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D-Lib Magazine
September/October 2008

Volume 14 Number 9/10

ISSN 1082-9873

Using Personas to Understand the Needs and Goals of Institutional Repository Users


Jack M. Maness
University of Colorado at Boulder, University Libraries

Tomasz Miaskiewicz
University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business

Tamara Sumner
University of Colorado at Boulder, Institute of Cognitive Science

Red Line



This study shares the results of an effort to understand the needs and goals of future institutional repository (IR) users at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB). Due to underutilization of IRs at other institutions, the University Libraries at UCB decided it was imperative that insight into users' goals and needs of an IR be gained before design of the repository began. The libraries partnered with faculty and students with expertise in human-computer interaction to study user needs. The results of this study yielded "personas" describing different classes of potential IR users on university campuses, which can be used to guide IR architects in designing repositories that facilitate increased participation.

This insight began with interviews conducted with eight graduate students and twelve faculty members from several disciplines. As described by Miaskiewicz, et al. [1], the interview transcripts were then clustered into four unique groups using a new approach based on Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA). The needs of each of the user groups were then represented through a persona, a method used in the human-computer interaction (HCI) field for summarizing and communicating information about a group of users in a personable and empathetic form. The four personas that were uncovered informed UCB's decision makers as to what the goals and needs of potential users were, and these goals tended to contradict assumptions. It was assumed that the users desired an open-access archive of primarily published research materials generated by the faculty and graduate students, but the users actually desired a network where teaching and learning materials are shared, potential collaborators are identified, and participants' research is promoted to institutional colleagues.

Our results could also explain some of the widely-noted [2] lack of participation in depositing content into IRs in higher-education. A central reason for this lack of participation could be that a disconnect exists between the actual needs of IR users, and the assumptions of decision makers, designers, and architects of the IR systems. As has been reported elsewhere [3], digital library users often have different perceptions of the goals and uses of specific systems than do the individuals making the actual design decisions. The personas developed as part of our study could help to overcome some of the incorrect assumptions about IR usage. A persona is able to effectively communicate the actual needs of the IR users through the personal narrative, name, and face, which continuously remind IR architects of what users really want and need from their repositories, not what architects suppose they need.


A Brief History of Institutional Repositories

In 2003, when Clifford Lynch wrote during the advent of IRs that they were "something the continuing networked information revolution," there was a great deal of enthusiasm that "if they succeed they will permanently change the landscape of scholarly communication" [4]. And though Lynch envisioned IRs as "a complement and a supplement, rather than a substitute, for traditional scholarly publication venues," his enthusiasm was shared, preceded, and perhaps promulgated by the Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) when it wrote in a 2002 position paper that IRs could help ameliorate "library dissatisfaction with the monopolistic effects of the traditional and still pervasive journal publishing system" [5] Many institutions shared in the enthusiasm, and by 2005, twenty-four institutions in the United States were providing repository infrastructure for faculty pre-prints and e-prints, and nine more had plans to do so [6]. The initial excitement had certainly led to concerted action.

By late 2006 there were at least 91 IRs in the United States, but one study found that only "about 37% of items in IRs [were] faculty scholarly output – generally, although not universally, the primary works IRs were designed to collect" [7]. This same study also found that only 13% of the items in the 91 repositories were peer-reviewed materials, and, in a 2007 study of 40 IRs, it was found that only 4.6% of the institutions' faculty had deposited a single item into their respective repositories [8]. In the first decade of the advent of IRs, then, the enthusiasm of designers and advocates seems not to have been fully shared by their targeted users.

In response, research has been conducted by IR stakeholders and information scientists to determine the barriers to faculty deposit of research materials, as well as possible efforts to circumvent these barriers. This research has shown that faculty and graduate students are often not aware of IRs and their benefits, are concerned about the time required to upload their materials in the system and potential ensuing technical difficulties, and are unclear about copyright issues [9]. But perhaps foremost of these challenges is that faculty already use discipline-based publications for disseminating their research. They see IRs as being redundant to traditional scholarly publishing venues that have served them well: "Each discipline has a normative culture, largely defined by their reward system and traditions" [10].

Some of these barriers have begun to be overcome, however. Research has demonstrated that effective promotion, incentives, the use of faculty liaisons, and at times mandates that faculty archive their research in an IR, can improve participation rates [11]. But IRs have yet to lead to the revolution in scholarly communication that early advocates envisioned. There appears to remain a disconnect between what IRs are designed to do and what users would like to do with them. The question, then, is what users would like from an IR, and this study uses personas to help answer it.

