Article Summary for Lecture #12- MacCall

2MacCall, 2006(b) – “Clinical Digital Libraries Project: Design approach…”

At the intersection of patient service and information science rests the interface, and it is the Clinical Digital Libraries Project upon which MacCall turns his analysis. The apparent goal of any online information source ought be to offer users the most relevant possible subset of information at as little cost of time or effort as possible to the user – a reasonable goal, but one which becomes even more important when time spent refining one’s query means time spent without helping a healthcare client in need.


MacCall uses web traffic log data and straightforward analytics practices to mark the start and end of each user information-seeking or -gathering session, then divides these into < 1 minute, 1-3 minute, and 3-5 minute increments. While there appears to be some variance across months, user sessions lasting less than 3 minutes total appear to be dominant and account for roughly 9 parts of 10 of the traffic seen by the resource .


Admittedly, this research is dated by a decade – a small frame in some respects, but crucial when discussing matters of the Internet and of web-based technology. Given the prevalence of powerful web analytics tools and the ease of their implementation and interpretation, a revisit of this paper may be in order – if not for purely academic purposes, then as a model for determining the quality of service and ease of access & location for online information assets.



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