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LocalContent: a personal scientific document retrieval system

Chih-Fong Tsai (Department of Information Management, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan)
Shih-Wen Ke (Department of Information and Computer Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Jhongli, Taiwan)
Kenneth McGarry (University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK)
Ming-Yi Lin (National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2015



The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel personal scientific document retrieval system. The most common approach taken for the storage of personal documents is to construct a hierarchical folder structure. Most users prefer searching for documents by manually traversing their organizational hierarchy until reaching the location where the target item is stored, then locating the specific documents within its directory or folder. However, this is very time-consuming, especially when the number of personal scientific documents is very large. Unfortunately, related personal information management (PIM) systems, which provide solutions for managing various types of personal information, have thus far made little progress at managing personal scientific documents.


In this paper, we introduce the design of a personal scientific document retrieval system, namely, LocalContent. It is composed of database indexing and retrieval stages. During indexing, term feature extraction from scientific documents is performed by the natural language processing technique. The extracted terms are stored in the inverted index for later retrieval. For retrieval, a graphical user interface is provided by LocalContent, which allows users to search their personal scientific documents.


The evaluation results based on 20 different personal archives taken from 20 graduate students show that LocalContent is simple to use and can facilitate the search for relevant scientific documents. Moreover, these users were willing to have a system which provides specialized search functions like LocalContent to explore their personal scientific documents in the future.


LocalContent is a novel scientific document retrieval system and provides several particular functions of LocalContent including displaying the content summary of the query term frequency in each specific section of the retrieved documents, querying by local section specification and providing a number of recommended keywords related to the query terms.



Tsai, C.-F., Ke, S.-W., McGarry, K. and Lin, M.-Y. (2015), "LocalContent: a personal scientific document retrieval system", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 373-385.



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