Journal of the Association for Information Science



Bert R. Boyce




Joseph Becker, April 15, 1923 - July 23, 1995
Robert M. Hayes

We begin with another memoriam, an all to frequent occurrence in the last few months. The words on Joseph Becker are a valuable piece of the history of the profession as well as a tribute to a colleague by Bob Hayes.




Mapping Change in Scientific Specialties: A Scientometric Reconstruction of the Development of Artificial Intelligence
Peter van den Besselaar and Loet Leydesdorff 

There are three bibliometric articles in this issue, the first by Besselaar and Leydesdorff uses various journals to represent the core of AI and other associated disciplines. Journal/journal citation and reference matrices for successive years are established and used as the basis of a factor analysis and multi-dimensional scaling. Before 1988 the AI cluster of journals is unstable, but after this date it exhibits a stability which the authors believe indicates a more established speciality separate from cognitive science and in the nature of a methodology increasingly applicable to a number of subject areas.




Effect of Animation in Enhancing Descriptive and Procedural Texts in a Multimedia Learning Environment
Andrew Large, Jamshid Beheshti, Alain Breuleux, and Andre Renaud

In a test by Large et al. of the efficacy of interaction with different approaches in a multimedia environment, 122 grade six students were exposed to text; text and still image; text, still image, and animation sequences; and text, still image, animations, and captions. The students were also divided by high and low spatial ability as shown on a standardized test. After interacting with a sequence on the heart and its function the students' comprehension was tested by a written recall exam directly after exposure, then they were given a multiple choice test on the topic, and finally a problem requiring the proper ordering of the nine steps of blood as it pumps through the heart was required of each subject. Animation improved the ordering problem success rate significantly, but did not effect the other tests. Captions did not effect results. High spatial ability test results lead to significantly better performance on the propositional and thematic recall tests.




Optimal Use of an Information Retrieval System
John R. Conlon and Sumali J. Conlon

For the Conlons user behavior can provide clues to the goals of a retrieval system user and suggest system characteristics important for the maximization of these goals. Using a decision theory approach that assumes a known and constant set of relevant and other than relevant documents in a collection, a simple information retrieval model is constructed based on the probabilities of relevant and other than relevant retrievals. A model of user behavior assumes usefulness is the difference between the benefit of a number of relevant retrievals and the cost of a number of other than relevant retrievals. One would then use optimization techniques to choose a recall level (probability of relevant retrieval) to maximize the expected (probability of relevant retrieval) to maximize the expected usefulness. While none of this is particularly new, the idea of using user behavior to determine the user's goals or objective function is of some real interest.




The Rasch Model. Measuring the Impact of Scientific Journals: Analytical Chemistry
Pedro Alvarez and Antonio Pulgarin

The traditional impact factor for a journal is a ratio of citations to items published in a given time period. Alvarez and Pulgarin, using four indicators; number of citations in 1992 to articles published in 1990, and also to articles from 1991, and number of source items in both 1990 and 1991, construct an impact variable that ranges from zero to one marking instances of relative magnitude on a single dimension, and then locate both indicators and journals along it. The formulation of this impact measure, which comes from the work of Rasch, depends upon the difference in position of any two journals on the scale, and thus overcomes the problem of the ratio nature of the impact factor where a small number of both citations and source articles gives a journal equal or greater impact than one with a larger number of both.




The Rasch Model. Measuring Information from Keywords: The Diabetes Field
Pedro Alvarez and Antonio Pulgarin

The same authors use the Rasch model once again to predict term frequency. Thirty-seven MESH terms used in the diabetes literature from 1974 to 1994 were chosen and their use counts for each of the 21 years recorded. The distribution was then compared to that predicted by Rasch's formulation. This provides a picture of changing term use over time, and perhaps an indication of shifting research interest.




Video Dialtone Technology: Digital Video over ADSL, HFC, FTTC, and ATM
by Daniel Minoli
Reviewed by Bandula Abeysundara




Designing and Writing Online Documentation: Hypermedia for Self-Supporting Products, Second Edition
by William Horton
Reviewed by Mary Ellen Litzinger




Innovation and the Library: The Adoption of New Ideas in Public Libraries
by Verna L. Pungitore
Reviewed by Alan T. Schroeder, Jr.




Global Perspectives on the Ecology of Human-Machine Systems
edited by John M. Flach, Peter A. Hancock, Jeff Caird, and Kim J. Vicente
Reviewed by Alfred T. Lee




Local Applications of the Ecological Approach to Human-Machine Systems
edited by Peter A. Hancock, John M. Flach, Jeff Caird, and Kim J. Vicente
Reviewed by Alfred T. Lee




Software and Intellectual Property Protection: Copyright and Patent Issues for Computer and Legal Professionals
by Bernard A. Galler
Reviewed by Darlene E. Weingand




The Artificial Life Route to Artificial Intelligence: Building Embodied, Situated Agents
edited by Luc Steels and Rodney Brooks
Reviewed by Alan MacLennan





Cover: Two different pieces of visual information about the heavens. Top: The constellations from Phenomenes d'Aratus, c. 1000, Bibliotheque Municipale, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. Bottom: Solar system, French, 18th Century, from Entretien sur la Pluralite des Mondes.

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Last update: November 06, 1998