The role of readers' literary preferences in predicting success in fiction search

Pertti Vakkari, Anna Mikkonen
2019 Journal of Documentation  
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study what extent readers' socio-demographic characteristics, literary preferences and search behavior predict success in fiction search in library catalogs. Design/methodology/approach In total, 80 readers searched for interesting novels in four differing search tasks. Their search actions were recorded with a Morae Recorder. Pre- and post-questionnaires elicited information about their background, literary preferences and search experience. Readers'
more » ... rary preferences were grouped into four orientations by a factor analysis. Linear regression analysis was applied for predicting search success as measured by books' interest scores. Findings Most literary orientations contributed to search success, but in differing search tasks. The role of result examination was greater compared to querying in contributing search success almost in each task. The proportion of variance explained in books' interest scores varied between 5 (open-ended browsing) and 50 percent (analogy search). Research limitations/implications The distribution of participants was biased toward females, and the results are aggregated within search session, both reducing the variation of the phenomenon observed. Originality/value This study is one of the first to explore how readers' literary preferences and searching are associated with finding interesting novels, i.e. search success, in library catalogs. The results expand and support the findings in Mikkonen and Vakkari (2017) concerning associations between reader characteristics and fiction search success.
doi:10.1108/jd-01-2019-0005 fatcat:uaex562xk5c25eb5w3k45fqlue