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Making Visualization Work for Institutional Repositories: Information Visualization as a means to browse electronic theses and dissertations

Authors:

Leila Belle Sterman ,

Montana State University Library, US
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Susan Borda

Montana State University, US
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Digital Technologies Development Librarian
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION An attractive repository with clear, well-structured and accessible content can be a powerful recruitment and publicity tool for administrators, fundraisers, and others trying to bolster support for repositories. Digitizing ETDs is a lengthy and often arduous process. Once that process is completed, it is often a victory that suffices. As a result, collections frequently receive no further treatment. We demonstrate the benefits of visualizing repository content. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT The goal of the project was to create an interactive visualization to make our newly digitized theses and dissertations more discoverable. By leveraging the institutional organization of College, Department and Year of Graduation, we visualized data to help users understand ETD content as a whole and find specific items more easily. BUILDING THE VISUALIZATION The process begins with data cleanup involving extracting and normalizing repository metadata, then the data is processed and the Data-Driven Documents (D3) JavaScript library is used to generate the actual visualization. Benefits of Visualizations to Users: The visualization allows for the sort of happenstance discovery of materials that are celebrated about shelf browsing and a way to compare the productivity of each college and department at our university. It also illustrates our institution’s changes in emphasis over time. NEXT STEPS Visualizations have vast potential for creating engaging user interfaces for digital library content. We would like to explore how people are using the visualization as we move forward with this process to visualize multiple collections.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2140
How to Cite: Sterman, L.B. & Borda, S., (2017). Making Visualization Work for Institutional Repositories: Information Visualization as a means to browse electronic theses and dissertations. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1), p.eP2140. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2140
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Published on 26 Apr 2017.
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