The Use of Personas as Part of the Design Process

Before designing a product or system, most institutions now routinely collect information about the needs and goals of the target users (i.e., the individuals being designed for) [12]. The proliferation of user-centered design (UCD), an approach to design that attempts to center design activities on the needs of the users rather than design aesthetics [13], has facilitated the understanding that users should be a vital part of design processes. However, even though organizations are aware of the expectations of the target users, many designs still fail to meet the users' needs [14] and the usability of today's websites and systems in many cases is still extremely poor [15].

At the root of the problems with existing UCD approaches is that this information about the needs of the target users is often not effectively communicated to designers [16]. Numerous methods have been developed in the HCI field (e.g., scenarios, user profiles, user roles, user tasks) to facilitate the communication of user needs in an actionable manner. However, these methods each share a common shortcoming – they fail to make the users seem like real people in the eyes of the individuals making design decisions. When target users and their needs are abstract and not life-like, designers and other decision makers are more likely to use their own assumptions about the users to drive the design process. In effect, the design process is not truly user-centered.

To provide a more vivid representation of the target users, Alan Cooper proposed the use of personas in his influential book, The Inmates are Running the Asylum [17]. The book was published in 1998, and personas have since gained popularity with design practitioners [18]. Personas are defined as "fictitious, specific, concrete representations of target users" [19]. A persona represents a group of target users that share some common characteristics, needs, and goals. Even though a persona represents a group of real users, it is written about a single, fictitious person. This fictitious person (the persona) is first given a face and a name. Then, the persona is described through a lengthy and detailed narrative that addresses specific details such as the persona's family, friends, possessions, work experience, personal goals, and so forth. These details make the persona seem like a real person in the minds of designers [20]. The narrative also addresses the goals, needs, and frustrations of the persona that are relevant to the product or system being designed.

Even though personas are fictitious, they are created directly from user research data [21]. In fact, the most effective personas are tied directly to user research findings [22]. The only aspects of a persona that are usually made up are the name, face, and personal details that make the persona seem like a real person. Various data sources can be used as a basis for personas (e.g., focus group reports, sales data, and web server logs). However, in the development of the persona, interviews with and/or observations of users are essential, because they uncover the attitudes and behaviors of individuals that might not be evident in other data [23].

An essential benefit of personas is that they build empathy for the target users. Through the detailed narrative, personas help to overcome our natural tendency to be self-centered on our own needs and preferences [24]. Donald Norman, a leading usability expert, explains that in the context of personas, empathy means an "understanding of and identification with the user population, the better to ensure that they will be able to take advantage of the product, to use it readily and easily – not with frustration but with pleasure" [25]. Empathy for the personas allows the design team to stop talking about the general "user" when making product design decisions. Instead, personas allow the individuals to ask, "does this interface allow Pat to accomplish his goals?" and "would this feature frustrate or help Pat?" This profound shift from talking about general users to the understanding of and identification with the needs and goals of the personas allows the designers to more effectively address user needs.


Conduct the Interviews

To identify the needs of future IR users, interviews were first conducted with 20 graduate students and faculty members. The interviewees were selected from a wide-range of disciplines (from Classics to Chemistry) and from a wide variety of positions within the university (from master's students to full professors) to best represent the broad needs of the wider university community. The interviewees were recruited via an e-mail message and were offered a $15 gift certificate for participating. The interviews typically lasted 30 to 45 minutes, and were recorded using a digital audio recorder. The audio recordings were then transcribed by a professional service yielding 212 pages of transcripts.

During the interviews, each individual was asked the same set of questions. Prior to conducting the interviews, a protocol was created and questions were included that addressed the areas that the IR's decision makers were looking for further user research into:

  1. To discover how individuals currently find and share information (e.g., "can you briefly describe the steps that you went through the last time that you searched for a research resource?").
  2. To capture opinions concerning the library's website and current online resources (e.g., "can you describe your last two uses of the library's online resources?").
  3. To identify how individuals would utilize the IR once it was available (e.g., "do you envision yourself sharing information with your students or colleagues through the institutional repository once it is available to you?").

Identify the Personas

After the interviews were transcribed, 16 of the transcripts were analyzed to identify the personas. Typically, interview transcripts are analyzed through a "manual" approach. An HCI practitioner (or a team of practitioners) reads each of the transcripts, and identifies the significant observations (or "findings") in each of the interviews. Once the observations are identified, similar observations are grouped into "patterns" [26]. When similar patterns are shared by multiple interviewees, these interviewees become the basis for a persona [27].

