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The Work Process of Research Librarians: Implementation of the Abstraction-Decomposition Space

by Simons, Kevin J.

Abstract (Summary)
Cognitive work analysis (CWA) is a method of understanding and documenting the constraints inherent in a work domain, irrespective of the actions undertaken within the work domain and the actors who undertake them. CWA has been applied successfully in a variety of settings to create tools that make the underlying goals and constraints of the system more apparent, and allow a worker the flexibility to perform his or her job in a manner appropriate to the current conditions, without being restricted to a particular task flow. Additionally, CWA has been the subject of numerous publications. However, detailed descriptions of the steps involved in a CWA have not been published. This dissertation documents a process of creating an abstraction-decomposition space (ADS), the cornerstone of CWA, based on semi-structured protocol analysis with six university librarians. An analysis of the optimal number of participants for such research is also presented. Finally, insight into the work domain of research librarians, based on the resultant ADS, is discussed.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cognitive work analysis cwa abstraction decomposition space ads decision ladder domain wda task information research librarian library science protocol

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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