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Tefko Saracevic1 Presentation of search results Guidelines for deliverables

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1 Tefko Saracevic1 Presentation of search results Guidelines for deliverables

2 Central ideas A search is not finished with the search Effectiveness of results is enhanced with proper presentation Added value Tefko Saracevic2

3 3 Goals Create reports that delight enlighten assure guide to next In a format that is easy to interpret & use maximize utilization for decision-making minimize information overload But don’t go overboard

4 Tefko Saracevic4 Why? To enhance potential use of information comprehension assimilation recall user satisfaction To save time for user To boost your professional position and success

5 Tefko Saracevic5 Basic considerations Presentation is governed by user characteristics user task request expected use economics (time & money) Form follows function there is no one-size-fits-all deliverables are mostly customized but standardized templates, forms, packages may be used for given occassion

6 Tefko Saracevic6 Clues for customizing Information about a desired deliverable are gathered from user – interview, request  user model analysis or description about how user is using information Experience own, from previous encounters suggestions from literature & studies  considerable body of knowledge on the topic of presentation in a number of fields, e.g. visualization, effective communication, writing skills for writing get Strunk & White Elements of Style

7 Tefko Saracevic7 Restrictions Economics time & money available Resources available Technical capabilities Institutional policies User requirements, tolerances, knowledge … Knowledge and skill in packaging and presenting information:

8 Tefko Saracevic8 Worst scenario Delivering print-outs of results or pages no arrangement no editing, sorting … no explanation equals dumping Everything else is added value it could be minimum, or it could increase with added processing

9 Tefko Saracevic9 Enlighten: Synthesis of results Varies in analysis and detail Minimum: Executive summaryExecutive summary salient steps & findings succinct - often bulleted Higher level: Overview summation of pertinent information found extracting nuggets of gold including recommendations Highest: Report or brief written narrative, trends analysis, compilation of findings  e.g. market reports articles found serve as references

10 Tefko Saracevic10 Overall: Content guidelines In executive summary restate the search query review sources consulted explain search strategy reiterate key findings summarize recommendations These could be elaborated in report Include full & organized search results each section preceded by a synthesis Include recommendations (if applicable) about sources guidelines for user to proceed

11 Tefko Saracevic11 Delight: Packaging guidelines Users should want to read your report make an attractive title page make it readable  wide margins, larger font, serif typeface use section headings liberally use visual elements where information lends itself  graphs, tables, charts  simplify complex not complicate simple make it easily handable  don’t mess with paper clips & rubber bands

12 Tefko Saracevic12 Delight … (cont.) Length  depends heavily on user  short summary backed by longer original documents Source documents  well organized  could be converted from different types, formats into a standard one Could make & use a standard  template, if repeatedly delivering  stylized headings (e.g. from Word) Could also provide a digitized version/section  to use hyperlinks, & for cut & paste

13 Tefko Saracevic13 Organize: Search results guidelines What to include depends on sources, request, user requirements, domain  e.g. bibl. citations, abstracts, selected full texts, tables, graphs, tables of content  web sources, screen shots of web pages Organize by topic(s), each preceded by a short summary possibly also by assessment  relevance  potential value, timeliness  authority, comprehensiveness  readability, clarity

14 Tefko Saracevic14 Assessments – if used Relevance to topic provide your own judgment and appropriateness and explain your criteria Value to task explain your consideration Authority if not obvious, explain authority or lack about items Qualify You are NOT doctor, lawyer, chemist, historian … but you know about information sources  “It would appear…”  “Judging from…”  “In this researcher (study) opinion…”

15 Tefko Saracevic15 Assure guidelines Users need to be assured that they received best information (for the time & money available) In the report describe in appropriate places sources & methodology used parameters of search  inclusions, exclusions definitions of terms, if necessary citing specific sources in summary & referring to articles if assessed, criteria and procedures

16 Tefko Saracevic16 Recommendations Include ( details depend on user & request) where can the user get further information on his/her own if citations only, where & how can full articles be obtained what institutions may be most relevant or helpful to consult where and how can the user get training in searching e.g. the internet who are possible contacts – addresses, s … how much would cost if proceeding on commercial sources or professional searchers

17 Tefko Saracevic17 Common user criteria My question was understood and addressed I do not have to comb through 50 pages to get the answer I can easily follow what was presented Now I know more for decisions I have to make, I am less uncertain Or: I can’t deal with this – it is a mess

18 Tefko Saracevic18 At the end How information is delivered can make a or break a search or you & your library Guidelines for good practices exist (& should be followed) to: enlighten – synthesis organize - content & inclusion delight – presentation asses assure recommend

19 Tefko Saracevic19 Tips To render a free logo or button for your report go to: Formatting a research report matting.htm APA style guide Information visualization projects

20 I like this book: Tefko Saracevic20


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