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Online searching in philosophy: a comparison of Philosopher's Index and FRANCIS

MaryEllen C. Sievert (Department of Information Science, School of Library and Informational Science and Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri‐Columbia, 111 Stewart Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA)
Donald E. Sievert (Department of Information Science, School of Library and Informational Science and Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri‐Columbia, 111 Stewart Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA)

Online Review

ISSN: 0309-314X

Article publication date: 1 February 1991

Abstract

An examination of the retrieval from two databases which cover philosophical materials, Philosopher's Index and FRANCIS, revealed that each database retrieved unique relevant items. A philosopher is likely to get relevant ‘hits’ from Philosopher's Index. At the same time, one is likely to miss at least some relevant items if one searches only that database. Some items are included in only one of them, e.g. theses and special issues of journals appear only in FRANCIS. Philosopher's Index, containing the larger collection of philosophical materials, often requires a more restrictive search strategy in order to retrieve relevant items but not large numbers of irrelevant items. There were some ‘misses’ that seemed to be due to journals not being regularly or ever indexed, and some ‘misses’ due simply to indexer error. Among items missed by Philosopher's Index were items in recognizably important journals, items by important figures in the discipline, and important kinds of articles.

Citation

Sievert, M.C. and Sievert, D.E. (1991), "Online searching in philosophy: a comparison of Philosopher's Index and FRANCIS", Online Review, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 63-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb024366

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited