Participate in Orlando’s Interface Study

For general information about the study, click here. What follows is more detailed information for those interested in participating.

Purpose of the Study
You are invited to participate in a research project being conducted at the University of Alberta and the University of Guelph. This project is intended to gain insight into interfaces for the Orlando textbase. Information about responses to different interfaces will be assessed and contrasted to determine what kinds of interfaces best support advanced scholarly inquiries. It is hoped that this research will contribute to the design of computer software interfaces.

This research is being conducted by Dr. Susan Brown, an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies and the director of the Orlando Project, in collaboration with Dr. Blair Nonnecke in Computing and Information Science at the University of Guelph, Dr. Stan Ruecker from Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Claire Warwick of the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College, London.

If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to engage in the activity or activities listed below:

* be asked to answer a series of questions about your use of online resources and your response to the Orlando interface.
* be interviewed for approximately thirty to forty minutes about your use of online search systems generally and your response to the Orlando interface in particular. This interview will be recorded by tape recorder.
* have your activity on Orlando’s research server tracked and recorded by our log system.
* be observed during your use of the Orlando interface and asked to reflect aloud on your thought processes and reactions while doing so. Your session will be recorded with a tape recorder and with a multimedia recording program called Morae.
* participate in a workshop involving some or all of the above activities.
* participate in an intensive design session in which you will provide feedback on design ideas as they are being developed.

The researchers and research assistants associated with this project will comply with the University of Alberta Standards for the Protection of Human Research Participants. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality of any identifying information that is obtained in connection with this study. Data recorded in the course of this research will be available only to Dr Susan Brown, the other researchers listed above, and their research assistants, who have signed confidentiality agreements. Publication of the results of this study will not identify you by name or other personal information.

Potential Benefits to Participants and to Society
If you do not currently have access to the Orlando textbase, you will be given access for purposes of participation in this research. We hope that your participation in this research will help to improve the Orlando interface, and increase general knowledge about effective interfaces for and design of systems to support online scholarship.

You are asked to participate in the study on a voluntary basis. There will be no payment for participation.

Your Rights
* You have the right not to participate in this study. You have the right not to answer any particular questions posed within questionnaires or interviews, but still remain in the study.
* You have the right to withdraw from this study at any time, without consequences of any kind. If you opt out, the data collected in your questionnaire or interview will not be used in the study.
* You have the right to privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality.
* You have the right to have any data collected in this study kept in a safe, secure place.

Other Uses
The data collected in the course of this research project will be used in research articles, scholarly presentations, and in other academic activities. Data for all uses will be handled in compliance with the University of Alberta Standards for the Protection of Human Research Participants, which can be read in full at:

If you have any concerns about this research project, please contact:
Dr. Susan Brown
Visiting Associate Professor
Department of English and Film Studies
susan.brown [at]

To participate in the study, contact Orlando at Orlando.Project [at], providing an indication of which aspect(s) of the research interest you.

  • Contact Us

    3-5 Humanities Centre,

    Department of English and Film Studies

    University of Alberta

    Edmonton, AB, Canada

    T6G 2E5