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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Julian Warner

The contrast between the value placed on discriminatory power in discussions of indexing and classification and on the transformation of a query into a set of relevant…

Abstract

The contrast between the value placed on discriminatory power in discussions of indexing and classification and on the transformation of a query into a set of relevant records dominant in information retrieval research has not yet been fully explored. The value of delivering relevant records in response to a query has been assumed by information retrieval research paradigms otherwise differentiated (the cognitive and the physical). Subsidiary concepts and measures (relevance and precision and recall) have been increasingly subjected to critiques. The founding assumption of the value of delivering relevant records now needs to be questioned. An enhanced capacity for informed choice is advocated as an alternative principle for system evaluation and design. This broadly corresponds to: the exploratory capability discussed in recent information retrieval research; the value of discriminatory power in classification and indexing; Giambattista Vico‘s critique of the unproductivity of Aristotelian methods of categorisation as routes to new knowledge; and, most significantly, to ordinary discourse conceptions of the value of information retrieval systems. The criterion of enhanced choice has a liberating effect, restoring man as an artificer and enabling a continuing dialectic between theory and practice. Techniques developed in classic information retrieval research can be adapted to the new purpose. Finally, the substitution of the principle of enhanced choice exemplifies the development of a true science, in which previous paradigms are absorbed into new as special cases. Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men; As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, Shoughs, water‐rugs, and demi‐wolves, are clept All by the name of dogs: the valu’d file Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle, The housekeeper, the hunter, every one According to the gift which bounteous Nature Hath in him clos’d; whereby he does receive Particular addition, from the bill That writes them all alike; Shakespeare. Macbeth. c.1606.

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Aslib Proceedings, vol. 52 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Automated Information Retrieval: Theory and Methods
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12266-170-9

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Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-617-5

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Automated Information Retrieval: Theory and Methods
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12266-170-9

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Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-615-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1977

ELIZABETH D. BARRACLOUGH

The possibility of having access to all the world's literature from a single computer terminal stimulated the imagination of the research workers in the late' sixties. It…

Abstract

The possibility of having access to all the world's literature from a single computer terminal stimulated the imagination of the research workers in the late' sixties. It was this goal and the fascination of the co‐operation between man and machine, that inspired the major changes that have taken place in Information Retrieval over the past ten years.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1988

Paul Nieuwenhuysen

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used…

Abstract

The following bibliography focuses mainly on programs which can run on IBM microcomputers and compatibles under the operating system PC DOS/MS DOS, and which can be used in online information and documentation work. They fall into the following categories:

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The Electronic Library, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

EFTHIMIS N. EFTHIMIADIS

This review reports on the current state and the potential of tools and systems designed to aid online searching, referred to here as online searching aids. Intermediary…

Abstract

This review reports on the current state and the potential of tools and systems designed to aid online searching, referred to here as online searching aids. Intermediary mechanisms are examined in terms of the two stage model, i.e. end‐user, intermediary, ‘raw database’, and different forms of user — system interaction are discussed. The evolution of the terminology of online searching aids is presented with special emphasis on the expert/non‐expert division. Terms defined include gateways, front‐end systems, intermediary systems and post‐processing. The alternative configurations that such systems can have and the approaches to the design of the user interface are discussed. The review then analyses the functions of online searching aids, i.e. logon procedures, access to hosts, help features, search formulation, query reformulation, database selection, uploading, downloading and post‐processing. Costs are then briefly examined. The review concludes by looking at future trends following recent developments in computer science and elsewhere. Distributed expert based information systems (debis), the standard generalised mark‐up language (SGML), the client‐server model, object‐orientation and parallel processing are expected to influence, if they have not done so already, the design and implementation of future online searching aids.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1974

KAREN SPARCK JONES

This article reviews the state of the art in automatic indexing, that is, automatic techniques for analysing and characterising documents, for manipulating their…

Abstract

This article reviews the state of the art in automatic indexing, that is, automatic techniques for analysing and characterising documents, for manipulating their descriptions in searching, and for generating the index language used for these purposes. It concentrates on the literature from 1968 to 1973. Section I defines the topic and its context. Sections II and III consider work in syntax and semantics respectively in detail. Section IV comments on ‘indirect’ indexing. Section V briefly surveys operating mechanized systems. In Section VI major experiments in automatic indexing are reviewed, and Section VII attempts an overall conclusion on the current state of automatic indexing techniques.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1999

Murat Karamuftuoglu

The main objective of this article is to show the increasing relevance of the knowledge production capability of information storage and retrieval systems in the context…

Abstract

The main objective of this article is to show the increasing relevance of the knowledge production capability of information storage and retrieval systems in the context of ‘perpetual innovation’, otherwise known as the ‘information’ economy. The knowledge production potential of information retrieval systems is only barely recognised in the information science community. Traditionally, information professionals and retrieval systems devised by them are conceived merely as guardians and facilitators of knowledge. This prevents information professionals playing a key role in an innovation based economy. In a perpetual innovation economy, information/knowledge embedded in commodities becomes the main source of profit. However, the peculiar character of information/knowledge means that privately owned knowledge tends to flow back into the public domain. This peculiarity necessitates continuous production of new knowledge applied to products and production techniques. Creative acts are not individualistic but collective/collaborative processes. Emerging collaborative systems on computer networks, such as the Internet, make it possible to devise work environments that are conducive to the development and cultivation of collective practices. Informational retrieval systems designers and practitioners may find it useful to study such systems to develop retrieval mechanisms that enhance creativity and facilitate knowledge production as well as knowledge transfer. It is hoped that by putting information retrieval in the context of the perpetual innovation economy, the knowledge production potential of information retrieval systems becomes more widely acknowledged and accepted among information practitioners.

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Aslib Proceedings, vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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