However, during this project we used a novel methodology proposed by Miaskiewicz et al. to identify the personas for the CU Scholarship IR [28]. The methodology uses a text analysis technique called Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) to identify personas in a manner that addresses the drawbacks of the manual approaches. Specifically, this LSA methodology allows for the identification of personas in a more objective, quicker, and less resource intensive manner than the manual approaches typically employed by practitioners [29]. By using LSA to analyze the textual data, our personas were identified without reading the 212 pages of interview transcripts. Readers interested in the specifics of LSA and how the LSA methodology was used to identify our personas are encouraged to read the article by Miaskiewicz et al. [30].

Write the Persona Narratives

Through the use of the LSA methodology, four personas were identified for the design of the CU Scholarship IR. The LSA methodology also provides rationale for why specific interviewees were grouped into a persona. For each of our personas, the questions for which the interviewees provided the most similar answers were identified through the use of LSA methodology. These similarities became the focus of the resulting persona narrative.

After giving the persona a name and face, we first summarized the four to six answers that were most similar among the interviewees that were grouped into a persona. For example, one of the key similarities of the interviewees that compose the Rahul Singh persona (provided in Figure 2) is the desire to use the IR to connect with the broader university community. Therefore, within Rahul's narrative, we summarize this specific user need by stating, "Rahul is primarily looking to the IR to help him connect with other graduate students and faculty at CU. He is looking to become engaged in the broader CU community, and currently no online outlets exist that would allow him to do this."

Once the similarities were summarized, each of the personas needed to be "brought to life." For each of the personas, we wrote the part of the persona narrative (within the first paragraph) that introduces who the persona is. For example, the Anne Chao persona (provided in Figure 3) is described as, "Anne Chao is a well-known researcher in the education field, and has been an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Colorado for the past 11 years. She is married to her husband Ray, and has two children, Charlie and Julie." These specific, fictitious details made the personas vivid and life-like in the eyes of the IR's decision makers.


Latent semantic analysis of the interview transcripts in this study revealed four distinct clusters that informed the persona narratives. The personas are used to assist architects and policy-makers in the construction of both the system, and the policies and processes for populating it. The four personas are each summarized below and links to the full persona descriptions are provided.

Persona #1: Professor Charles Williams
Professor Williams represents two faculty respondents in the study. He is concerned about technical difficulties related to using and contributing to an IR, but is also keen on using it to share teaching and learning materials.
Persona #2: Rahul Singh
Rahul represents five student and three faculty respondents in the study. His vision of an IR is very different than conventional visions. He sees the IR as an opportunity to identify collaborators, promote his lab's research, and as a flexible user-generated design space.
Persona #3: Professor Anne Chao
Professor Chao represents four faculty respondents. She is very active in her field and both uses and contributes to a variety of information systems, including her own website, blog, wikis, and more traditional venues.
Persona #4: Julia Fisher
Julia represents two student respondents. She is less socialized in the norms of her discipline and scholarly communication generally, and sees the IR as an opportunity to share not only published research, but teaching and learning materials, and even works in-progress and raw data.


Perhaps most encouraging for IR stakeholders in the personas is that each does indeed express a willingness to deposit some of their research materials into the IR. Some of their hesitations, such as Charles Williams's concerns regarding technical difficulties, mirror the barriers found in previous studies, but at least one of the two graduate student personas, Julia Fisher, even demonstrates a fair amount of enthusiasm for the idea. That graduate students, the professoriate of the future, may have more interest in the concept than their senior colleagues, could indicate that IRs do in fact have the potential to change the disciplinary paradigms and loyalties that have so far prevented the revolution in scholarly communication, if through generations. It is also interesting to note that the concerns faculty and graduate students perceive before using an IR are not borne out by data collected from those who have used them [32]. The barriers could indeed be temporary.

But the most interesting commonality to all four personas was the need to access not research, but teaching and learning materials. It is this need for which there currently exists no fulfillment in their information seeking practices. An institution's scholarly output has had archival and access systems, via disciplinary communities, for centuries. But the vast majority of institutions have never archived or provided access to their most voluminous intellectual output: their teaching and learning materials. On any collegiate campus, on any given day, truly prodigious amounts of information are created and exchanged within its classrooms, in the lectures, handouts, syllabi, and slides of the instructors, and in the discussions, projects, papers, and assignments of its students. These materials are accessible only ephemerally and limitedly through course management systems, and efforts to share them are fractured and exist only at departmental levels at best. Providing a larger, preserved repository of these materials appears to be aligned with the needs and goals of potential IR users at UCB, a result that corroborates other findings [33].

