An evaluation of the Federal Government's Implementation of GILS

Kerry Smith
Tue, 01 Oct 1996 12:49:42 +0800





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>Subject:      An evaluation of the Federal Government's Implementation of GILS
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>For Immediate Release
>September 26, 1996
>An Evaluation of the Federal Government's Implementation of the
>Government Information Locator Service (GILS)
>William E. Moen & Charles R. McClure
>Principal Investigators
>Project Abstract
>The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded the University of
>North Texas a contract to evaluate the Federal government's
>implementations of the Government Information Locator Service (GILS).
>The study is being funded by five Federal agencies:  Department of
>Commerce, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency,
>General Services Administration, National Archives and Records
>Administration, with active support from the Office of Management
>and Budget. Principal Investigators William E. Moen (School of Library
>and Information Sciences, University of North Texas) and Charles R.
>McClure, Distinguished Professor (Syracuse University) will conduct the
>seven-month evaluation.
>In December 1995, the GILS Board called for an evaluation of GILS.  The
>evaluation by Moen and McClure will examine how GILS is assisting
>Federal agencies to achieve their information dissemination and
>information management responsibilities.  A primary focus of the
>evaluation will be an examination of the extent to which GILS is
>meeting the expectations of users.  In addition, the evaluation will
>examine agency GILS implementation activities and plans for
>incorporating GILS as an information management tool.  The project will
>describe current GILS implementation experiences, identify success
>factors and barriers for agencies implementing GILS, and determine if
>improvements to the GILS policies or technical specifications are
>needed to make GILS a more useful tool for agency
>information dissemination and information resources management. The
>purpose of the evaluation is to provide information and lead to an
>understanding how:
>        -- GILS is serving various user groups
>        -- GILS is improving public access to government information
>        -- Agencies are progressing with their implementations
>        -- GILS is working as a tool for information resources management.
>The GILS initiative is multi-faceted and the Principal Investigators
>have designed an evaluation framework that informs both data collection
>and data analysis and interpretation activities.  The evaluation
>framework identifies five primary facets of GILS:
>        -- USERS: identification of user groups, their needs, their
>                use, and satisfaction with GILS
>        -- CONTENTS: what information resources are described by GILS
>                records and the quality, accuracy, usability,
>                etc. of those descriptions
>        -- TECHNOLOGY: technical implementation details of GILS
>        -- POLICY: policy goals and guidelines at both government-wide
>                and agency levels
>        -- STANDARDS AND RULES:  utility of the standards-based
>                approach to GILS.
>Given the multi-faceted nature of the GILS initiative, the Principal
>Investigators have positioned the study within a qualitative,
>naturalistic research context.  This evaluation will emphasize process
>over measurement, understanding and learning over hypotheses testing.
>The study's research design is evolutionary and relies on multiple
>methods of data collection and analysis.
>The study will result in a number of benefits that include an
>understanding of the extent to which GILS is serving various user
>communities and their satisfaction with GILS as well as the
>identification of success factors in agency GILS implementations to
>refine and improve all GILS applications.  Findings and recommendations
>from the study will be useful to potential GILS implementors in other
>jurisdictions such as state and local governments.  An
>additional benefit of the evaluation will be the promotion and
>awareness of GILS within the Federal government and among public users.
>The Principal Investigators will produce a formal report at the end of
>the project.  The report will contain a summary of study activities,
>the study's findings, and recommendations to improve GILS.  The final
>report will be available in Spring 1997.
>Moen and McClure have successfully completed previous studies related
>to the current GILS initiative, including _The Government Information
>Locator Service (GILS): Expanding Research and Development on the
>ANSI/NISO Z39.50 Information Retrieval Standard, Final Report_. The
>investigators have conducted or are conducting studies concerning the
>evaluation of networked infrastructures, development of performance
>measures for the networked environment, information policy, information
>resources management, and information technology standards development.
>The Principal Investigators will provide online information during the
>project through the GILS Evaluation Project web site:
>        <URL:>
>For information about the project, visit the web site or contact:
>William E. Moen
>School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas
>PO Box 13796, Denton, TX  76203
>voice:  817-565-3563, fax:     817-565-3101

Kerry Smith, 
Department of Information Studies, School of Social Sciences & Asian Languages,
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987
phone (09) 351 7217    fax (09) 351 3152