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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Emma McCulloch

With the growing recognition that thesauri aid information retrieval, organisations are beginning to adopt, and in many cases, create thesauri. This paper offers some…

1831

Abstract

Purpose

With the growing recognition that thesauri aid information retrieval, organisations are beginning to adopt, and in many cases, create thesauri. This paper offers some guidance on the construction process.

Design/methodology/approach

An opinion piece with a practical focus, based on recent experiences gleaned from consultancy work.

Findings

A number of steps can be taken to ensure any thesaurus under construction is fit for purpose. Due consideration is therefore given to aspects such as term selection, structure and notation, thesauri standards, software and Web display issues, thesauri evaluation and maintenance. This paper also notes that creating new subject schemes from scratch, however attractive, contributes to the plethora of terminologies currently in existence and can limit user searching within particular contexts. The decision to create a “new” thesaurus should therefore be taken carefully and observance of standards is paramount.

Practical implications

This paper offers advice to assist practitioners in the development of thesauri.

Originality/value

Useful guidance for those practitioners new to the area of thesaurus construction is provided, together with an overview of selected key processes involved in the construction of a thesaurus.

Details

Library Review, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

George Macgregor and Emma McCulloch

The purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of the collaborative tagging phenomenon and explore some of the reasons for its emergence.

6277

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of the collaborative tagging phenomenon and explore some of the reasons for its emergence.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the related literature and discusses some of the problems associated with, and the potential of, collaborative tagging approaches for knowledge organisation and general resource discovery. A definition of controlled vocabularies is proposed and used to assess the efficacy of collaborative tagging. An exposition of the collaborative tagging model is provided and a review of the major contributions to the tagging literature is presented.

Findings

There are numerous difficulties with collaborative tagging systems (e.g. low precision, lack of collocation, etc.) that originate from the absence of properties that characterise controlled vocabularies. However, such systems can not be dismissed. Librarians and information professionals have lessons to learn from the interactive and social aspects exemplified by collaborative tagging systems, as well as their success in engaging users with information management. The future co‐existence of controlled vocabularies and collaborative tagging is predicted, with each appropriate for use within distinct information contexts: formal and informal.

Research limitations/implications

Librarians and information professional researchers should be playing a leading role in research aimed at assessing the efficacy of collaborative tagging in relation to information storage, organisation, and retrieval, and to influence the future development of collaborative tagging systems.

Practical implications

The paper indicates clear areas where digital libraries and repositories could innovate in order to better engage users with information.

Originality/value

At time of writing there were no literature reviews summarising the main contributions to the collaborative tagging research or debate.

Details

Library Review, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Emma McCulloch

An issue currently at the forefront of digital library research is the prevalence of disparate terminologies and the associated limitations imposed on user searching. It…

896

Abstract

An issue currently at the forefront of digital library research is the prevalence of disparate terminologies and the associated limitations imposed on user searching. It is thought that semantic interoperability is achievable by improving the compatibility between terminologies and classification schemes, enabling users to search multiple resources simultaneously and improve retrieval effectiveness through the use of associated terms drawn from several schemes. This column considers the terminology issue before outlining various proposed methods of tackling it, with a particular focus on terminology mapping.

Details

Library Review, vol. 53 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Emma McCulloch

Aims at providing a broad overview of some of the issues emerging from the growth in open access publishing, with specific reference to the use of repositories and open…

1515

Abstract

Purpose

Aims at providing a broad overview of some of the issues emerging from the growth in open access publishing, with specific reference to the use of repositories and open access journals.

Design/methodology/approach

A paper largely based on specific experience with institutional repositories and the internationally run E‐library and information science (LIS) archive.

Findings

The open access initiative is dramatically transforming the process of scholarly communication bringing great benefits to the academic world with an, as yet, uncertain outcome for commercial publishers.

Practical implications

Outlines the benefits of the open access movement with reference to repositories and open access journals to authors and readers alike and gives some food for thought on potential barriers to the complete permeation of the open access model, such as copyright restrictions and version control issues. Some illustrative examples of country‐specific initiatives and the international E‐LIS venture are given.

Originality/value

An attempt to introduce general theories and practical implications of the open access movement to those largely unfamiliar with the movement.

Details

Library Review, vol. 55 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Emma McCulloch, Ali Shiri and Dennis Nicholson

In light of information retrieval problems caused by the use of different subject schemes, this paper provides an overview of the terminology problem within the digital…

1794

Abstract

Purpose

In light of information retrieval problems caused by the use of different subject schemes, this paper provides an overview of the terminology problem within the digital library field. Various proposed solutions are outlined and issues within one approach – terminology mapping are highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

Desk‐based review of existing research.

Findings

Discusses benefits of the mapping approach, which include improved retrieval effectiveness for users and an opportunity to overcome problems associated with the use of multilingual schemes. Also describes various drawbacks such as the labour intensive nature and expense of such an approach, the different levels of granularity in existing schemes, and the high maintenance requirements due to scheme updates, and not least the nature of user terminology.

Originality/value

General review of mapping techniques as a potential solution to the terminology problem.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Emma McCulloch, Ali Shiri and Dennis Nicholson

The HILT Phase II project aimed to develop a pilot terminologies server with a view to improving cross‐sectoral information retrieval. In order to inform this process, it…

259

Abstract

The HILT Phase II project aimed to develop a pilot terminologies server with a view to improving cross‐sectoral information retrieval. In order to inform this process, it was first necessary to examine how a representative group of users approached a range of information‐related tasks. This paper focuses on exploratory interviews conducted to investigate the proposed ideal and actual strategies of a group of 30 users in relation to eight separate information tasks. In addition, users were asked to give examples of search terms they may employ and to describe how they would formulate search queries in each scenario. The interview process undertaken and the results compiled are outlined, and associated implications for the development of a pilot terminologies server are discussed.

Details

Library Review, vol. 53 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Emma McCulloch

94

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 60 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Emma McCulloch

193

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 60 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Ali Shiri, Dennis Nicholson and Emma McCulloch

The present paper reports on a user‐centred evaluation of a pilot terminology service developed as part of the High Level Thesaurus (HILT) project at the Centre for…

Abstract

The present paper reports on a user‐centred evaluation of a pilot terminology service developed as part of the High Level Thesaurus (HILT) project at the Centre for Digital Library Research (CDLR) in the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The pilot terminology service was developed as an experimental platform to investigate issues relating to mapping between various subject schemes, namely Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the Unesco thesaurus, and the MeSH thesaurus, in order to cater for cross‐browsing and cross‐searching across distributed digital collections and services. The aim of the evaluation reported here was to investigate users' thought processes, perceptions, and attitudes towards the pilot terminology service and to identify user requirements for developing a full‐blown pilot terminology service.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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