In addition, the personas reveal other potential IR design facets and policies. Charles Williams, for instance, would probably benefit from an intermediary to the repository, a liaison that can assist in depositing and describing materials uploaded to the IR. This persona represents a cadre of senior faculty at many institutions upon whom the digitization of information brought about by the internet has had less effect than it has perhaps had on their more junior colleagues. For faculty members represented by the persona of Charles Williams, an IR is yet another information system that is divorced from the information seeking behaviors they have learned over several decades, and in which they are largely entrenched. Expecting, or even mandating, that they deposit specific materials without assistance is probably unreasonable, a mistaken assumption that would certainly limit the value they place on the IR, and could thereby exclude them from it: "[M]any technologies...are often designed and implemented on the basis of assumptions which can result in users being excluded" [34]. Conversely, providing such an intermediary has been shown to empower users and encourage active participation and interaction with the technology [35].

The other faculty persona, Anne Chao, is quite another story. Though she shares some of Professor Williams's concerns regarding the time required to deposit items in the IR, she is well versed in many technologies and displays more interest in using and contributing to an IR. An intermediary would benefit her as well, but would perhaps be less necessary than it appears to be for Charles Williams. She is primarily, and it seems almost exclusively, interested in the IR as a repository of teaching and learning materials, not research. But the persona of Professor Chao raises a very interesting design issue. She already uses websites and blogs to share research materials, and if an active and flexible IR were created with its emphasis on teaching materials, it is conceivable that she might redirect her efforts to archive and disseminate her research to the IR. Allowing her to easily extract her materials from the IR to populate her websites and blogs would save her time and effort, by enabling the IR and the library to curate and preserve her materials on her behalf. For instance, Weatherley and others demonstrated how providing a simple, yet flexible web service protocol for accessing the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) collections enabled educators and content contributors to use the library as a virtual archive for creating their own personal and organizational web sites. This sort of design where the IR underpins portions of faculty and departmental web pages could save the individuals responsible for maintaining these web sites significant time and effort, a promotional aspect that has not been followed up on by most IR architects [36].

And it is in this ramification that the persona of Rahul Singh is most poignantly understood and discussed. Though his persona is a graduate student, he represents both students and faculty. He is keenly aware that there already exists a multitude of mechanisms for delivering and sharing research materials, and that an IR would simply add yet another. He does feel, however, that these existing mechanisms do not provide certain capabilities that would be of great importance to him. He wants to use the IR as a means of promoting his group's research to campus colleagues, and also to identify potential collaborators. This conceptualization of an IR is perhaps the most divorced from what most designers envision, and provides a valuable opportunity for re-conceptualization of IRs and their contribution to their constituencies. An IR that allows users to create their own presences within the system, such as wikis, blogs, and social networking systems do, would be greatly attractive to Rahul. Policies and technical designs that allow a broad range of user-generated content to be overlaid on a rich metadata-driven database could provide Rahul a single system where he archives and disseminates his teaching and research materials. Advances in repository infrastructures are heading in this direction, providing the ability to put a wide variety of semantic overlays over distributed repository collections [37].

Finally, it is in the persona of Julia Fisher that some of the enthusiasm for an IR as a facilitator of a revolution in scholarly communication is echoed. Julia is in the early years of her graduate studies, and thus is less socialized and entrenched in the norms of her discipline. She is frustrated by the rigid, proprietary enclosures of research data constructed over the centuries, and would be greatly pleased to both share and access data through an IR. This sentiment of Julia's, coupled with the social needs of both Rahul and Anne, could help IR stakeholders conceive their designs as not only archives of teaching materials or even published research, but perhaps its underlying data and works in-progress. Enthusiasm for sharing data pre-publication, even pre-analysis, is demonstrated in another ARL report on "E-Science" [38], and parallels in many ways early enthusiasm for IRs themselves. In the personas of Julia and Rahul, we finally see the first reflection of architects' enthusiasm in users.


