not find significant correlation among search time, search correctness and search satisfaction.
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