Purpose – The purpose of this research is to gather information about user experiences with overhead scanners, in order to better inform purchasing decisions. Design/methodology/approach – The method of obtaining information was a survey, publicized via several listservs frequented by higher education digitization personnel, and available for four months in 2010. Participants were asked to identify their scanner, rate the extent to which they would recommend it, and describe usage patterns, speed, problems they encountered with hardware and software, and also what they like about their scanner. Findings – In total, 52 respondents described 71 scanners covering 19 different brands (30 models, two unspecified). The number of complaint entries for hardware and software were even, with 39 responses for each (55 per cent). When asked to what extent the respondent would recommend the product, 30 per cent (21 respondents) would highly recommend their scanner (“Yes, it's great!”), 39 per cent (28 respondents) said “Yes, it's pretty good”, 25 per cent (18 respondents) would only possibly recommend it, with caveats, and 6 per cent of respondents (four) would not recommend their scanner at all. Research limitations/implications – Only 52 respondents participated in the study, reporting on a wide variety of models and brands. Five brands accounted for 69 per cent of the responses, so the quantity of responses per brand or model was far from equivalent, which is a severe weakness in terms of generalization of findings. The survey was heavily designed for open‐ended responses, which are not easily quantifiable. Follow‐up surveys should be designed to capture more easily quantifiable results, and, if possible, a larger and roughly equivalent number of responses for each model included. Practical implications – Results of the survey will provide potential purchasers of overhead scanners with information that will assist them in making informed decisions and avoid expensive mistakes. Social implications – This paper gathers reports about the performance of a wide variety of overhead scanners in the field, which will help inform purchasing decisions in the immediate future. Originality/value – This paper gathers reports about the performance of a wide variety of overhead scanners in the field, which will help inform purchasing decisions in the immediate future.
Library Hi Tech – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 8, 2011
Keywords: Digital libraries; Photography
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