Whether or not the IR at UCB will be able to incorporate some of the design implications the personas have revealed remains to be seen. UCB is participating in a cooperative IR project that involves many types of libraries, and the variety of users involved in the design complicates the process, much as other similar projects have discovered [39]. The personas will help guide design and policy-making, and inform architects as to the needs and goals of IR users. If IR design more generally can move in the direction the UCB personas suggest, they may prove to be more attractive opportunities for faculty and graduate students to share their intellectual output. Providing more customized and user-centered design for them could work toward solving some of the dilemmas IR architects face and contribute to increased participation on behalf of faculty and graduate students.

Recent developments in the world of scholarly communications, including Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences decision to mandate deposit of published research authored by its faculty, the National Institutes of Health's mandate that research funded by its grants be deposited into the disciplinary repository of PubMed, the work of physicists to address the issues globally throughout their discipline via arXiv, and the rather quick succession of similar decisions by other colleges at Harvard and Stanford Universities, perhaps do indeed herald the change that early IR enthusiasts envisioned. IRs that provide broad opportunities to share a wide range of materials in a variety of ways, coupled with disciplinary repositories that provide open-access to research and data, could indeed lead to a paradigmatic shift in scholarly communications, university and college librarianship, and indeed, in how teaching, learning, and research is conducted. The early efforts of IR architects may not have led to immediate change, but there is every reason to believe they ultimately will, and the UCB personas can contribute to our understanding of the differences in user needs and standard IR design goals. To change the norms and practices a community has developed over centuries is difficult, but developing a keen understanding of users' actual needs and desires can help us to design systems that meet users where they are at, and support the emerging information practices of today's scholars and learners.

Appendix: Four Personas to Represent Potential IR Users

Figure 1: Professor Charles Williams Persona

Portrait of Professor Charles Williams

Professor Charles Williams

Professor of History

Age: 61
Research: English history in the Anglo-Saxon era
Teaching: Usually one class per year
Service: Faculty search committees, advising doctoral students, and faculty evaluation committees

Meet Professor Charles Williams

Charles is a professor at the Department of History, and has been a faculty member at the University of Colorado for 34 years. He is still actively involved in his research on English history in the Anglo-Saxon era, but after many years of hard work, he is also trying to spend more time away from the university. Charles is an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time at his cabin near Carbondale, Colorado. He finds the cabin a peaceful retreat that helps him concentrate on finishing his latest book on Alfred the Great. He also spends his free time with his wife, Megan, and their two daughters - Monica and Ashley - who live in Boulder area and visit often on the weekends to help out around the house and with their garden.

Professor Williams has never been able to catch up with the breadth of resources that are available to him on the internet today. However, he does not feel like he is missing out on much. For his research, the library offers him the books that he needs and he knows how to look up their availability using the Chinook catalog search (he has a direct link saved on his computer in his office). Research in his field is primarily shared through books, so he never has to worry about looking for journal articles in any of the electronic databases.

Professor Williams is the only person at CU that specializes in his area of research (and one of a few in the world), so he never collaborates on his research with other individuals at CU. However, he occasionally does discuss the content of his courses with interested departmental faculty, and due to his faculty evaluation engagements he does often review the syllabi and teaching materials of the faculty he is evaluating.

What does Charles want from the CU Scholarship IR?

Charles would not mind sharing some of his teaching resources (e.g., class handouts, syllabi) with other faculty through the IR, but he is afraid that it would be too hard for him to learn how to do this. Also, when evaluating the teaching of other faculty members, the IR would help Charles if the teaching resources of these faculty members were available through the repository.

Figure 2: Rahul Singh Persona

Portrait of Rahul Singh

Rahul Singh

Doctoral Student in Biology

Age: 28
Research: Early pathways of RNA evolution
Teaching: TAs one introductory biology class every year
Service: Involved in the Indian Students Association

Meet Rahul Singh

Rahul Singh is a sixth year biology doctoral student at the University of Colorado. He is part of a large, 12-person research group studying RNA evolution, and he is hoping to finally finish his dissertation on the early pathways of RNA next year. Rahul is originally from Delhi, India. He lives in CU's student family housing with his wife, Rani, who is also a biology doctoral student. They both enjoy cooking traditional Indian food in their home whenever they have time. Rahul is also actively involved with the Indian Students Association at the CU, and actively attends social gatherings organized by the association.

