Content Evaluation of Select Websites of Department of Library and Information Science in North India.

Author:Ahmed, Noushad
 
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1 Introduction

Since the onset of the World Wide Web, many new technologies have been developed that Introduce new ways of presenting information (Stephanie and Parmanto). These constantly emerging technologies also present ongoing challenges for maintaining the same. In this way an academic library have extensive experience in providing computer based information services, a great deal of effort has been invested in transforming useful information and services into web access (Lee and Teh). On the institutional website it is said that, "Institution website reflects the face of the institution and it often serves the role of an institutional workstation, both for the users and for the institution administration serving them". It has been observed that some organizations and institutions are designing and developing their own web sites and despite the effort made by the in house expert or out side agency, most of the websites are not updated regularly. At the same time the quality of content and information of the web sites are also not up to the mark (Sampath, B.T & et al.). Hence, libraries have to be careful to keep the content and design of their websites in line with their missions.

2 Review of related literature

Evaluations of the contents of websites have been conducted over the years and for many domains. A noteworthy study by Clyde (1999) analysed the content of the website of 50 public and school library website by applying quantitative method. The study analysed the various feature found in school library websites. Kirwood (2000) examines 75 sites, focussing on five general aspects of the sites: organization, terminology, instructional elements and integration of resources across formats, and annotations. Lee & Teh (2001) developed a comprehensive evaluation checklist more pertinent to the content and deign of academic library websites in Malaysia. Santorio (2002) designed comprehensive criteria for evaluating the quality of library websites. The checklist was in three sections, examines first the libraries internal internet resources, i.e. how the library presents its services; the electronic catalogues (OPACs) provided; and the full text resources available. The second area of evaluation covers library links to external websites. Dragulanescu (2002) propose some basic criteria to evaluate website quality. The checklist covers accuracy, authority, coverage, interactivity, objectivity, and promptness. Tan & Tung (2003) developed website evaluation criteria using the Repertory Grid Technique, which cover 14 meta-catagories: graphics usage, text usage content/information updates etc. Sasikala (2003) developed evaluation criteria in term of structure and content to check the validity of information, coverage, currency, appropriateness, links and structure of the website. Jurkowaski (2004) focused on the content of school library websites. The study suggested that link to web resources, policies, mission statements, library news and print journal list should be made available in all school library websites. Michalec (2006) highlights the design and content of art library website in the U.S.A. the checklist includes address, telephone number, hours of operations, about the library resources, mission statement, descriptions of services, subject resources, library online catalog, subscription databases and journals, current links and updated date of the websites. Poll (2007) discusses the quality of library website with different aspect such as; contents, language, structure, design, navigation and accessibility. Hassan & Abuelrub (2008) proposes general criteria for evaluating the quality of any webites. The dimensions of the criteria are content quality, design quality, organization quality and user friendly quality. Kumar et. al. (2009) evaluated the contents and usability of six IIM's library websites. The checklist covers general information available in website, information about library collection, services, non-book materials, and e-resources, links, search and retrieval interface. P.V.Konnur, S.Rajani and M.Madhusudhan (2010) evaluate the content and quality of academic library websites. An evaluation checklist is used as a tool for evaluation of academic library websites.

The checklist is divided into five main parts followed by Rating Table. The quantitative pointing system (ten point scale) and five point rating scales are used to evaluate and rank the websites. The study reveals that very few (16 percent) websites provide information about the date of last updating. Similarly very few (20 percent) websites provide links to other web reference sites and a moderate number (40 percent) have feedback forms for comments. On the other side, a good number of websites (76 percent) are efficient in loading images, icons, and graphics, and a large number (80 percent) have incorporated a web OPAC.

Raju & Harinarayna (2010) performed a content analysis of 135 Indian University library websites. The study examines 46 variables (Conrent features) divided into five categories: library general information, library services information, library resources information, Web 2.0 features and other content related features. Savina Kirilova (2010) evaluated the content and design of academic library websites of Bulgaria is carried out on the basis of their function, design, originality, professionalism and efficiency. The quantitative analysis includes area such as basic information about the library (address, contact information, opening hours, history); access to the electronic resources (OPAC, other electronic information); guides to internet resources (free access or subscribe databases); synchronous and asyncronou online reference services (e-mails, web forms, chat sessions, audio and video conferencing). Brown and Candreva (2011) Suggests the implementation of a dynamic Web site for effective content management of library Web sites, Difference between a static and dynamic Web site; Benefits and advantages of dynamic Web sites; Determination of the appropriateness of the dynamic Web site model to build library Web sites; Development of dynamic library Web sites. Further, Raju and Harinarayna (2010) developed a comprehensive checklist based on the previous checklists. The evaluation approach taken in this study is similar to that of Lee and Teh (2001), Kumar et. al. (2009), Raju & Harinarayna (2010), and konnur, Rajani and Madhudhan (2010) with major modifications.

3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to evaluate the websites of Department of Library and Information Science in North India. In particular to:

i) Determine the different content features of select websites of Department of Library and Information Science in North India;

ii) Identify the criteria for the Content evaluation of study websites;

iii) Evaluate the websites under study with identified criteria for the verification of the authenticity, validity and reliability; and

iv) Compare the different features of DLIS websites under study and rank them based on features.

To realize the above objectives the study, the scope is restricted to five websites of Department of Library and Information Science in north India, out of nine websites of DLIS, only five...

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