David M. Nichols

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Twidale Open source communities have successfully developed a great deal of software although most computer users only use proprietary applications. The usability of open source software is often regarded as one reason for this limited distribution. In this paper we review the existing evidence of the usability of open source software and discuss how the(More)
Social filtering systems that use explicit ratings require a large number of ratings to remain viable. The effort involved for a user to rate a document may outweigh any benefit received, leading to a shortage of ratings. One approach to this problem is to use implicit ratings: where user actions are recorded and a rating is inferred from the recorded data.(More)
In this paper we explore how open source projects address issues of usability. We describe the mechanisms, techniques and technology used by open source communities to design and refine the interfaces to their programs. In particular we consider how these developers cope with their distributed community, lack of domain expertise, limited resources and(More)
– Interfaces to databases have traditionally been designed as single-user systems that hide other users and their activity. This paper aims to show that collaboration is an important aspect of searching online information stores that requires explicit computerised support. The claim is made that a truly user-centred system must acknowledge and support(More)
The term browsing is frequently applied to information searching activities although it is has been defined in many different ways4. In this paper we highlight the social and collaborative aspects of browsing and discuss how they may be assisted by explicit computerised support. Specifically, we describe the Ariadne system – an interface which visualises(More)
This paper describes Koru, a new search interface that offers effective domain-independent knowledge-based information retrieval. Koru exhibits an understanding of the topics of both queries and documents. This allows it to (a) expand queries automatically and (b) help guide the user as they evolve their queries interactively. Its understanding is mined(More)
The paper describes ethnomethodologically informed ethnography (EM) as a methodology for information science research, illustrating the approach with the results of a study in a university library. We elucidate major differences between the practical orientation of EM and theoretical orientation of other ethnographic approaches in information science(More)
We describe the use of ethnomethodologically-informed ethnography as a means of informing the requirements elicitation, design, development and evaluation of digital libraries. We present the case for the contribution of such studies to the development of digital library technology to support the practices of information-searching. This is illustrated by a(More)