CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Abstract

Walt Disney Company (Company) engineers and architects utilize engineering and technology standards in the design, development, and maintenance of its physical infrastructure worldwide. There was a need to improve the methods by which Company standards are organized and retrieved. While the leading commercial information brokers for engineering and technology standards provide standards search engines and online standards catalogs, these search services are poor in supporting standards seekers who have only a general understanding of their information needs because their searches only utilize a standard's document number, title, and keywords as metadata for searching.

In order to provide a tool for distributing and retrieving standards in an online environment that fulfilled the needs of Company engineers and architects, the Standards Directory, a digital library and information retrieval system, was developed with two main features in mind: categorization and search. First, the Standards Directory utilizes an engineering and technology taxonomy to provide grouping and classification of standards. Second, the Standards Directory supports various forms of search and improves the overall relevance of search results by, among other things, providing stem word full-text searching and browsing capabilities within disciplines. A study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the Standards Directory compared with leading commercial information brokers of engineering and technology standards. The study found that the Standards Directory provided a higher level of relevance of search results as established by end-user relevance judgments made by Company engineers and architects seeking information for their actual information needs. Standards-based engineering, architectural, and other high technology organizations may benefit from the implementation of a Standards Directory as it can increase employee productivity, improve product quality, enhance the accuracy of organizational decision-making, and foster organizational learning.

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