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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Ankie Visschedijk and Forbes Gibb

This article reviews some of the more unconventional text retrieval systems, emphasising those which have been commercialised. These sophisticated systems improve on…

Abstract

This article reviews some of the more unconventional text retrieval systems, emphasising those which have been commercialised. These sophisticated systems improve on conventional retrieval by using either innovative software or hardware to increase retrieval speed or functionality, precision or recall. The software systems reviewed are: AIDA, CLARIT, Metamorph, SIMPR, STATUS/IQ, TCS, TINA and TOPIC. The hardware systems reviewed are: CAFS‐ISP, the Connection Machine, GESCAN,HSTS,MPP, TEXTRACT, TRW‐FDF and URSA.

Details

Online and CD-Rom Review, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1353-2642

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Monica Landoni, Nadia Catenazzi and Forbes Gibb

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of current developments in the area of electronic books and libraries, and to describe an on‐going research project…

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of current developments in the area of electronic books and libraries, and to describe an on‐going research project. Following a discussion of the key terminology used in this field, a number of issues will be investigated: what an electronic library is; how this concept has evolved during the last twenty years; what an electronic book is; and the relationship between an electronic library and an electronic book. As a result of our research we have defined a new concept, the Virtual Electronic Library, and its basic components: the hyper‐book and the visual‐book. These are two forms of electronic books which are built from different sources: paper books and electronic texts respectively. The environments in which such electronic books are produced will also be described.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Ruth Wilson, Monica Landoni and Forbes Gibb

This paper considers the Electronic Books ON‐screen Interface (EBONI) Project’s research into the importance of the user when designing electronic textbooks. The results…

Abstract

This paper considers the Electronic Books ON‐screen Interface (EBONI) Project’s research into the importance of the user when designing electronic textbooks. The results of the Visual Book and the WEB Book experiments, which explored design aspects of e‐books and provide a backdrop to EBONI’s research, are presented. EBONI’s methodology and evaluations, involving over 200 students, lecturers and researchers in UK Higher Education, are described, and the findings discussed. It is proposed that, while aspects of paper books such as tables of contents, indexes and typography should be retained, books delivered electronically should also adapt to fit the new medium through use of hypertext, search engines and multimedia. In terms of the design of e‐book hardware, issues such as size and weight, display technology and functionality are of primary importance to users. These findings have been presented to creators of educational digital content in the form of a set of Electronic Textbook Design Guidelines.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

Forbes Gibb and Godfrey Smart

SIMPR (Structured Information Management: Processing and Retrieval) is an ESPRIT II Project aiming to achieve technological advances in information management This new…

Abstract

SIMPR (Structured Information Management: Processing and Retrieval) is an ESPRIT II Project aiming to achieve technological advances in information management This new technology is instantiated in the SIMPR software system. SIMPR will process documents by indexing them and classifying their subjects, before storing them in an electronic information base from which they can then be retrieved using simple natural language search requests. Building this system has required initiatives in automatic indexing, in language analysis, in subject classification and in machine learning. These initiatives are discussed in this paper, in the context of the strategy and achievements to date of the SIMPR Project.

Details

Online Review, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1988

Forbes Gibb and CarolynSharif

Research into the application of expert systems to information and library science has gained momentum over the last three to four years. Broadly, this research can be…

Abstract

Research into the application of expert systems to information and library science has gained momentum over the last three to four years. Broadly, this research can be divided into six main areas:

Details

Program, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2009

Noorhidawati Abdullah and Forbes Gibb

The purpose of this paper is to present the third of three inter‐related experiments investigating the use and usability of e‐books in Higher Education based on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the third of three inter‐related experiments investigating the use and usability of e‐books in Higher Education based on experiments conducted at the University of Strathclyde. This study has looked in greater detail at user interactions with e‐books for reference purposes by focusing on searching and browsing tasks using three search tools: back‐of the‐book index (BoBI), table of contents (ToC) and full text search (FTS).

Design/methodology/approach

This study was carried out by subject‐specific users and using a between‐subjects approach. The target population was MSc and research students in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, at the University of Strathclyde and involved a total of 45 responses.

Findings

The study found that a BoBI was more efficient compared to a ToC and FTS tool for finding information in an e‐book environment. A BoBI was found to perform the best for accurately finding relevant content in e‐books. The usability evaluation also found that a BoBI was more useful compared to a ToC for finding information in an e‐book environment.

Research limitations/implications

The study was focused only on the usability of e‐books, and in particular on retrieval performance, user satisfaction and preferences regarding BoBI, ToC and FTS, and not on other features such as the user interface. The e‐book usability evaluation was constrained in so far as the e‐books used were: non‐fiction; in the domain of information retrieval; e‐books that already had BoBIs with hyperlinks from the BoBI to the text; e‐books that had ToCs with hyperlinks; e‐books that had FTS tools; and e‐books that were available in PDF format.

Practical implications

The study is important in gaining a better understanding of the retrieval performance of three search tools (BoBI, ToC and FTS) for browsing for relevant, and searching for specific, information in e‐books. This will be of value for designing better e‐books and access systems.

Originality/value

The strengths and novelty of this study are the methodology that was used, the comprehensive inter‐comparison of tools, and the size of the population. The findings have supported empirically – through an assessment of the performances of BoBIs and ToCs – the need for an enhanced library catalogue system in order to improve users’ browsing and searching capabilities for relevant book content.

