Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Blue Pages - User Tests 3

We have just started a third round of user tests of the Oxford Blue Pages. This time tests focus on research collaborations. Collaborations can happen in projects, when writing (books, articles, etc,) or they can be informal exchanges of knowledge. The Blue Pages will display the collaborators of researchers as far as data is available. Names of collaborators will be extracted from publications, project websites and personal websites. See screenshot below.

Users will be able to change the grouping of data between two views. In the example below collaborations are organised by people. When the user expands one person the Blue Pages will show the nature of that collaboration, which in the case of the example is one academic article and that person being listed in the researcher's website. When the user clicks on the group collaborations button the Blue Pages will organise data by sets of collaborations, for example by research projects or academic articles which when expanded will show their paticipants. Whenever data is available within the Blue Pages names of collaborators and research outcomes will have links to their corresponding profiles.

Note: data is real but connections between people were made up for this screenshot. Click to see full picture.

We are also testing how useful connections between data objects are to users. Data objects for us are People (researchers,) Research Activities (e.g. projects), Academic Units (e.g. departments) and Funders. The Blue Pages can connect all of these between them. For example: departments with people, people with people, people with research projects.

The Blue Pages also use research keywords to find and connect objects. For example search for research projects under a subject field, or find projects in similar areas to the one displayed on screen. Although some the of mentioned examples have not been implemented yet we ask testers how they would like to access and see these data. Print this post

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