This article reports results from an empirical usability evaluation of Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Central as part of the effort to develop an open access research repository and collaboration platform for human-animal bond researchers. By repurposing and altering key features of the original HUBzero system, Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Central hosts previously published materials from related disciplines and an extensive bibliography, in addition to traditional hub materials such as tools and datasets. Seven graduate students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University participated in the usability evaluation. Tasks included exploring the system, finding an article in the repository, submitting an article to the repository, adding bibliographic information of an article to the repository, and using interaction features such as user groups. Participants also answered open questions regarding their overall experience and rated Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Central's usability using the System Usability Scale. Response measures included task successfulness, navigational steps, task time, participant comments, and behavior notes recorded by the researcher. Results of the evaluation showed that the overall user experience of Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Central was satisfactory but also indicated a number of usability issues. Participants had difficulty inputting metadata such as resource type and author information when submitting an article to the repository. There were also interface design issues regarding layout and consistency. It is expected that findings from this study and the evaluation methodology can be extended to the development and evaluation of similar research repository systems.
research repository, usability evaluation, humananimal bond, HUBzero, open access, research collaboration, usability testing
Date of this Version
Tao Zhang , Deborah J. Maron & Christopher C. Charles (2013) Usability Evaluation of a Research Repository and Collaboration Web Site, Journal of Web Librarianship, 7:1, 58-82, DOI: 10.1080/19322909.2013.739041