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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

Suliman Al‐Hawamdeh, Rachel de Vere, Geoff Smith and Peter Willett

Full‐text documents are usually searched by means of a Boolean retrieval algorithm that requires the user to specify the logical relationships between the terms of a…

Abstract

Full‐text documents are usually searched by means of a Boolean retrieval algorithm that requires the user to specify the logical relationships between the terms of a query. In this paper, we summarise the results to date of a continuing programme of research at the University of Sheffield to investigate the use of nearest‐neighbour retrieval algorithms for full‐text searching. Given a natural‐language query statement, our methods result in a ranking of the paragraphs comprising a full‐text document in order of decreasing similarity with the query, where the similarity for each paragraph is determined by the number of keyword stems that it has in common with the query. A full‐text document test collection has been created to allow systematic tests of retrieval effectiveness to be carried out. Experiments with this collection demonstrate that nearest‐neighbour searching provides a means for paragraph‐based access to full‐text documents that is of comparable effectiveness to both Boolean and hypertext searching and that index term weighting schemes which have been developed for the searching of bibliographical databases can also be used to improve the effectiveness of retrieval from full‐text databases. A current project is investigating the extent to which a paragraph‐based full‐text retrieval system can be used to augment the explication facilities of an expert system on welding.

Details

Online Review, vol. 15 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1994

Gareth Jones, Alexander M. Robertson and Peter Willett

This paper provides an introduction to genetic algorithms, a new approach to the investigation of computationally‐intensive problems that may be insoluble using…

Abstract

This paper provides an introduction to genetic algorithms, a new approach to the investigation of computationally‐intensive problems that may be insoluble using conventional, deterministic approaches. A genetic algorithm takes an initial set of possible starting solutions and then iteratively improves these solutions using operators that are analogous to those involved in Darwinian evolution. The approach is illustrated by reference to several problems in information retrieval.

Details

Online and CD-Rom Review, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1353-2642

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Thomas Jackson and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to honour the contributions of Mark Hepworth to library and information science (LIS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to honour the contributions of Mark Hepworth to library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

The personal views of the two authors, both of whom knew Hepworth for many years.

Findings

The significance of Hepworth’s research in LIS, in particular to studies of information behaviour and information literacy.

Originality/value

Demonstrates the community’s appreciation of Hepworth’s contributions to the discipline.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Lynsey Taylor and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to investigate UK academics’ views of the importance and prestige of journals relevant to library and information science (LIS) teaching and research.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate UK academics’ views of the importance and prestige of journals relevant to library and information science (LIS) teaching and research.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire, based on one used previously in the USA, was sent to UK academics involved in LIS teaching and research. The questionnaire asked respondents to rate the importance of 87 LIS journals, to suggest others that were of importance to them but that were not amongst the 87, and to identify the five most prestigious journals for promotion purposes. In addition, those journals were identified that had figured in institutional submissions to the LIS Unit of Assessment in Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Findings

While there was a fair measure of overall agreement between US and UK rankings of the 87 journals, with both highlighting the standing of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and of the Journal of Documentation, some substantial differences were also noted. Evidence is presented for a strong locational component to academics’ assessments of journal prestige, and analysis of the REF2014 submissions demonstrates the highly inter-disciplinary nature of LIS research in the UK.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is small, comprising 30 completed responses.

Originality/value

This is the first study to report UK academics’ rankings of LIS journals, and to compare those with comparable data for US academics.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Simon Wakeling, Valerie Spezi, Jenny Fry, Claire Creaser, Stephen Pinfield and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into publication practices from the perspective of academics working within four disciplinary communities: biosciences…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into publication practices from the perspective of academics working within four disciplinary communities: biosciences, astronomy/physics, education and history. The paper explores the ways in which these multiple overlapping communities intersect with the journal landscape and the implications for the adoption and use of new players in the scholarly communication system, particularly open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs (e.g. PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports) are large, broad scope, open-access journals that base editorial decisions solely on the technical/scientific soundness of the article.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups with active researchers in these fields were held in five UK Higher Education Institutions across Great Britain, and were complemented by interviews with pro-vice-chancellors for research at each institution.

Findings

A strong finding to emerge from the data is the notion of researchers belonging to multiple overlapping communities, with some inherent tensions in meeting the requirements for these different audiences. Researcher perceptions of evaluation mechanisms were found to play a major role in attitudes towards OAMJs, and interviews with the pro-vice-chancellors for research indicate that there is a difference between researchers’ perceptions and the values embedded in institutional frameworks.

