CitePaL - User Study

To test the efficacy of our tool we conducted a brief user study. We sent out a survey to our academic friends and lab mates at different career stages and received 5 responses (1 research tech, 1 postdoc, 3 grad students in different fields). For each we described the purpose of the site and asked them to try it out and answer a few questions. The results are shown below.

Would you use a web-based application/plug-in to visually search for background papers when doing academic literature search?

Responses to Q1

When using this tool, did the suggested papers seem relevant to you?

Responses to Q2

What information did you find useful in this application?

In general, people liked the topic categorization of reference papers and the recommendations that followed.

What information did you wish you could see when using this application?

People wished that the different aspects of the tool were a little clearer or easier to understand at a glance. One aspect that we are very aware of is it is pretty slow to create the hierarchy and the interactive graph. The main bottleneck here is querying Semantic Scholar for hundreds of papers at once, so optimizing for speed would be our next priority.

When trying to gain background on a paper of interest, do you prefer to read:

Responses to Q5