By Brian C. O'Connor
Indexing and abstracting usually fail simply because an excessive amount of emphasis is given to the mechanics of description and too little is given to what should be defined. this article specializes in how humans search info. Drawing on a delightfully extensive base of highbrow resources—from details idea and vintage literature to Beethoven and MTV—the writer considers the fundamental query of ways we will be able to index and summary our info in order that the person can really locate it. He additionally addresses the demanding situations and possibilities as a result of the data and know-how explosion. O'Connor discusses the shortcomings of conventional indexing and abstracting platforms after which offers essays, workouts, and case reviews that foster attention of the weather of a winning seek in a number of settings. invaluable as a spouse quantity for reference, cataloging, and indexing and abstracting periods, this e-book is usually of curiosity to expert librarians, details agents, and on-line searchers.
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Extra info for Explorations in Indexing and Abstracting: Pointing, Virtue, and Power
Failure to present an aspect of a document that might have been useful (or indicated utility), or failure to represent a useful aspect in a manner appropriate to the searcher, means that a potential answer will go unfound. This suggests the need for dynamic systems that incorporate the user in some fashion. Even in established systems, consideration of user characteristics may enhance system performance. , in order to design systems to foster successful searching, is at the heart of this book. Its stimulus is the thesis that no matter how facile the retrieval system, substantial failures result because of fundamental differences between the manner in which documents have been represented and the manner in which searchers represent their questions.
Can we design systems that can detect the treasure for each user? Can we abstract multimedia documents? Must abstracts be constructed a priori, or might we design systems for ad hoc construction of custom-designed abstracts? 5 shows the general relationship between indexing, abstracting, and a document collection. Indexing points to areas of likely utility, while abstracting provides smaller, secondary documents for inspection. Indexing and abstracting of some sort are absolute necessities for navigating through the sea of information in which we find ourselves today.
No one person can listen to all the recorded music or watch all the video productions or become familiar with all the sites on the Net. One must choose which very tiny portion of all the documents available one will use for education, entertainment, or decision making. We live in the midst of phenomenal changes in production, dissemination, and use of information. The numbers of information sources are growing at a staggering rate. In 1777, the Dartmouth College Library opened with 305 books. It would take until 1970 to reach 1 million books, but only another two decades to reach 2 million books.