Analysis of Readers' Questions: A Case Study


Affiliations

  • Documentation Research and Training Centre, Bangalore, 3, India

Abstract

Mentions the need for the analysis of the subjects of questions put by the specialist readers to document finding systems. Gives data on the facet structures of the subjects of 323 questions in the fields of High-Speed Aerodynamics and Aeronautical Engineering. On the whole, such questions appear to be fairly well confined to the core subjects. The subjects could be patterned into 34 facet structures. About 73 per cent of the subjects were based on three similar facet structures with 3, 4, and 5 facets respectively. The maximum number of Levels of [P] in anyone facet structure was 3; while that of the Levels of [IMP] in anyone facet structure was 5. The maximum number of facets in anyone subject was 12 and the minimum 2, with an average of 5·4. The maximum number of kernel ideas in anyone subject was IS and the minimum 3, with an average of S. This appears to conform to the findings of psychology of the Span of Immediate Memory and the Span of Absolute Judgment. The average frequency of incidence of (P), (M), and (E) isolates was in the ratio of 4·2: 5·6: 1. The frequency of incidence of isolates from the second and later Rounds of [P] and [M] was quite small. The number of different (lPl) isolates incident in the subjects of the questions was 48; 20 such isolates accounted for a 90-per cent incidence of (1P1) isolates. The number of different (1MP) isolates incident in the subjects was 152. 20 such isolates accounted for a 62-per cent and 50 isolates for an 80-per cent incidence of (1MP) isolates. The number of different (IE) isolates incident in the subjects was 24. They were all common isolates. A principle is mentioned as an aid in differentiating whether an idea is to be deemed a manifestation of Matter (Property) or of Energy, when the idea is associa!ed with an "action". A total of 178 qualifiers occuring 266 times qualified 80 ideas in [1P1].A total of 274 qualifers occurring 577 times qualified 98 ideas in [1MP]. 22·5 per cent of the isolates in [1P1] and 88 per cent of the isolates in [1MP] did not have qualifiers. There were 76 Complex Subjects in the subjects of the questions. The influence Phase Relation had the highest incidence (68 %) among the Complex Subjects. Concludes mentioning a few subjects for further investigation.


Subject Discipline

Library Management

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