Cyberborean Chronicles

Survey: How do you find your documents?

For my ongoing research, it would be helpful to gather some feedback from random people on their personal document management, navigation and information seeking preferences. Please send your answers to alexeya (at) gmail (dot) com or just attach a comment below. Thanks in advance!

  1. When you are looking for a document on your machine, the following navigation hints are important (specify an order, e.g. “a, d, c, b”):
  2. a. File name
    b. File name and folder
    c. Date of creation/modification
    d. Document metadata properties
    e. Full-text search results

  3. Do you use document titles (or another semantic data) as the file names?
  4. a. Yes, always
    b. For important documents only
    c. Don’t care about the file names

  5. Do you keep a sort of semantic folder structure for storing your documents?
  6. a. Yes, and I keep all my documents in a single folders hierarchy, organized semantically
    b. Yes, but use the structure for important documents only
    c. Use random folder structures, depending on a context of my work
    d. Don’t care about where I’m saving my files

  7. Do you use document shortcuts (Windows) or symbolic links (*nix) for improving navigation?
  8. a. Yes, often
    b. Rarely
    c. No

  9. How often do you use the system full-text search for finding a specific document?
  10. a. This is my everyday way of finding the documents
    b. Only when I need to find the document quickly
    c. Only when I gave up to find the document by other ways
    d. Only when I’m not sure the document on this topic exists
    e. Never use the search for this purpose

  11. Do you use “advanced search” capabilities?
  12. a. Yes, often
    b. Rarely
    c. No, basic search is enough

  13. Do you use the system “Recent documents” list?
  14. a. Yes, often
    b. Rarely
    c. No

  15. Do you enter the metadata (title, author, subject, keywords etc) in the “Document properties” dialog box of your text editor?
  16. a. Yes, always
    b. For important documents only
    c. Don’t care about it

  17. How do you mark an importance of a document?
  18. a. Place it into a special folder
    b. Place it on the desktop
    c. Bookmark it (place into the “Favorites”)
    d. Do nothing

  19. How many documents (in percentage against all documents on your machine) are used actively?
  20. How do you handle outdated documents?
  21. a. Keep them in place
    b. Move to a special folder
    c. Move to backup media, then delete
    d. Delete them

  22. Which formats you use for the text documents (specify in order of importance, e.g. “a, d, c, b”):
  23. a. MS Word
    b. OpenDocument
    c. PDF
    d. HTML
    e. XML or SGML (DocBook etc)
    f. Plain text
    g. Other

  24. Do you save online documents on your local hard drive?
  25. a. Yes, often
    b. Save important or very large documents only
    c. Never

  26. Do you keep a sort of a personal electronic library?
  27. a. Yes
    b. No

  28. Do you use specialized software for photo albums or multimedia collections management?
  29. a. Yes
    b. No, standard system tools are enough

  30. How do you estimate efforts on supporting your local document collections?
  31. a. It is a burden, it takes a lot of my time and harms for my work
    b. It takes some time but it worths it
    c. It is not a problem with help of the modern desktops
    d. Do not see any problem

  32. Do you use
  33. a. Yes, for every interesting stuff I meet on the Web
    b. Yes, for important links only
    c. Yes, for links I want to share with somebody else
    d. No

  34. How many tags are in your profile?
  35. How many tags you usually assign per a single link (in average)?
  36. When choosing the tags, you prefer
  37. a. Your own tags
    b. Other’s tags, suggested by the service

  38. When choosing the tags, you prefer to
  39. a. Reuse the existing tags, as possible
    b. Create new tags

  40. Do you try to avoid tags synonymity?
  41. a. Yes
    b. No, I don’t care about synonyms

  42. Do you use tag bundles?
  43. a. Yes
    b. No

  44. Which factors are important for tags selection (specify in order of importance, e.g. “a, d, c, b”)?
  45. a. My own subjective associations
    b. My vision of of the implicit topic semantics (tend to be objective)
    c. Explicit textual properties of the document (terms frequency, etc)
    d. Tags, assigned by other people

  46. The best synonym of the”tag” is:
  47. a. Category
    b. Term
    c. Topic
    d. Keyword
    e. Label

  48. The purpose of the tags is:
  49. a. Distinction
    b. Unification

  50. A number of tags per document is a measure of:
  51. a. Document importance
    b. Information diversity
    c. Collection size
    d. Selection quality

  52. Would automatical tags generation be useful?
  53. a. Yes, and it could completely replace human brains in this area
    b. Yes, but it matters as a help for human brains only
    c. No, the tags should belong to humans

Thank you!

One Response to “Survey: How do you find your documents?”

  1. Paul G · November 21, 2008 at 12:50 pm · Reply

    1. b,a,c
    2. b
    3. b
    4. b
    5. c
    6. c
    7. b
    8. b
    9. b
    10. 5-10%
    11. b,c
    12. b,f,c,a,d
    13. b
    14. a
    15. a
    16. b
    17. b
    18. ~50
    19. 3
    20. a
    21. a
    22. a
    23. b
    24. b,a,d,c
    25. d,c,e
    26. ?
    27. b
    28. b

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