Welcome to the Greenstone Survey! – Survey Information

This is the online survey information sheet. Please read the survey information and then click the CONTINUE TO SURVEY button near the bottom of the page!

Hello, my name is Laura Sheble. I am a doctoral student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC, USA. I am conducting this research study in partial fulfillment of my degree requirements.

Ian H. Witten (Computer Science Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand), Repke de Vries (Team member, eIFL FOSS “Southern African Greenstone Support Network” project), and Ron Brown (School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA) are collaborating with me on this study.

If you are a current Greenstone user and have time to help advance research about Greenstone software and support user experience and the contexts in which Greenstone is used, please consider participating in our study!

Please read the information below if you are interested in participating in the survey, or to learn more about the survey.

The goals of the research are to learn more about:

  • The organizational and technical contexts in which organizations and individuals use Greenstone Digital Library Software;
  • How support resources are used by Greenstone users; and
  • How current help resources can be improved to meet user needs.

You can participate if you currently use Greenstone in any way – typical uses of Greenstone are to:

  • Develop digital library collections
  • Teach about digital libraries
  • Learn about digital libraries
  • Develop language interfaces for Greenstone
  • Develop other functionalities or code for Greenstone
  • Disseminate or otherwise support use of Greenstone
  • Have approximately 10-15 minutes to take the survey.

Contact us by email at sheble@email.unc.edu with any questions about this study. Please read on to learn more about this research study and research studies in general. When you are finished, please click the CONTINUE button at the bottom of this page.

What are some general things you should know about research studies?

You are being asked to take part in a research study. To join the study is voluntary. You may refuse to join, or you may withdraw your consent to be in the study, for any reason, without penalty. Research studies are designed to obtain new knowledge that may help people in the future. You may not receive any direct benefit from being in the research study. There also may be risks to being in research studies. Details about this study are discussed below. It is important that you understand this information so that you can make an informed choice about being in this research study. Please print and save a copy of this consent form. You should ask the researchers named above any questions you have about this study at any time.

What is the purpose of this study?

We are investigating the use of Greenstone Digital Library Software by organizations and individuals to learn more about the Greenstone operating environments and support resource use and needs of Greenstone users and developers.

How many people will take part in this study?

We hope to obtain data from at least 100 Greenstone software users and developers.

How long will your part in this study last?

The study should take about 10-15 minutes. If you decide at any point that you do not wish to continue, you may discontinue at any time with no negative consequences.

What will happen if you take part in the study?

You will complete a survey about how you use Greenstone software and support resources. The exact length of the survey varies according to how you indicate you use Greenstone software and support resources. For example, only those who indicate they develop Greenstone code or language interfaces will be presented with questions about their development experiences. You do not have to answer any questions you do not wish to answer, for any reason.

What are the possible benefits from being in this study?

Though you may not receive any direct benefit from participating in this study, you will contribute to current knowledge of Greenstone software and support use. Further, a summary of aggregate findings from this research will be made publicly available and announced on the Greenstone website (www.greenstone.org) and email lists.

What are the possible risks or discomforts involved from being in this study?

We do not anticipate you will experience any risks or discomforts.

How will your privacy be protected?

Your data are anonymous: We will assign a participant ID to your data when we download it, and separate any and all identifying information such as your name, e-mail, and IP addresses. The data will not be connected to you personally by any identifiers. De-identified group results will be shared with the New Zealand Digital Library Team (NZDL). If you choose to provide contact information for potential follow-up studies at the end of the survey, this information will be separated from your survey responses before shared with the NZDL Team.

In any presentations, written reports, and publications, no one will be identifiable and only group results will be presented. Archived data sets will not contain personally identifying information.

You may further protect your privacy by completing the questionnaire when you are alone or in a location where others cannot see your responses on the computer screen.

Will you receive anything for being in this study?

You will not receive any financial incentive for taking part in this study.

What if you have questions about this study?

You have the right to ask, and have answered, any questions you may have about this research. Unfortunately, the online format does not permit participants to ask questions in real-time while you are completing the questionnaire itself. You can e-mail the experimenter, but you may not receive a response while you are online, completing the questionnaire. If you have questions or concerns, however, please do e-mail Laura Sheble at sheble@email.unc.edu. We will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible.

What if you have questions about your rights as a research participant?

All research on human volunteers is reviewed by a committee that works to protect your rights and welfare. If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant, you may contact, anonymously if you wish, the University of North Carolina Institutional Review Board at 919-966-3113 or by email at IRB_subjects@unc.edu

Participant’s Agreement: Please click Continue below to indicate the following:

  • I have read the information provided above.
  • I have asked all the questions that I have at this time.
  • I agree to participate in this research study.


Thank you again for taking time to participate in this study!

Consent to Participate in a Research Study
IRB Study # 09-0703
Consent Form Version Date: 21-May-2009
Title of Study: Greenstone User Survey

Principal Investigator: Laura Sheble, MLIS, Doctoral Student,
UNC-Chapel Hill Department: School of Information and Library Science
Study Phone Number: 1-919-260-2031
Study Email Address: sheble@email.unc.edu

Faculty Advisor: Gary Marchionini, Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor Email: march@ils.unc.edu
Faculty Advisor Phone: 1-919-966-3611

Affiliated Researchers: Ian Witten, Ph.D., Repke de Vries, Ron Brown, Ph.D.


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