Details

Library Review, vol. 58 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Sudatta Chowdhury, Forbes Gibb and Monica Landoni

The purpose of this paper is to show that uncertainty may be caused not only by a knowledge gap in the mind of a user with respect to a given subject or topic, but also by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that uncertainty may be caused not only by a knowledge gap in the mind of a user with respect to a given subject or topic, but also by the various complexities associated with the information seeking and retrieval (IS&R) process in a digital environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Both quantitative and qualitative studies were conducted to collect data from users in the higher education sector regarding whether or not they experienced uncertainty in relation to the IS&R process. Analysis: a correlation analysis was undertaken to establish whether there were any relationships between information-seeking activities and information-seeking problems.

Findings

The findings of this research show that uncertainty existed at different stages of the IS&R process amongst users. It was established that uncertainty was caused by a number of information-seeking activities and information-seeking problems, and that such uncertainty could continue over the course of successive search sessions, leading to the proposal of a new model of uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model of uncertainty should contribute to a better understanding of the issues related to IS&R in a digital environment.

Practical implications

A number of benefits could be realised in systems design from the application of this model in terms of reducing the negative impact of uncertainty, while at the same time helping users to gain from the positive aspects of uncertainty in IS&R.

Originality/value

The general consensus is that uncertainty is a mental state of users reflecting a gap in knowledge which triggers an IS&R process, and that the gap is reduced as relevant information is found, and thus that the uncertainty disappears as the search process concludes. However, in the present study it is argued that some form of uncertainty is always associated with some part of the IS&R process and that it also fluctuates throughout the IS&R process. Users may therefore feel uncertain at any stage of the IS&R process and this may be related to: the initial information need and expression of that need, the search process itself, including identification of relevant systems, services and resources; and the assessment of, and reaction to, the results produced by the search process. Uncertainty may be unresolved, or even increase, as the user progresses, often iteratively, through the IS&R process and may remain even after its completion, resulting in what may be called a persistent uncertainty. In other words, this research hypothesises that, in addition to the uncertainty that triggers the information search process (Wilson et al., 2000), users suffer from varying degrees of uncertainty at every stage of the information search and retrieval process, and that in turn, triggers different information-seeking behaviours.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Noorhidawati Abdullah and Forbes Gibb

The purpose of this paper is to present the second part of three inter‐related studies investigating the use and usability of e‐books in higher education based on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the second part of three inter‐related studies investigating the use and usability of e‐books in higher education based on experiments conducted at the University of Strathclyde.

Design/methodology/approach

The research discussed here involved two analyses: an analysis of two e‐book collections in the libraries of the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow and an analysis of a follow‐up study to a web survey into user interactions with e‐books in one of the library's collections.

Findings

The follow‐up study found that in general students found that interacting with e‐books in the library collection was easy. Students indicated that their preferred book formats varied depending on the context of their information need. Despite their positive reaction and attitudes towards e‐books, students commented that e‐books needed to be promoted more strongly and that there were limitations with respect to their use.

Research limitations/implications

The study presented here was a small‐scale study based only on e‐book collections from one supplier (NetLibrary) and involved only 18 respondents. While this is considered sufficient based on the discount usability testing concept, generalisation of the results should be made with caution.

Practical implications

The findings should be of value to academic libraries in terms of improving e‐book collection management. This study highlights current attitudes of students towards e‐book in terms of how they interact with them, the features they value and their preferences between e‐books and paper books in a university library.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful information on students’ attitudes towards e‐books.

Details

Library Review, vol. 57 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2011

Chris Gibson and Forbes Gibb

This study seeks to evaluate a selection of second‐generation ebook readers in order to determine which devices deliver the best experience for the user, in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to evaluate a selection of second‐generation ebook readers in order to determine which devices deliver the best experience for the user, in terms of functionality and overall experience. The technical and physical elements of the devices are also compared.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper starts with a brief discussion of the current ebook marketplace, and previous studies that evaluate ebook readers. It then reports on a study in which 33 Master's students from an Information and Library Studies course were each given an ebook reader and asked to complete a task designed to engage them with the device. The participants then evaluated the devices by completing a questionnaire. A discussion of the results of the study and implications for the development of ebook reading devices follows.

Findings

Although some issues, specifically size, weight, and screen quality, have been addressed in the new generation of ebook readers, some residual dissatisfaction remains. The participants in the study preferred to use devices with which they were familiar.

Originality/value

This study provides guidance on the usability of ebook readers and provides insights into the future of ebook reading devices. It will be of benefit to information professionals seeking to utilise ebook reading devices, and to designers of ebook readers.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Clare Thornley and Forbes Gibb

The purpose of this paper is to explore the question of whether the differences between meaning in philosophy and meaning in information retrieval (IR) have implications…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the question of whether the differences between meaning in philosophy and meaning in information retrieval (IR) have implications for the use of philosophy in supporting research in IR.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a conceptual analysis and literature review.

Findings

There are some differences in the role of meaning in terms of purpose, content and use which should be clarified in order to assist a productive relationship between the philosophy of language and IR.

Research limitations/implications

This provides some new theoretical insights into the philosophical context of IR. It suggests that further productive work on the central concepts within IR could be achieved through the use of a methodology which analyses how exactly these concepts are discussed in other disciplines and the implications of any differences in the way in which they may operate in IR.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a new perspective on the relationship between philosophy and IR by exploring the role of meaning in these respective disciplines and highlighting differences, as well as similarities, with particular reference to the role of information as well as meaning in IR. This contributes to an understanding of two of the central concepts in IR, meaning and information, and the ways in which they are related. There is a history of work in IR and information science (IS) examining dilemmas and the paper builds on this work by relating it to some similar dilemmas in philosophy. Thus it develops the theory and conceptual understanding of IR by suggesting that philosophy could be used as a way of exploring intractable dilemmas in IR.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 65 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

1 – 10 of 79