Hodgepodge or Showcase? An IR Assessment Strategy
Since the IR may serve the institution as a digital library, it should accurately reflect the institution’s scholarship and activities. But how can we determine whether this is the case? This study proposes selecting several microcosms, creating a controlled vocabulary of terms and phrases, searching the vocabulary at the institution-level and in the IR, and comparing the percentage of hits in each.
Assessing IRs from the perspective of its content is not a frame of reference generally used. This study compared three microcosms in the IR with the same microcosms in the institution at large--LGBTQ, Indigenous People, and Latinx. What percentage of similarity be considered a close enough correlation? While this is a review of one IR at a doctoral-granting land grant institution, a discussion of the methodology and results could lead to cross-IR analyses.
This presentation describes developing the vocabularies, search strategies using the advantages and short-comings of Google and Solr, and what the data revealed about VTechWorks, the IR at Virginia Tech. Studying these microcosms within the IR also revealed the use or non-use of terms and phrases by certain author communities, e.g., graduate students through their ETDs and faculty through their published articles.