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A user centred perspective on structured data discovery

A user centred perspective on structured data discovery
A user centred perspective on structured data discovery
Structured data is becoming critical in every domain and its availability on the web is increasing rapidly. Despite its abundance and variety of applications, we know very little about how people find data, understand it, and put it to use.

This work aims to inform the design of data discovery tools and technologies from a user centred perspective, aiming to better understand how we can support people in finding and selecting data that is useful for their tasks. We approached this by advancing our understanding of user behaviour in structured-data discovery through a mixed-methods study looking at the work flow of data practitioners when searching for data.

From that we present a framework for structured data interaction describing data-centric tasks, search strategies, as well as an in-depth characterisation of selection criteria in data search. We identified textual summaries as a main element that supports the decision making process in information seeking activities for data.

Based on these results we conducted a mixed-methods study to identify attributes that people consider important when describing a dataset. This enabled us to better define criteria for textual summaries of datasets for human consumption. We designed a set of template questions to help guide the summary writing process and conducted an online study to validate the applicability of dataset summaries in a dataset selection scenario.

The findings of this work revealed unique interaction characteristics in information seeking for structured data. Our contributions can inform the design of data discovery tools, support the assessment of datasets and help make the exploration of structured data easier for a wide range of users.
University of Southampton
Koesten, Laura
79e66d1b-2d8f-43df-a39b-60bc7749fb22
Koesten, Laura
79e66d1b-2d8f-43df-a39b-60bc7749fb22
Simperl, Elena
40261ae4-c58c-48e4-b78b-5187b10e4f67

Koesten, Laura (2019) A user centred perspective on structured data discovery. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 222pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Structured data is becoming critical in every domain and its availability on the web is increasing rapidly. Despite its abundance and variety of applications, we know very little about how people find data, understand it, and put it to use.

This work aims to inform the design of data discovery tools and technologies from a user centred perspective, aiming to better understand how we can support people in finding and selecting data that is useful for their tasks. We approached this by advancing our understanding of user behaviour in structured-data discovery through a mixed-methods study looking at the work flow of data practitioners when searching for data.

From that we present a framework for structured data interaction describing data-centric tasks, search strategies, as well as an in-depth characterisation of selection criteria in data search. We identified textual summaries as a main element that supports the decision making process in information seeking activities for data.

Based on these results we conducted a mixed-methods study to identify attributes that people consider important when describing a dataset. This enabled us to better define criteria for textual summaries of datasets for human consumption. We designed a set of template questions to help guide the summary writing process and conducted an online study to validate the applicability of dataset summaries in a dataset selection scenario.

The findings of this work revealed unique interaction characteristics in information seeking for structured data. Our contributions can inform the design of data discovery tools, support the assessment of datasets and help make the exploration of structured data easier for a wide range of users.

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Published date: November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438583
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438583
PURE UUID: 21c548cc-4ff9-4858-960f-e6f427ca826c
ORCID for Elena Simperl: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1722-947X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Mar 2020 17:34
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:10

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Contributors

Author: Laura Koesten
Thesis advisor: Elena Simperl ORCID iD

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