- Volume 22
The purpose of this study is to analyze the search pattern and search outcome of the National Central Library OPAC users by measuring their success rates and identifying the factors of failure and the personal background which bring about the differences of the search outcome. Various methods have been used for the study. Personal interview was used to find the pattern of the search, observation method was used to investigate the search process and the failure factors, and a questionnaire was used to survey personal background of searchers. The data were collected during the period of 7 days from April 17, 1995 through April 23, 1995. The search of 1, 217 cases, sampling systematically 25% out of the whole users, were collected and analyzed for the study. The findings of the study can be summarized as follows : First, in regard to the pattern, known-item search(72.6%) was preferred to the subject search(27.4%) and in case of known-item search the access point used were in the order of title, author, title and author. Second, the overall success rate of known-item search was 50.3% and the success rates were in order of author and date, title, and author. The failure factors of known-item search were divided into users factor of 67% and the database factor of 33%, respectively. Third, in case of subject search, its overall success rate was 44.1% and the keyword was the major access point, and the average of precision ratio was very low. Fourth, the analysis of the personal background related to the search outcome has shown significant differences by sex, the experience of using OPAC, education level, and the frequency of using other information retrieval systems. Based on the results the following suggestions can be made to improve the search outcome : First, the system should be su n.0, pplemented online help function to assist users to overcome the failure during search. Second, user instruction in group or individual should be implemented for the users to understand the system.