Old:Use Case Study 2007

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The goal of the DRIADE project is to ensure the long-term preservation of data and to promote resource discovery and reuse. In the early stages of system development, user input will prove valuable to the success of the project. The spring 2007 DRIADE use case study will describe how the proposed system will be used by scientists and will inform the software and design requirements for the repository under development. Interviews will be conducted, as well as possible observations of system interactions. Ideally the observation would take place in a typical work environment. The recruiting goal is at least ten subjects from the field of evolutionary biology. The goal of the interviews is to gain an understanding of preconditions for system interaction, triggers for initiation with the system, and most importantly, a primary scenario or basic course of events for interaction with the system. This proposed use case study will enable the DRIADE team to gather information about the functional requirements of the system and how the system should interact with users. Through comparison of the various scenarios, conditions for data sharing in scientific communities can be accounted for. User behavior can therefore inform the design process to ensure, among other requirements, the preservation of data quality.

Research Method:

The study will follow the use case technique for developing scenarios of data sharing and for capturing system requirements. After identifying the goal of the use case, participants are recruited. After completing a basic survey, participants are interviewed regarding repository use and observed in their work contexts. Scenarios are built around each participant, and results are compared for use in DRIADE development.


1. The goal of the use case is described.
2. Existing assumptions held by the DRIADE group regarding current behaviors surrounding data sharing are recorded, specifically assumptions regarding the conditions for the use case to terminate successfully.
3. Participants are identified and recruited via email and personal contact. (Draft email)
4. Participants are asked to complete a profile questionnaire. Preconditions for the study are established through the user survey.
5. Participants are then asked about current use of digital repositories, specifically what initiates an interaction with the system, in order to identify triggers and goals. Any lack of current use is also of interest.
6. Observation of system interaction with a representative repository already in use, or participant description of typical task sequences in the achievement of a goal. Action sequences can be described using "if-then-else" constructs.
7. Any variations or alternative action sequences are accounted for that seem to deviate from typical behaviors.
8. Results are tabulated and recorded in the form of a use case template.
9. The researchers analyze the data, focusing particularly on overlaps and common behaviors.
10. Any lingering issues and questions revealed by the studies are included.
11. Data results are summarized and distributed to DRIADE team members in order to inform the design process.