Rahul already feels like he has too many resources for finding relevant research including online databases, pre-print servers, Google, and personal contacts throughout the biology community. On occasion he also uses Chinook to find a specific journal article. His biggest frustration is when he uses Chinook and finds out that he does not have access to an article (and often has to end up spending his own money to get access). Rahul's research output is tied directly to his research group, and a variety of outlets such as journals, pre-print servers, archives, and conferences are used to share the group's completed research and works-in-progress.

Rahul usually spends about 60 to 70 hours a week at the research lab, and he is also a TA for the General Biology 1 course. He finds his TA duties very straightforward, and usually can just reuse the handouts and resources created by past graduate students. However, due to spending so much time in the lab, Rahul often feels isolated from other graduate students and faculty from around the campus (and even in his own department). He feels that CU lacks an outlet where the community's ideas and interests can be actively shared.

What does Rahul want from the CU Scholarship IR?

Rahul is primarily looking to the IR to help him connect with other graduate students and faculty at CU. He is looking to become engaged in the broader CU community, and currently no online outlets exist that would allow him to do this. He wants to be able to search the IR using general topics areas (that span across departments) that he is interested in and hopefully find graduate student and faculty with the same general interests. He would also share various resources (e.g., class handouts, short opinion papers) that he has created that he thinks that other graduate students might find helpful.

Rahul would also like to promote his research group through the IR. The group's web site is always out-of-date because no one is skilled enough to update it on a regular basis. A page that allows him to describe the group's focus and the individual researchers would be very helpful. He would also be willing to share the group's research that is published in other outlets with open access through IR. But a feature that allows him to share specific resources only with individuals and research groups, would enable him to use the IR more frequently as a collaboration tool.

Figure 3: Professor Anne Chao Persona

Portrait of Anne Chao

Professor Anne Chao

Associate Professor of Education

Age: 44
Research: Teaching strategies for autistic children
Teaching: Two courses per year (both undergraduate and graduate)
Service: Advisor of 3 Ph.D. students, research evaluation committee, faculty search committees, and an editor of a journal

Meet Anne Chao

Anne Chao is a well-known researcher in the education field, and has been an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Colorado for the past 11 years. She leads a six-person research group at CU that is funded by both the federal and state governments, and is the editor of the American Educational Research Journal. She is married, and her husband's name is Ray, and they have two children, Charlie and Julie. She is also actively volunteering at a variety of Denver's inner city after school programs for children with autism. When time permits in her busy schedule, she loves to travel and to collect rare pottery from around the world (especially from Asia).

Due to her active involvement in the research community, Anne is connected with researchers from around the world with similar interests who actively share research with her. She uses CU's library website fairly frequently (typically 3 times a week) to access specific databases (e.g., ERIC) and journals. She is generally happy with what the CU library offers, but she wishes that the library offered specific features such as a citation tracking system, and tables of contents for books and journals. However, the CU library serves as just one of many online resources that she actively uses. For example, Anne actively updates the course content of the classes she teaches, and uses the ERIC database to search for new articles, Google to find articles from the popular press, and often contacts colleagues who teach similar courses at other universities for ideas and resources.

Anne actively shares the group's research (including works-in-progress) through journals, and also "less traditional" mediums such as the research group's website, her personal web site and blog, and conference talks. She is well versed in technology, and uses it as a way to disseminate her research.

What does Anne want from the CU Scholarship IR?

Anne currently does not have an outlet for sharing her teaching resources. She is actively updating her course materials, and she would be happy to broadcast the vast amounts of teaching materials (e.g., lecture notes, syllabi, handouts) that she has created. As long as the process is quick and easy, she would also consider sharing research resources through the IR that she shares elsewhere (to showcase her research to the CU community).

Additionally, she is always looking for new course content to incorporate into her classes, and the IR could be another helpful resource. The IR might also help her find individuals at CU whose teaching strategies and interest overlap with her own.

Figure 4: Julia Fisher Persona

Portrait of Julia Fisher

Julia Fisher

Doctoral Student in Psychology

Age: 21
Research: Effect of social relationship on prejudice
Teaching: None
Service: None

Meet Julia Fisher

Julia recently started her second year of her doctoral studies in psychology at the University of Colorado. A year ago, she moved to Boulder from Pittsburgh where she attended Carnegie Mellon University as an undergraduate student and also majored in psychology. She lives off campus and shares an apartment with her two friends (and also psychology graduate students) Maria and Kevin. They frequently organize social gatherings for all of the doctoral students such as picnics, happy hours, and evenings in Denver. In her limited free time, she also loves going to the movies (especially for foreign films) and is currently training for her first half marathon.

