“I Keep Collecting”: College Students Build and Utilize Collections in Spite of Breakdowns

  • Eunyee Koh
  • Andruid Kerne
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4172)


As people become more and more involved with digital information, they grow proportionally involved in situated practices of collecting. They put together large sets of information elements. However, their attention to those information elements is limited. They use whatever means are at hand in order to form representations of their collections. They need to keep track of the elements in these collections, so they can use them later. We conducted a study with 20 college students. A major concern for the students during collection building was collection management and utilization, particularly as the size and number of their collections grows. They experienced breakdowns in these processes, yet continued to engage in collecting. They developed strategies such as informal metadata schemas and hierarchical organization to try to cope with their problems. We consider the practices observed, and their implications for the development of tools to support digital collection building and utilization. Collection representations that support cognition, collaboration, and semantic schemas are prescribed.


Collection Tool Information Element Human Attention Collection Representation Digital Collection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eunyee Koh
    • 1
  • Andruid Kerne
    • 1
  1. 1.Interface Ecology Lab, Center for Study of Digital Libraries, Computer Science DepartmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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