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Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5839
Paper documents are still an integral component of our everyday working lives, and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, advances in electronic technology in recent years have made it possible to develop digital systems that better integrate paper and digital document management. However, as far as we are aware, none of these integrated document management systems have been evaluated to demonstrate whether the users would indeed find them valuable for managing paper documents. In this paper we present a user study of one such system, called SOPHYA, that provides a means of linking the management of real world document artefacts (e.g., folders) with their electronic counterparts, so that document management activities such as locating, retrieving, and filing documents can be better supported, especially for large collections. The study is in the form of a laboratory-based evaluation, in which participants with experience in document management used the system to perform several tasks, such as locating and retrieving folders, and provided feedback based on their own experience. The results of this study show that users are able to apply software functionality they use for storage and retrieval of electronic documents to effectively manage paper documents as well. Our study has also identified a range of other potential benefits that the users envisage for such a technology in their diverse work environments.