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Organizational Usability of Digital Libraries: Case Study of Legal Research in Civil and Criminal Courts by Margaret Elliot and Rod King, Article Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 608

Article Review

Introduction

Article summary

Organizational Usability of Digital Libraries: Case Study of Legal Research in Civil and Criminal Courts is an investigation into how organizational usability of LRDL systems can be characterized and how they vary across organizations. Also, an evaluation into how institutional and cultural influences affect adoption and usage patterns of LRDLs was done as well as how the organization’s environment affects this process. Finally, an exploration into conditions impeding implementation of LRDLs was undertaken (Elliot & King, 1997).

The researchers applied institutional theories in explaining their findings after admitting that knowledge pertaining to the requirements for configuring an appropriate online CD-ROM LRDL’s could be very useful. Importantly, LRDLs are modern document storage devices. Hence, a research into its applicability across organizations was vital in an advanced information technology age (Elliot & King, 1997).

 

Discussion

 Design and Methodology

This research design encompassed an ethnographic study of LRDLs within California, Los Angeles civil courts jurisdiction. A qualitative approach was established in explaining findings. As such, very little statistical interpretations were applied when compared to a quantitative study design (Elliot & King, 1997).

The sampling was done using a purposive non- probability technique, which limited results to the sample selected as well as the geographic location used for this case study. They consisted of a Municipal court, a superior court and a law firm within the California location. This sample was validated as being most appropriate because of the high LRDL technology they contained, which was necessary for best evaluation of the system. Researchers collected data by conducting field work in the selected courts’ libraries for 11 months. During the last 5 months observation embodying 10-20 hours weekly was undertaken. Interviews were also used as a data collection strategy (Elliot & King, 1997).

Court documents were perused. Structured interviews were conducted with a sample of attorneys, judges and court reporters. Combing these elements the first researcher volunteered as an attorney participant observer of the process at one of the courts. This extensive use of different data collection strategies could be beneficial to this study because the variety of tools means that a diversity of data could be collected from the study. Therefore, internal validity could be established.

However, when examining the interviewing technique applied, internal validity of the instrument could be questioned. There was no pretesting in establishing reliability. How accurate were items on the interviewing schedule in relation to the answering research questions? Further, the researchers explained that they interviewed 46 professions; 22 PD’s; 3 PD administrators; 3 DA’s; 7 Judges; 4 court reporters; I criminal defense attorney; I paralegal; 3 civil attorneys and two information system specialists (Elliot & King, 1997).

Categories applied from Markus and Robey’s organizational validity concept were used to analyze data collected both from interviews and observation. Theoretical applications also rendered validity during these qualitative interpretations. They include dimensions of organizational usability and institutional theory (Elliot & King, 1997).

 Conclusion

Results and Conclusions

These researchers interpreted their results through applying the concepts and theoretical perspectives mentioned in the data analysis portion of this article review. They discovered a great environmental influence on organizational usability of LRDLs. Organizational usability of LRDLs was characterized by utilizing a three dimensions framework namely, individual, organization and environment (Elliot & King, 1997).

Further, the researchers identified that access points within an organization influence adaptions to LRDLs. There is a strong relationship between computer literacy at the individual level at home and work adaptability. Ultimately, while training is necessary in usability of LRDL many of programs are not effective (Elliot & King, 1997).

References

Elliot, M., & King, R. (1997). Organizational Usability of Digital Libraries: Case Study Of Legal Research in Civil and Criminal Courts. Journal of American Society for Information Science. 48(11); 1023–1035

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