Julia is working with Dr. Dianne Lynch, a psychology professor, on research on the effect of social relationships on prejudice. Julia recently received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for her research, which has allowed her not to take on any TA or RA duties. She is still taking courses in statistics and cognitive psychology, but spends the vast majority of her time working on her research.

Julia has always found all the resources that she needs online. She is an avid and experienced Google and Google Scholar user and finds that they are usually the best resource for any research and course-related work. She visits the CU library's website only to see if the library has access to a specific journal after finding out that she cannot get the article through Google or Google Scholar. Nothing frustrates her more than when she cannot get access to an electronic version of an article that she urgently needs for her research. She is also frustrated that more researchers are not willing to share their research data.

What does Julia want from the CU Scholarship IR?

Before enrolling in a course, Julia would love to be able to view old course materials because she is very annoyed by professors who cannot effectively teach, and courses that do not cover content that is outlined in the course description. Julia would also like to review the course materials from courses that might be interesting, but she simply does not have time to take (especially statistics courses in other departments). If research data were also available through the IR, Julia would be thrilled.

Because she recently started graduate school, she does not have much to share through the IR, but she would consider sharing short papers and presentations that she did as part of her course work. Once she has a paper published, she would be happy to share it openly through the IR.

Notes and References

[1] Miaskiewicz, T., Sumner, T., and Kozar, K.A. (2008). A Latent Semantic Analysis methodology for the identification and creation of personas, Proceedings of CHI 2008, ACM Press, 1501-1510.

[2] For example, an analysis of the participation rates of over 30,000 depositors, reported in Thomas, C., and McDonald, R. H. (2007). Measuring and comparing participation patterns in digital repositories, D-Lib Magazine, 13(9/10) <doi:10.1045/september2007-mcdonald>, found participation to be "widespread but shallow;" and a case study reported in Davis, P. M., and Connolly, M. J. (2007). Institutional repositories: evaluating the reasons for non-use of Cornell University's installation of DSpace, D-Lib Magazine, 13(3/4) <doi:10.1045/10.1045/march2007-davis>, described the repository of a prominent university to be "largely underpopulated and underused by its faculty."

[3] Khoo, M. (2005). Tacit user and developer frames in user-led collection development: the case of the digital water education library, Proceedings of JCDL, ACM Press, 213-222.

[4] Lynch, C. A. (2003). Institutional repositories: essential infrastructure for scholarship in the digital age, ARL Bimonthly Report, vol. 226, 2003. Available at <>.

[5] Crow, R. (2002). The case for institutional repositories: A SPARC position paper, ARL Bimonthly Report, vol. 223, 2002. Available at <>.

[6] Lynch, C.A. and Lippincott, J.K. (2005). Institutional repository deployment in the United States as of early 2005," D-Lib Magazine, 11(9). Available at <doi:10.1045/september2005-lynch>.

[7] McDowell, C. A. (2005). Evaluating institutional repository deployment in American academe since early 2005: repositories by the numbers, part 2, D-Lib Magazine, 13(9/10). Available at <doi:10.1045/september2007-mcdowell>.

[8] Xu, H. (2007). The current situation of faculty participation in institutional repositories – a study of 40 DSpace implementations supporting IRs. Proceedings of the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Information Science & Technology, Joining Research and Practice: Social Computing and Information Science, Volume 44 (October 19-24, 2007).

[9] See, for example: Greig, M. E. A. (2007). Repositories and copyright: major hurdle or minor obstacle?, ALISS Quarterly, 3(1), 16-19; Swan, A. and Brown, S. (2005). Open access self-archiving: an author study, Technical report, unspecified, external collaborators, JISC, HEFCE. Available at: <>; Watson, S. E. A. (2007). Authors' attitudes to, and awareness and use of, a university institutional repository, Serials, 20(3), 225-230.

[10] Davis, P. M., and Connolly, M. J. L. (2007). Institutional repositories: evaluating the reasons for non-use of Cornell University's installation of DSpace. D-Lib Magazine, 13(3), <doi:10.1045/10.1045/march2007-davis>.

