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User testing results 1: user profiles

We are about to learn the results of the user tests of the novel and original repository deposit tools developed in the DepositMO project.

To understand the context of the test results we need to know something about the users who performed the tests. All users, apart from two, are based at the University of Southampton, the home of the DepositMO project. We are grateful to them all for their participation, and will acknowledge them individually at the conclusion of these results.

The test instruction document included two questionnaire sections:

  1. Before any deposit actions, to find out the prior experience of testers in using repositories.
  2. After deposit tests, to discover their reactions to the tools used in the test.

This post summarises the findings from part 1.

  1. Have you deposited content in an institutional repository? Yes 9 No 4
  2. In which repository do you deposit most? EdShare (3 users), EPrints (3), Blackboard (2), MediaBin (1), none (4)
  3. Do you deposit content regularly? Approximately how many items have you deposited in this repository? Over how long a period have you been depositing? See Table 1
  4. What type of data have you deposited? Presentation slides (4 users), research papers (PDF) (3), images (3), video (3), docs (2), theses (2), audio (1), research data (1), spreadsheets (1), handouts (1), reports (1), essays (2), computer project (1), database (1).

Table 1. Brief history of repository deposits by our test users

Regular deposit Number of deposits Time period
No 70 2 years
No 30(ish) 2 years
No Bursts 1-4 years
No 2 Ad hoc
? 100s (images) 3 months
? 4 10 months
? 15 1 year

This presents a picture of a mix of experienced and new repository users, a reasonable profile for this test since the tools are aimed at both types of users. Among the experienced users, none claim to deposit on a regular basis, but some show many deposits of a wide range of data types over an extended period. In this presentation we will not be seeking to stratify the results between users and non-users.

In the next post we start to learn how these users got on with the tasks set for them in this test of new deposit tools.

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