Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

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Paula Regina Dal' Evedove, Roberta Cristina Dal' Evedove Tartarotti, Mariângela Spotti Lopes Fujita

Last modified: 2018-06-19


The cognitive revolution of the 1960’s stimulates scientists’ interest in knowledge about how thinking allows subjects to generate solutions to perform new procedures, i.e., apply previously acquired knowledge to solve new problems. This scenario of effervescent technological innovation contributes to the retaking of introspection in Psychology, until then discredited as a scientific method. Based on the method of introspection, Anders Ericsson and Herbert Alexander Simon, researchers in the area of ​​Experimental Cognitive Psychology, indicate in the 1980s that the subjects’ cognitive processes can be described as sequences of information served and structured. In order to do so, they recommend the use of protocol analysis of verbal reports of thought, also known as verbal protocols, which correspond to this information served, in which the observations of the cognitive process provide information on the stages of individual processing, that is, to the successive states of the information verbalized by the subject during the accomplishment of the proposed activity. Since then, a growing number of scientific research aimed at the observation of complex cognitive processes is conducted in several areas of knowledge through the Verbal Protocol, giving it validity and credibility as an introspective technique for data collection in qualitative research. Over time, Verbal Protocol has been shown to be a valuable option for the observation of mental processes and the main source of data for cognitive research. The use of protocol analyzes of verbal reports of thinking are recurrent in different areas of knowledge, much because the possibility of observing the phases of the cognitive processing of the subject through the verbalizations of the thought process. The complexity that permeates professional practices in Information Science calls for special attention to cognitive strategies, being timely the protocol analysis of verbal reports of thought as an alternative to uncover the conscious experience of the subjects in information processing. Despite criticisms of the use of the Verbal Protocol, the advantages over other research techniques are considerable, since it naturally reveals the introspection of the subject from the verbalized thoughts. The verbal reports of thinking make it possible to know the performance of the subject in tasks by applying explicit procedures and to infer about the main difficulties of thinking in solving a problem. For this reason, the Verbal Protocol is a methodological resource of great importance for Information Science. The most common applications of the technique in the field of Information Science are in usability tests and studies of search and retrieval information. In Brazil, the choice of the technique as an option for data collection and pedagogical resource in undergraduate education and continuing education has a significant presence in Information Science research aimed at the study and observation of documentary reading process in indexing and professional practice of indexers. As a way of expanding knowledge about the Verbal Protocol as a research resource in Information Science, the study presents a theoretical and methodological outline about its characteristics, procedures and limitations as an alternative methodological resource, presenting examples of the use of its modalities in researches about subject indexing. Therefore, we described the perspectives of the researches in the scientific literature of the Information Science in Brazil that have chosen the Individual Verbal Protocol, Interactive Verbal Protocol and/or Verbal Protocol in Group for the observation of the activity of indexing, serving as a material of support to the researchers on the use and purposes of each modality, as well as the advances obtained with studies in this approach. For that, we used exploratory research based on the bibliographic research to identify Brazilian studies in the bias of subject indexing with Verbal Protocol application. The survey, without temporal delimitation, was carried out in formal communication channels of the Brazilian Information Science, being included as corpus of research articles from periodicals, works in annals of scientific events, as well as books, dissertations and thesis. We used the content analysis to construct the systematic review and exposition of the panorama of the Brazilian literature of Information Science in indexing with application of the Verbal Protocol. It is observed that most of the researches in this theme are related to issues involving documentary reading and professional practice in the indexing and subject cataloguing in  university libraries, due to the possibility of observing the phases of the subject’s cognitive processing through verbalizations during reading activities. Indexing studies with the application of the Individual Verbal Protocol are mainly focused on the observation of the reading strategies used by indexers and subject catalogers during the representation of documentary information process. The Interactive Verbal Protocol is more explored in teaching subjects such as indexing and documentary reading in undergraduate courses in Librarianship. The application of Verbal Protocol in Group has recurrent use in themes such as documentary reading, indexing policy and documentary languages ​​from the socio-cognitive perspective, as well as pedagogical resource in the classroom for the teaching of themes related to the exploration of textual structure for identification and selection of representative concepts of documents. It is concluded that in spite of the concentration of studies dedicated to the production of theoretical and methodological references of the documentary reading process, the introspective nature of the technique favors the forwarding of researches that surround other problems, especially in the area of ​​Organization and Representation of Knowledge.