Towards an evaluation of semantic searching in digital repositories: a DSpace case-study

Georgia Solomou (High Performance Information Systems Laboratory (HPCLab), Computer Engineering and Informatics Dept., School of Engineering, University of Patras, Patras-Rio, Greece)
Dimitrios Koutsomitropoulos (High Performance Information Systems Laboratory (HPCLab), Computer Engineering and Informatics Dept., School of Engineering, University of Patras, Patras-Rio, Greece)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Successful learning infrastructures and repositories often depend on well-organized content collections for effective dissemination, maintenance and preservation of resources. By combining semantic descriptions already lying or implicit within their descriptive metadata, reasoning-based or semantic searching of these collections can be enabled and produce novel possibilities for content browsing and retrieval. The specifics and necessities of such an approach, however, make it hard to assess and measure its effectiveness. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Therefore in this paper the authors introduce a concrete methodology toward a pragmatic evaluation of semantic searching in such scenarios, which is exemplified through the semantic search plugin the authors have developed for the popular DSpace repository system.

Findings

The results reveal that this approach can be appealing to expert as well as novice users alike, improve the effectiveness of content discovery and enable new retrieval possibilities in comparison to traditional, keyword-based search.

Originality/value

This paper presents applied research efforts to employ semantic searching techniques on digital repositories and to construct a novel methodology for evaluating the outcomes against various perspectives. Although this is original in itself, value lies also within the concrete and measurable results presented, accompanied by an analysis, that would be helpful to assess similar (i.e. semantic query answering and searching) techniques in the particular scenario of digital repositories and libraries and to evaluate corresponding investments. To the knowledge there has been hardly any other evaluation effort in the literature for this particular case; that is, to assess the merit and usage of advanced semantic technologies in digital repositories.

Keywords

Citation

Solomou, G. and Koutsomitropoulos, D. (2015), "Towards an evaluation of semantic searching in digital repositories: a DSpace case-study", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 63-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/PROG-07-2013-0037

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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