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Research Questions

  1. What is an Image researcher's “discovery research” process?
    1. What is their search process?
    2. How do they use images?
    3. What platforms do they use? Why?
  2. Feedback on search systems
    1. What system features do image researchers prefer?
    2. What are their thoughts on Harvard systems: HOLLIS, HOLLIS Images, & Harvard Digital Collections?


  1. Harvard images would be more easily discovered if they were findable through Google Images.
  2. Researcher motivation is derived from the collection and the materials they’re studying - not the systems.
  3. Researchers have a fear of missing related items or relevant information. They feel like they’re never 100% confident they’ve captured everything that’s relevant for their research and never have a sense of being “done” with their research.
  4. How to present related records (grouped or flat) depends who the main audience of the system is. Hierarchical display for related records is more difficult to understand, but valuable to some.
  5. Majority of users prefer HDC design, which may be a product of familiarity heuristic.
  6. What if there was an “academic Pinterest” for researchers?


  1. Make Harvard's images findable by Google 
  2. Export metadata of Harvard's images to Wikimedia
  3. Increase prominence of important information like copyright and image resolution on Harvard systems

Supporting Documents

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