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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Mª Pilar Alonso Lifante, Celia Chaín Navarro and Francisco José González González

– The purpose of this paper is to show that some important astronomical information is still not taken into account in the documental description of historical star catalogues.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that some important astronomical information is still not taken into account in the documental description of historical star catalogues.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 28 historical star catalogues (eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries) from the Royal Institute and Observatory of the Spanish Navy was selected in order to analyse their structure and to identify information patterns.

Findings

The analysis shows that there are a number of technical parameters which are not present in the cataloguing standards and which should be taken into account in the bibliographic descriptions of these specialised documents since they are of great interest to astronomers and astrophysicists. On the other hand, star catalogues provide some cartographic information which can be described by these standards but whose corresponding fields are not widely used by cataloguers.

Originality/value

A proposal of new technical parameters is given in order to try to improve the bibliographic records of these astronomical resources. Some directions are also given in order to identify the sections of the catalogues where these parameters may be found, making the task of locating them easier.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Brian Vickery

The paper attempts to provide an outline account of the development and context of scientific and technical communication during the twentieth century. The main channels…

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1708

Abstract

The paper attempts to provide an outline account of the development and context of scientific and technical communication during the twentieth century. The main channels and forms of communication are reviewed, and their changing contributions to the overall pattern of information flow. The ever‐increasing volume and diversity of scientific and technical information are emphasised. The paper concludes with some reflections on what may be learnt from this history.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1984

S.V. Meschel

Compilation of numeric data has been of interest to mankind since ancient times. Collections of astronomic observations permitted the production of systematic calendars…

Abstract

Compilation of numeric data has been of interest to mankind since ancient times. Collections of astronomic observations permitted the production of systematic calendars for great nations like the Mayans, Egyptians, Babylonians and Jews. Extensive sets of data were available to early navigators and pioneer physicists of medieval times. A well known example of data compilation was the celebrated Alfonsine Tables. The tables were completed in 1252 under the direction of Isaac ben Said and Yehuda ben Moshe Cohen during the rule of Alfonso X. of Castile. For three hundred years this was considered to be the best planetary data collection. Another famous astronomical data compilation was Caroline Herschel's Catalogue of Stars published in 1798. In the last decade there has been an increased need for precise information by government agencies, private industries, the business world and academic institutions. The continuing acknowledgement of the need for quantitative data contributed to the quick development and marketing of many databases that contain numerical and other factual information.

Details

Online Review, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Faleh Alshameri and Abdul Karim Bangura

After almost three centuries of employing western educational approaches, many African societies are still characterized by low western literacy rates, civil conflicts…

Abstract

Purpose

After almost three centuries of employing western educational approaches, many African societies are still characterized by low western literacy rates, civil conflicts, and underdevelopment. It is obvious that these western educational paradigms, which are not indigenous to Africans, have done relatively little good for Africans. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the salvation for Africans hinges upon employing indigenous African educational paradigms which can be subsumed under the rubric of ubuntugogy, which the authors define as the art and science of teaching and learning undergirded by humanity toward others.

Design/methodology/approach

Therefore, ubuntugogy transcends pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), andragogy (the art and science of helping adults learn), ergonagy (the art and science of helping people learn to work), and heutagogy (the study of self-determined learning). That many great African minds, realizing the debilitating effects of the western educational systems that have been forced upon Africans, have called for different approaches.

Findings

One of the biggest challenges for studying and teaching about Africa in Africa at the higher education level, however, is the paucity of published material. Automated generation of metadata is one way of mining massive data sets to compensate for this shortcoming.

Originality/value

Thus, the authors address the following major research question in this paper: What is automated generation of metadata and how can the technique be employed from an African-centered perspective? After addressing this question, conclusions and recommendations are offered.

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Xiufeng Cheng, Jinqing Yang, Ling Jiang and Anlei Hu

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an interpreting schema and semantic description framework for a collection of images of Xilankapu, a traditional Chinese form of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an interpreting schema and semantic description framework for a collection of images of Xilankapu, a traditional Chinese form of embroidered fabric and brocade artwork.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the authors interpret the artwork of Xilankapu through Gillian Rose’s “four site” theory by presenting how the brocades were made, how the patterns of Xilankapu are classified and the geometrical abstraction of visual images. To further describe the images of this type of brocade, this paper presents semantic descriptions that include objective–non-objective relations and a multi-layered semantic framework. Furthermore, the authors developed corresponding methods for scanning, storage and indexing images for retrieval.

Findings

As exploratory research on describing, preserving and indexing images of Xilankapu in the context of the preservation of cultural heritage, the authors collected 1,000+ images of traditional Xilankapu, classifying and storing some of the images in a database. They developed an index schema that combines concept- and content-based approaches according to the proposed semantic description framework. They found that the framework can describe, store and preserve semantic and non-semantic information of the same image. They relate the findings of this paper to future research directions for the digital preservation of traditional cultural heritages.

