Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    Learning to be an information architect
    (Association for Library and Information Science Education, 2013-04)
    This article describes a recently introduced module at University College Dublin School of Information and Library Studies (SILS), entitled Information Architecture: Designing the Web. The module provides students with a realistic experience of how information architects apply their skills to produce usable web sites, via a project to produce a documented Virtual Research Environment for information architecture researchers. The article discusses the importance of both information architecture and Virtual Research Environments to LIS education and explains how the module achieves its aims.
  • Publication
    Web Development Skills for Information Architects
    (UX Matters, 2014-06-23)
    Some information architects can merely propose information architectures, but the most useful information architects have skills that enable them to be actively involved in Web development. What Web skills does a good information architect need? In this article, I’ll propose a set of Web skills that a graduate with a Masters in Information Architecture would ideally possess.
  • Publication
    The potential of web components for libraries
    (Emerald, 2019-11-18)
    The purpose of this paper is to highlight the potential of web components for libraries. Design/methodology/approach: The paper introduces a working example web component that reimplements an OCLC WorldCat search widget. Findings: By exploring the case study, the paper explains the functioning of web components and the potential advantages of web components for library web development. Originality/value: Increasingly, web components are being used within library web development, but there is scope for much greater use of this technology to the advantage of those libraries involved.
      488Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    OJAX++: Demonstrating the next generation of Virtual Research Environments
    Purpose: This paper aims to introduce the OJAX++ virtual research environment (VRE) and illustrate how it can enable researchers to organise and collaborate on their research in one place while using their own choice of popular web‐based applications. Design/methodology/approach: Recent state‐of‐the‐art reports have highlighted trends in best practice VRE design: the move towards lightweight, modular, Web 2.0 VRE frameworks, and the importance of interoperability and integration of third party applications in such frameworks. Findings: OJAX++ is a practical demonstration of these trends. Practical implications: The OJAX++ VRE is freely available under an open source licence. Social implications: The aim of VREs is to facilitate the research process and the OJAX++ VRE illustrates an implementation of this goal. Originality/value: The OJAX++ VRE demonstrates best practice in VRE design, as highlighted in recent state‐of‐the‐art reports.
      784Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Introducing web components into the LIS graduate curriculum
    (Emerald, 2017-12)
    Purpose: This paper introduces web components, one of the most exciting and potentially transformative of the technologies that comprise HTML5. Web components provide a standardised method of creating and sharing custom HTML elements. Design/ methodology/ approach: This paper is a viewpoint. Findings: The paper proposes that the web development curriculum in library and information science (LIS) graduate programs needs to expand to cover this important topic. Originality/ value: Despite the potentially seismic impact of web components on Web development, up until this point, there has not been a discussion of this technology within the LIS literature.
  • Publication
    Usability testing the Letters of 1916 Digital Edition
    (Emerald, 2016)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the process and implications of usability testing a prototype version of the Letters of 1916 Digital Edition. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents the testing, the lessons learned and how those lessons informed the subsequent redesign of the site. Findings: Results imply that a majority of users, even digital humanists, were not looking for a unique and specialised interface, but assumed – and preferred – a user experience that reflects common search systems. Although the audience for digital humanities sites is becoming increasingly diverse, the needs of the different user groups may be more similar than had previously been assumed. Research limitations/implications: The usability test employed 11 participants, five of whom were coded as 'general public'. Four of these five had previously volunteered to transcribe and upload letters. This meant that they were already familiar with the project and with the Letters of 1916 Transcription Desk. However, their prior involvement was a result of their genuine interest in the site, thus ensuring that their interactions during testing were more realistic. Practical implications: The lesson learned may be useful for the Digital Editions of future crowdsourced humanities projects. Originality/value: Letters of 1916 is the first crowdsourced humanities project in Ireland. The theme of the project is topical, emotive and socially important in Ireland and among Irish diaspora today. The project’s content has been created by the 'ordinary citizens of Ireland' and they are likely to be the major users of the Digital Edition. The study explores how the Digital Edition can support these users, while also facilitating the range of traditional scholars and digital humanities researchers.
      553Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Editorial: Virtual Research Environments: What is the librarian's role?
    (Sage Publications, 2008-06)
    Virtual Research Environments (VREs) will increasingly change the face of research and librarians have a crucial role to play in their development and use. In the future, VREs should be as fundamentally integrated into the university library information space as Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are now. If VREs are to achieve their potential in supporting researchers, librarians need to ensure that they are involved at this early stage of their evolution so that they can influence their development.
    Scopus© Citations 19  249
  • Publication
    The potential use of online tools for scientific collaboration by biology researchers
    Purpose – This study aims to discover the research practices of biology researchers and to assess the suitability of the OJAX++ Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for these researchers. Design/methodology/approach – Usability testing was used to evaluate the usability of OJAX++ in relation to biology researchers. Interviews with biology researchers in a large Irish university were conducted to investigate their research information behaviour, to establish user requirements in their discipline and to evaluate the feasibility of using OJAX++ in their research. Findings – The results show that biology researchers used online tools extensively in their research but do not use social networking tools. Email and phone conversations are the preferred methods of collaborating with colleagues. The biology researchers found that OJAX++ was easy to use, intuitive and professionally presented but in its present format, OJAX++ does not fit in with current research practices as they do not use Web 2.0 tools that facilitate tagging. A list of requirements of a VRE for biology researchers is presented. Originality/value – The findings of the study will assist developers of VREs and other web tools to better understand how researchers, in particular biologists, collaborate during the research process and what they require from online research tools. This study gives an important insight into the information behaviour of life science researchers.
      756Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Editorial: Virtual research environments: Issues and opportunities for librarians
    (Emerald, 2009)
    Purpose: This editorial aims to introduce a special issue of Library Hi Tech on "Virtual research environments: issues and opportunities for librarians". It defines the concept of the virtual research environment (VRE), describes its relationship both to the virtual learning environment and to Web 2.0, and proposes that librarians play a central role in VRE development and use. Findings: The VRE is likely to have a huge impact on many aspects of research and, thus, on the role of the academic and the research librarian. If VREs are to fulfill their potential as useful and usable artifacts, librarians need to have a central role in their development and application. Practical implications: Librarians need to be proactive in identifying and advocating for their potential roles in VRE development and use. These roles need to be taken into account in the curricula of schools of library and information studies. Originality/value: This is an ideal time for librarians to explore the potential of VREs because there is still time to influence their eventual form.
      248Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Evaluating the Case for a Virtual Research Environment for Researchers of Irish Composition
    (Taylor and Francis, 2012) ;
    This article describes a study to determine whether there exists a need for a custom-built Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for academic and independent researchers who study Irish-based music composition. It assesses the potential forms such a VRE could take, based on user requirements and existing VRE models. Challenges and limitations for researchers are identified as possible entry-points for VRE solutions. The feasibility of using components of existing VRE projects for this purpose is considered. Finally, two possible scenarios for the implementation of a VRE are discussed.
      1066Scopus© Citations 1