Originality/value

This is the first purely qualitative study relating to researcher perspectives on OAMJs. The findings of the paper will be of interest to publishers, policy-makers, research managers and academics.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

Stephen Wade, Peter Willett, Bruce Robinson, Brian Vickery and Alina Vickery

This paper reports on a comparative evaluation of two computerised reference retrieval systems, INSTRUCT and PLEXUS. Instruct is a statistically‐based system based on best…

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Abstract

This paper reports on a comparative evaluation of two computerised reference retrieval systems, INSTRUCT and PLEXUS. Instruct is a statistically‐based system based on best match searching and automatic index term weighting while Plexus uses expert systems techniques to improve access to a conventional Boolean search system. After an introduction to the retrieval techniques used by the two systems, their retrieval effectiveness is compared using a set of nineteen queries and 512 documents on the subject of gardening. The best results were obtained by using the terms suggested by the Plexus system as the basis for an Instruct search.

Details

Online Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1984

Christine Pogue and Peter Willett

The ICL Distributed Array Processor, or DAP, is a single instruction stream, multiple data stream computer in which instructions are broadcast for simultaneous execution…

Abstract

The ICL Distributed Array Processor, or DAP, is a single instruction stream, multiple data stream computer in which instructions are broadcast for simultaneous execution in each of 4096 processing elements. Although originally developed for numeric computation, the DAP also provides a means for the rapid matching of the term lists representing documents and queries in information retrieval systems, and this paper presents an investigation of the use of the DAP for the parallel searching of large serial files of documents. Best match retrieval experiments with three collections of documents and queries show that the DAP is very much more efficient than a conventional mainframe computer in calculating a measure of similarity between a query and each of the documents in a large collection. It is suggested that the DAP, or machines with similar architectures, could form the basis for interactive bibliographic searching of serial files.

Details

Online Review, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2020

Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to provide a bibliometric review of the journal Library Review (LR) from 1989 until its relaunch in 2018 as global knowledge, memory and communication.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a bibliometric review of the journal Library Review (LR) from 1989 until its relaunch in 2018 as global knowledge, memory and communication.

Design/methodology/approach

Bibliometric analysis of 1,084 articles published in LR in the period 1989–2017.

Findings

Authors from 69 different countries have published in the journal, with Scotland providing the largest single contribution in terms of authors and institutions. Articles in the journal have been extensively cited, with the citations coming not only from the core library and information science literature but also from journals in a very broad range of disciplines.

Originality/value

This paper extends previous work on articles published in the journal and provides the first detailed study of citations to those published articles.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Valerie Spezi, Simon Wakeling, Stephen Pinfield, Jenny Fry, Claire Creaser and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the theory and practice of peer review in open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs typically operate a “soundness-only”…

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3618

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the theory and practice of peer review in open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs typically operate a “soundness-only” review policy aiming to evaluate only the rigour of an article, not the novelty or significance of the research or its relevance to a particular community, with these elements being left for “the community to decide” post-publication.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of interviews with 31 senior publishers and editors representing 16 different organisations, including 10 that publish an OAMJ. Thematic analysis was carried out on the data and an analytical model developed to explicate their significance.

Findings

Findings suggest that in reality criteria beyond technical or scientific soundness can and do influence editorial decisions. Deviations from the original OAMJ model are both publisher supported (in the form of requirements for an article to be “worthy” of publication) and practice driven (in the form of some reviewers and editors applying traditional peer review criteria to OAMJ submissions). Also publishers believe post-publication evaluation of novelty, significance and relevance remains problematic.

Originality/value

The study is based on unprecedented access to senior publishers and editors, allowing insight into their strategic and operational priorities. The paper is the first to report in-depth qualitative data relating specifically to soundness-only peer review for OAMJs, shedding new light on the OAMJ phenomenon and helping inform discussion on its future role in scholarly communication. The paper proposes a new model for understanding the OAMJ approach to quality assurance, and how it is different from traditional peer review.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Halima Egberongbe, Barbara Sen and Peter Willett

Organizations constantly evaluate their activities to ensure that they are attaining their management goals. Maturity assessment enables organizations to examine their…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations constantly evaluate their activities to ensure that they are attaining their management goals. Maturity assessment enables organizations to examine their capabilities, support innovation and evaluate development. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the maturity statuses of a selection of Nigerian university libraries in a study to investigate their quality management (QM) approaches. The study provides recommendations for means to attain the required statuses in academic library development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved a multisite case study in which interviews were conducted with 15 university librarians (or their representatives) and ten focus groups were conducted with non-management library staff. The resulting qualitative data were analyzed using an aspect of framework analysis – charting, while a maturity model from the field of project management (Prince 2 Maturity Model, P2MM) was used to assess maturity in QM of the libraries.

Findings

The results of the maturity assessment indicate a basic knowledge of the concept of QM implementation among the libraries. The scores obtained on the P2MM capability scale placed the libraries studied mainly on Level 1 (awareness level) of the model.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates that the culture of QM in academic libraries in Nigeria is at a low level with considerable potential for development. It is suggested that future adoption of quality maturity models to assess performance and organizational effectiveness would aid improvements for value-added services.

Originality/value

This is the first study to attempt the assessment of quality maturity levels in Nigerian academic libraries for identification of the organization’s positioning in QM and strategy.

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