[11] Ferreira, M. E. A., Rodrigues, E. E. A., Baptista,A. A., and Saraiva, R. E. A. (2008). Carrots and sticks: some ideas on how to create a successful institutional repository, D-Lib Magazine, 14(1/2), <doi:10.1045/january2008-ferreira>; Mercer, H. E. A., Rosenblum, B., & Emmett, A. (2007). A multifaceted approach to promote a university repository: the University of Kansas' experience, OCLC Systems & Services, 23(2), 190-203; Thomas, C., and McDonald, R. H. (2007). Measuring and comparing participation patterns in digital repositories, D-Lib Magazine, 13(9/10), <doi:10.1045/september2007-mcdonald>; Xia, J. (2007). Assessment of self-archiving in institutional repositories: across disciplines, Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(6), 647-654.

[12] Pruitt, J. and Adlin, T. (2006). The persona lifecycle: keeping people in mind throughout product design. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco.

[13] Norman, D.A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. Basic Books, New York.

[14] Bailetti, J.A. and Litva, P.F (1995). Integrating customer requirements into product designs, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 12 (1), 1995, pp. 3-15; Pruitt, J., and Adlin, T. (2006) The persona lifecycle: keeping people in mind throughout product design. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco.

[15] Nielsen, J. and Norman, D. (2000). Usability on the web isn't a luxury, Information Week, January 2000. Available at: <>; Temkin, B and Hult, P. (2005). Usability flaws of financial service web sites, Forrester Research, July 2005. Available at: <,7211,37302,00.html>.

[16] Pruitt, J. and Adlin, T. (2006). The persona lifecycle: keeping people in mind throughout product design. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco.

[17] Cooper, A. (1999). The inmates are running the asylum. Morgan Kaufmann: Indianapolis.

[18] Eisenberg, B. (2005). Measuring personas for success, Clickz Solutions for Marketers, August 2005. Available at: <>; Sinha, P. (2003). Persona development for information-rich domains. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2003, pp. 830-831; Grudin, J. and Pruitt, J. (2002). Personas, participatory design and product development: an infrastructure for engagement. Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference, 2002, pp. 144-161.

[19] Pruitt, J and Adlin, T. (2006). The persona lifecycle: keeping people in mind throughout product design, Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco, p. 11.

[20] Ibid.; Cooper, A. (1999). The inmates are running the asylum.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Goodwin, K. (2002). Getting from research to personas: harnessing the power of data, Cooper Newsletters, November 2002. Available at: <>.

[23] Cooper, A. and Reimann,, R.M. (2003). About face 2.0, Wiley Publishing: Indianapolis.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Norman, D.A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. Basic Books: New York.

[26] Goodwin, K. (2002). Getting from research to personas: harnessing the power of data, Cooper Newsletters, November 2002. Available at: <>.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Miaskiewicz, T., Sumner, T., and Kozar, K.A. (2008). A Latent Semantic Analysis methodology for the identification and creation of personas, Proceedings of CHI 2008, ACM Press, 1501-1510.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Swan, A. and Brown, S. (2005). Open access self-archiving: an author study, Technical report, unspecified, external collaborators, JISC, HEFCE. Available at: <>.

[33] Bates. (2007). Attitudes to the rights and rewards for author contributions to repositories for teaching and learning. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 15(1), 67.

[34] Adams, A., Blandford, A., and Lunt, P. (2005) Social empowerment and exclusion: a case study on digital libraries. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 12(2), p. 198.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Weatherley, J. and Davis, L. (2006). How science web sites are using DLESE search web services to extend value to their users. Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, 381; Weatherley, J. (2005). A web service framework for embedding discovery services in distributed library interfaces. Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, 42-43.

[37] Krafft, D. B., Birkland, A., and Cramer, E. J. (2008). Ncore: architecture and implementation of a flexible, collaborative digital library. Proceedings of JCDL, 313-32; Lagoze, C., Krafft, D. B., Payette, S., and Jesuroga, S. (2005). What is a digital library anymore, anyway? D-Lib Magazine, 11(11). Available at: <doi:10.1045/november2005-lagoze>.

[38] ARL Joint Task Force for Library Support for E-Science (2007). Agenda for Developing E-Science in Research Libraries: Final Report and Recommendations to the Scholarly Communication Steering Committee, the Public Policies Affecting Research Libraries Steering Committee, and the Research, Teaching, and Learning Steering Committee. Available at: <>.

[39] Krevit, L.E.A. and Crays, L. (2007). Herding cats: designing DigitalCommons @ the Texas medical center, a multi-institutional repository. OCLC Systems & Services, 23(2), 116-124.

Copyright © 2008 Jack M. Maness, Tomasz Miaskiewicz, and Tamara Sumner

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