Research limitations/implications

The framework has been designed especially for brocade, and it needs to be extended to other types of cultural image.

Originality/value

The semantic description framework can describe connotative semantic information on Xilankapu. It can also assist the later information retrieval work in organizing implicit information about culturally related visual materials.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

BRIAN VICKERY and ALINA VICKERY

There is a huge amount of information and data stored in publicly available online databases that consist of large text files accessed by Boolean search techniques. It is…

Abstract

There is a huge amount of information and data stored in publicly available online databases that consist of large text files accessed by Boolean search techniques. It is widely held that less use is made of these databases than could or should be the case, and that one reason for this is that potential users find it difficult to identify which databases to search, to use the various command languages of the hosts and to construct the Boolean search statements required. This reasoning has stimulated a considerable amount of exploration and development work on the construction of search interfaces, to aid the inexperienced user to gain effective access to these databases. The aim of our paper is to review aspects of the design of such interfaces: to indicate the requirements that must be met if maximum aid is to be offered to the inexperienced searcher; to spell out the knowledge that must be incorporated in an interface if such aid is to be given; to describe some of the solutions that have been implemented in experimental and operational interfaces; and to discuss some of the problems encountered. The paper closes with an extensive bibliography of references relevant to online search aids, going well beyond the items explicitly mentioned in the text. An index to software appears after the bibliography at the end of the paper.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

P.G.B. ENSER

This paper surveys theoretical and practical issues associated with a particular type of information retrieval problem, namely that where the information need is…

Abstract

This paper surveys theoretical and practical issues associated with a particular type of information retrieval problem, namely that where the information need is pictorial. The paper is contextualised by the notion of a visually stimulated society, in which the ease of record creation and transmission in the visual medium is contrasted with the difficulty of gaining effective subject access to the world's stores of such records. The technological developments which, in casting the visual image in electronic form, have contributed so significantly to its availability are reviewed briefly, as a prelude to the main thrust of the paper. Concentrating on still and moving pictorial forms of the visual image, the paper dwells on issues related to the subject indexing of pictorial material and discusses four models of pictorial information retrieval corresponding with permutations of the verbal and visual modes for the representation of picture content and of information need.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 51 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Shawne D. Miksa

The purpose of this paper is to present the initial relationship between the Classification Research Group (CRG) and the Center for Documentation and Communication…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the initial relationship between the Classification Research Group (CRG) and the Center for Documentation and Communication Research (CDCR) and how this relationship changed between 1952 and 1970. The theory of normative behavior and its concepts of worldviews, social norms, social types, and information behavior are used to characterize the relationship between the small worlds of the two groups with the intent of understanding the gap between early classification research and information retrieval (IR) research.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a mixed method analysis of two groups as evidenced in published artifacts by and about their work. A thorough review of historical literature about the groups as well as their own published works was employed and an author co-citation analysis was used to characterize the conceptual similarities and differences of the two groups of researchers.

Findings

The CRG focused on fundamental principles to aid classification and retrieval of information. The CDCR were more inclined to develop practical methods of retrieval without benefit of good theoretical foundations. The CRG began it work under the contention that the general classification schemes at the time were inadequate for the developing IR mechanisms. The CDCR rejected the classification schemes of the times and focused on developing punch card mechanisms and processes that were generously funded by both government and corporate funding.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique historical analysis of two groups of influential researchers in the field of library and information science.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1995

Michael L. Nelson, Gretchen L. Gottlich, David J. Bianco, Sharon S. Paulson, Robert L. Binkley, Yvonne D. Kellogg, Chris J. Beaumont, Robert B. Schmunk, Michael J. Kurtz, Alberto Accomazzi and Omar Syed

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 established theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and charged it to“provide for the widest practicable and…

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Abstract

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and charged it to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning ... its activities and the results thereof”. The search for innovative methods to distribute NASA′s information led a grassroots team to create the NASA Technical Report Server (NTRS), which uses the World Wide Web and other popular Internet‐based information systems.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Ming‐Yueh Tsay

This study explores the in‐house use age distribution of journals in the library of Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, their citation age distribution and the…

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2593

Abstract

This study explores the in‐house use age distribution of journals in the library of Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, their citation age distribution and the difference between them. The use study employed the sweep method and the study period lasted for six months. The citation age of each journal in this study was based on the data listed in the Science Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports, 1993. The results of this study illustrate that the use age distribution for the mean of all the journals is an exponentially decaying curve. On the other hand, the citation age distributions show a sharp initial rise from age one to three or four years and then fall off in a sort of exponential decay; and the age of maximum citation is typically three years. About 80 per cent of uses are attributed to journals less than ten years old, while these journals contribute about 70 per cent of total citations. The Kolmogorov‐Smirnov two‐sample test indicates that the use age distribution does not fit the citation age distribution.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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