User preferences for virtual information retrieval: a qualitative study.
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This paper presents results of a piece of research conducted in order to determine user preferences as to the nature of virtual worlds to be used as an environment for information retrieval. A study was carried out amongst postgraduate students and staff at Robert Gordon University, using a Grounded Theory methodology. Over one hundred interviews were carried out, in three cycles of interviewing, analysis, and integration with literature. The findings revealed that user preferences were determined less by structural features than by affective factors, such as familiarity, organisation, assistance, and quality of information and presentation.