Be a Guinea Pig

Hilah is a fan of SciPlore and for her research she wants to perform a user study (interviews) with some users of SciPlore MindMapping to understand how academics are using SciPlore MindMapping. The results will help us to understand how you are using the software and how we can improve it. Therefore, please, if you are an active academic user of Sciplore MindMapping, help us understanding how you work with SciPlore MindMapping. Participate in the 30minutes interviews and read on what Hilah has to tell you about the interviews:

Introductory Letter:

I am a seasoned academic librarian doing research in the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS).  And I need your help. I have chosen SciPlore as my research object because of its brilliant combination of functionalities for academics.  However, according to STS theory, it is not brilliant functionality that changes society; functionality cannot even really be brilliant on its own.  It is brilliant use of functionality that counts.

I think the people at SciPlore would agree.  Perhaps their secret is that they are not really concerned with creating software at all.  They are concerned with facilitating your brilliant uses for evolving functionalities.  That means that for me to understand SciPlore I need to understand how you are using it.  Data on downloads and clicks, luckily enough for us humans, is not enough.

Academic institutions allow researchers enormous freedom in managing their personal libraries. Okay, perhaps there is a little neglect mixed in with the freedom, but either way you have undoubtedly fostered a rich information ecology on your personal computer.  And you use SciPlore, which offers practical and logical functionality for managing and wrestling with ideas and texts in a digital environment.  Much of this meaningful work is hidden, black boxed, while you work independently at your personal computer. It would be a great privilege for me and I believe of benefit for SciPlore to be able to conduct telephone interviews with active SciPlore users.  Look under the proverbial hood so to speak.  Who knows, it may even help you clarify some things for yourself.

Hilah Geer


Details about the study

About me:

I am been a librarian since the early 90s.  I have worked at MIT, Harvard Business School, and a consulting firm in Berkeley, California among other places.  Most recently I have moved to Norway and am the head librarian at the Oslo School of Management.  I am exploring the field of Science & Technology Studies as a means of getting a better grasp on the role technology plays in my work.  I would very much appreciate your help!

About the interviews:

Who will be interviewed: Anyone who is working in an academic/research environment who uses SciPlore to any extent with any regularity is valuable to my research.  I will be interviewing as many of you as possible.

How will they be conducted: I personally will be conducting all of the interviews.  They will be done either on Skype or via telephone.  They will take 30 minutes.  I will be more than willing to go more in depth if the interviewee is interested.  Otherwise, I will protect your time and stick to 30 minutes.

What will they include:  first I will want to gather standardized information:  demographics, field of study, institution(s), hardware, software, and networked resources.  Then I will have a series of questions to steer a discussion of how you use SciPlore and why.

When: The main interview period will be between May 2. and June 24 (There is a degree of flexibility as regards dates).  I will be available for interviews on weekends but weekdays are preferable.

Conditions: Of course the results of the interviews will be made entirely anonymous.  Upon arrangement of the interviews you will be given a signed terms of agreement that you can choose to alter if you wish.  All processed anonymous data will be shared with SciPlore, unless requested otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *