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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.
Farradane's system of relational indexing, which had been previously used in a retrospective search system with good results, was further tested as the indexing language…
Farradane's system of relational indexing, which had been previously used in a retrospective search system with good results, was further tested as the indexing language for an experimental S.D.I. system. Sections of Metals Abstracts were used for the data base of 2,820 abstracts, and forty‐three volunteer users participated in the experiment which lasted for six months. Performance was assessed by recall, precision and fallout ratios, and the ‘coefficient of association’ (Q value) and the product (recall X precision) were used as overall measures. The overall average performance was about 75% recall and 75% precision. A failure analysis was also carried out. The browsing strategies incorporated into the system were analysed, as were the profile structure, the distribution of performance measures and possible relationships between recall, precision and generality. Farradane's relational indexing appeared applicable to the different scientific area of the properties of metals and again gave good results with a greater depth of indexing. Some new features of the system were observed.
In visiting more than a hundred special libraries and information units in Britain (not to use their resources but to study their methods) I have often been concerned by…
In visiting more than a hundred special libraries and information units in Britain (not to use their resources but to study their methods) I have often been concerned by the inadequacy of the private indexing systems in use, although there were many exceptions. The classifications were often crude, and/or outdated, and/or quite insufficiently detailed, and were seldom provided with good subject indexes. Alphabetical subject‐heading indexes are more difficult to assess on a brief visit, but these were seldom detailed enough, so that fifty or more documents could be indexed under one heading. Seldom was there a separate subject‐headings list, and often no recognition of the need of one. Guidance for the user was very often poor.
To construct a scientific and reasonable indicator system, it is necessary to design a set of standardized indicator primary selection and optimization inspection process…
To construct a scientific and reasonable indicator system, it is necessary to design a set of standardized indicator primary selection and optimization inspection process. The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical guidance and reference standards for the indicator system design process, laying a solid foundation for the application of the indicator system, by systematically exploring the expert evaluation method to optimize the index system to enhance its credibility and reliability, to improve its resolution and accuracy and reduce its objectivity and randomness.
The paper is based on system theory and statistics, and it designs the main line of “relevant theoretical analysis – identification of indicators – expert assignment and quality inspection” to achieve the design and optimization of the indicator system. First, the theoretical basis analysis, relevant factor analysis and physical process description are used to clarify the comprehensive evaluation problem and the correlation mechanism. Second, the system structure analysis, hierarchical decomposition and indicator set identification are used to complete the initial establishment of the indicator system. Third, based on expert assignment method, such as Delphi assignments, statistical analysis, t-test and non-parametric test are used to complete the expert assignment quality diagnosis of a single index, the reliability and validity test is used to perform single-index assignment correction and consistency test is used for KENDALL coordination coefficient and F-test multi-indicator expert assignment quality diagnosis.
Compared with the traditional index system construction method, the optimization process used in the study standardizes the process of index establishment, reduces subjectivity and randomness, and enhances objectivity and scientificity.
The innovation point and value of the paper are embodied in three aspects. First, the system design process of the combined indicator system, the multi-dimensional index screening and system optimization are carried out to ensure that the index system is scientific, reasonable and comprehensive. Second, the experts’ background is comprehensively evaluated. The objectivity and reliability of experts’ assignment are analyzed and improved on the basis of traditional methods. Third, aim at the quality of expert assignment, conduct t-test, non-parametric test of single index, and multi-optimal test of coordination and importance of multiple indicators, enhance experts the practicality of assignment and ensures the quality of expert assignment.
The search for an easily installed, practicable and inexpensive information retrieval system continues unabated. This is reflected in the Aslib Library almost daily by…
The search for an easily installed, practicable and inexpensive information retrieval system continues unabated. This is reflected in the Aslib Library almost daily by requests for advice on the feasibility of installing this or that system, or for information on what systems are available in Great Britain. Study of the following bibliography, which covers only a narrow selection of information retrieval systems, will reveal that much original thought has been producing concrete results in this country. In fact, one of the earliest references is to a paper given at the twenty‐second Aslib Conference in 1947 by W. E. Batten, in which he describes his development of an ‘aspect’ card system—more often referred to today as ‘Peek‐a‐boo’ or ‘feature’ cards. Mr C. W. Cleverdon's Cranfield project is also adding considerable knowledge on the use of various indexing methods, including Uniterm.
This article discusses the possibility of the automation of sophisticated subject indexing of medical journal articles. Approaches to subject descriptor assignment in…
This article discusses the possibility of the automation of sophisticated subject indexing of medical journal articles. Approaches to subject descriptor assignment in information retrieval research are usually either based upon the manual descriptors in the database or generation of search parameters from the text of the article. The principles of the Medline indexing system are described, followed by a summary of a pilot project, based upon the Amed database. The results suggest that a more extended study, based upon Medline, should encompass various components: Extraction of ‘concept strings’ from titles and abstracts of records, based upon linguistic features characteristic of medical literature. Use of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) for identification of controlled vocabulary descriptors. Coordination of descriptors, utilising features of the Medline indexing system. The emphasis should be on system manipulation of data, based upon input, available resources and specifically designed rules.
The analysis of unstructured information, particularly in the form of text, has long been a technique in the armory of social scientists, who have to deal with…
The analysis of unstructured information, particularly in the form of text, has long been a technique in the armory of social scientists, who have to deal with conversational records, historical documents, unstructured interviews, and the like. Unsurprisingly, a considerable amount of methodological literature has developed on the subject. The methods of “qualitative data analysis” have now spread to areas of information analysis as diverse as market research and legal evidence analysis. Related computer techniques, from database management systems and word‐processors to specialized qualitative data analysis software, have been pressed into use. This article discusses the information processing methodology and theory assumed by computer‐based qualitative data analysis software; and, in particular, describes and analyzes the methodology of the NUDIST system developed by the authors.
Librarianship and documentation is a service industry. Its end product is the receipt by a customer of the information retrieved for him, from a store, by the librarian…
Librarianship and documentation is a service industry. Its end product is the receipt by a customer of the information retrieved for him, from a store, by the librarian, whether this service is effected indirectly (by the mere placing of the item in some convenient spot in the library, the customer helping himself) or by direct provision of a reference to a document or the document itself. So our continuing preoccupation with IR is natural enough.
The processing and storage capacity of microcomputers can now support sophisticated and powerful information retrieval systems, previously available only on larger mainframes. The characteristics of information retrieval software are discussed as are the performance capabilities of two software programs, SIRE and ZyINDEX.