Adam Worrall

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A.1. Goodreads Moderators

A.1.1. Invitation Letter

Subject: Would like your group to participate in a research study on Goodreads and its role in communities

Hi, my name is Adam Worrall, and I am a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies. I’d like your permission, as group moderator, to include the [Group Name] group as part of a research study of Goodreads and its role in groups and communities.

The purpose of this study is to look at the roles digital libraries, such as Goodreads, play in the groups and communities their users are part of. I am interested in your members’ use of Goodreads as individuals and in interactions with others in groups and communities. I would like to collect data in three ways:

  1. Messages posted to the group’s discussion boards
  2. A survey of users of and visitors to the group, via an invitation posted to the group’s discussion board
  3. Interviews with a subset of survey respondents

This data will allow me to see the roles the site serves for group users and other, broader communities of users, and should improve our understanding of how these sites and other digital libraries can relate to groups and communities. The study is being conducted independently of but with the consent of Goodreads.

Completing this research will have minimal risks to you and members of your group as participants, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life. By participating you and members of your group may benefit indirectly, as users of a digital library, from improved digital library design, usability, services, and an overall better understanding of the social elements of digital libraries. Those users who participate in and complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for one of ten $25 gift cards. They may choose between gift cards from three bookstores: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. Moderators, as users of the group, may also take part in all phases of the study, complete the survey, and be entered into the drawing.

I’ve included a link below to an informed consent statement, which I invite you to read carefully. If you agree to having your group be part of this study, click the “I consent” button at the bottom of the statement. Before doing so, however, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at [My FSU e-mail address] should you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your participation!

[link to informed consent here]

Adam Worrall
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
[My FSU e-mail address]

A.2. Survey

A.2.1. Invitation Letters for Users

A.2.1.1. Letter

Subject: Online survey for a research study of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in communities

Hi, my name is Adam Worrall, and I am a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies. I’d like to invite you, a member of the [Group Name] group on [LibraryThing / Goodreads], to complete an online survey for a research study of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in groups and communities. You can take the survey by clicking on the following link:

[link to survey here]

The purpose of this study is to look at the roles digital libraries, such as [LibraryThing / Goodreads], play in the groups and communities their users are part of. I am interested in your use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as an individual and in your interactions with others in groups and communities. Your survey responses will help me to see the roles the site serves for you, other users, and broader communities of users, and should improve our understanding of how these sites and other digital libraries can relate to groups and communities. The study is being conducted independently of [LibraryThing / Goodreads].

The survey should take you no more than 15–20 minutes to complete. Completing the survey has minimal risks to you as a participant, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life. By participating you may benefit indirectly, as a user of a digital library, from improved digital library design, usability, services, and an overall better understanding of the social elements of digital libraries. For completing this survey, you will be entered into a drawing for 10 $25 gift cards. You may choose between gift cards from three bookstores: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

You can take the survey by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at [My FSU e-mail address] should you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your participation!

[link to survey here]

Adam Worrall
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
[My FSU e-mail address]

A.2.1.2. Reminder

Subject: Reminder of an online survey on [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in communities

Hi, my name is Adam Worrall, and I am a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies. I’d like to remind you, a member of the [Group Name] group on [LibraryThing / Goodreads], of an invitation to complete an online survey for a research study of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in groups and communities. If you have already taken the survey, I thank you for your participation and help! You need not read this e-mail further. If you have not taken the survey, you may do so by clicking on the following link:

[link to survey here]

To remind you, the purpose of this study is to look at the roles digital libraries, such as [LibraryThing / Goodreads], play in the groups and communities their users are part of. I am interested in your use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as an individual and in your interactions with others in groups and communities. Your survey responses will help me to see the roles the site serves for you, other users, and broader communities of users, and should improve our understanding of how these sites and other digital libraries can relate to groups and communities. The study is being conducted independently of [LibraryThing / Goodreads].

The survey should take you no more than 15–20 minutes to complete. Completing the survey has minimal risks to you as a participant, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life. By participating you may benefit indirectly, as a user of a digital library, from improved digital library design, usability, services, and an overall better understanding of the social elements of digital libraries. For completing this survey, you will be entered into a drawing for 10 $25 gift cards. You may choose between gift cards from three bookstores: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

You can take the survey by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at [My FSU e-mail address] should you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your participation!

[link to survey here]

Adam Worrall
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
[My FSU e-mail address]

A.2.2. Invitation Posts for Groups

(Note: For the groups, the invitation post was the same for the initial invitation and for the reminders.)

Subject: Online survey for a research study on [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in communities

Hi, my name is Adam Worrall, and I am a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies. I’d like to invite all members of and visitors to [Group Name] to complete an online survey for a research study of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in groups and communities. You can take the survey by clicking on the following link:

[link to survey here]

The purpose of this study is to look at the roles digital libraries, such as [LibraryThing / Goodreads], play in the groups and communities their users are part of. I am interested in your use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as an individual and in your interactions with others in groups and communities. Your survey responses will help me to see the roles the site serves for you, other users, and broader communities of users, and should improve our understanding of how these sites and other digital libraries can relate to groups and communities. The study is being conducted independently of [LibraryThing / Goodreads].

The survey should take you no more than 15–20 minutes to complete. Completing the survey has minimal risks to you as a participant, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life. By participating you may benefit indirectly, as a user of a digital library, from improved digital library design, usability, services, and an overall better understanding of the social elements of digital libraries. For completing this survey, you will be entered into a drawing for 10 $25 gift cards. You may choose between gift cards from three bookstores: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

You can take the survey by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at [My FSU e-mail address] should you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your participation!

[link to survey here]

Adam Worrall
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
[My FSU e-mail address]

A.3. Interviews

A.3.1. Invitation Letter

Subject: Follow-up interview on [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in communities

Hi, my name is Adam Worrall, and I am a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies. You previously completed an online survey for a research study of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] and its role in groups and communities, and agreed I could contact you for follow-up research. I’d now like to invite you to participate in a follow-up interview to further discuss your use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as an individual and in your interactions with others in groups and communities.

To remind you, the purpose of this study is to look at the roles digital libraries, such as [LibraryThing / Goodreads], play in the communities their users are part of. These communities may be based in a common activity, occupation, interest, topic, location, or other common thread, and include the [LibraryThing / Goodreads] groups you frequent. Your responses to interview questions will help me to see the roles the site serves for you, other users, and broader communities of users, and should improve our understanding of how these sites and other digital libraries can relate to groups and communities. The study is being conducted independently of [LibraryThing / Goodreads].

If you agree to take part, I will interview you and ask you about your experience with and use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as an individual and as part of groups and communities. The interview would take about an hour, using your choice of online audiovisual media (Skype, Google Plus Hangouts, or Apple FaceTime) or telephone. With your explicit permission, the interview will be audio recorded using computer software. Being interviewed has minimal risks to you as a participant, believed to be no more than the risks you experience in everyday life. By participating you may benefit indirectly, as a user of a digital library, from improved digital library design, usability, services, and an overall better understanding of the social elements of digital libraries. You may directly benefit from reflecting on your experience with and use of [LibraryThing / Goodreads] as part of the interview.

Records of your interview and your identity will be kept private and confidential to the extent permitted by law. Research records will be stored securely and only I, Adam Worrall, will have access to the records.

Would you be willing to be interviewed? If so, please reply to this e-mail with your preference of media, and we can work on setting up when the interview will take place. If you have any questions, please ask them in your reply. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Adam Worrall
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
[My FSU e-mail address]