Journal of the Association for Information Science



Bert R. Boyce




Information-Seeking Behavior of Securities Analysts: Individual and Institutional Influences, Information Sources and Channels, and Outcomes
Nancy Sadler Baldwin and Ronald E. Rice

Information technology and the need for global information are constantly changing the way securities analysts, one kind of knowledge worker, obtain, manipulate,  and disseminate information. This study develops and tests a general model, with specific hypotheses, that individual characteristics and institutional resources influence the information sources and communication channels that individuals use, that use of these sources and channels influences the outcomes of analysts' activities, and that, therefore, individual characteristics and institutional resources both directly and indirectly influence the outcomes. The data for this study were collected through a telephone survey administered to a random sample of 100 securities analysts from 40 of the largest investment banking firms in the United States and the United Kingdom. The results show that individual characteristics have little influence on the information sources and communication channels used by analysts, and thereby do not have a significant influence on the outcomes of analysts' information activities. Institutional resources do have a significant influence on the information sources and communication channels analysts use, but also have a direct influence on outcomes, and thereby play a significant role in analysts' information activities. The conclusion discuses implications of these findings for securities analysts, institutional and retail investors, schools of library and information science, and practicing information professionals.




A Classification Approach to Boolean Query Reformulation
James C. French, Donald E. Brown and Nam-Ho Kim

One of the difficulties in using current Boolean-based information retrieval systems is that it is hard for a user, especially a novice, to formulate an effective Boolean query. Query reformulation can be even more difficult and complex than formulation since users often have difficulty incorporating the new information gained from the previous search into the next query. In this article, query reformulation is viewed as a classification problem, that is, classifying documents as either relevant or nonrelevant. A new reformulation algorithm is proposed which builds a tree-structured classifier, called a query tree, at each reformulation from a set of feedback documents retrieved from the previous search. The query tree can easily be transformed into a Boolean query. The query tree is compared to two query reformulation algorithms on benchmark test sets (CACM, CISI, and Medlars). In most experiments, the query tree showed significant improvements in precision over the two algorithms compared in this study. We attribute this improved performance to the ability of the query tree algorithm to select good search terms and to represent the relationships among search terms into a tree structure.




The Enacted Fate of Undiscovered Public Knowledge
Mark A. Spasser

In a series of articles, Don Swanson explores the problem of associating two or more literatures that are logically, or substantially, related, but bibliographically non-interactive. He has called these implicit links among published literatures undiscovered public knowledge. This article explores the fate of Swanson's ideas, using citation context analysis both to determine which authors have utilized Swanson's ideas and to examine the uses to which they have been put. The results suggest that while Swanson has received significant attention from the library and information science community, his ideas have not been widely cited in biomedical disciplines, and, when cited, only with rhetorically dismissive qualifications that detract from their facticity. These results are interpreted as a failed instance of interdisciplinary communication, and several explanations of this failure are discussed.




Information Technology and Social Relations: Portrayals of Gender Roles in High Tech Product  Advertisements
Juris Dilevko and Roma M. Harris

Advertisements for technology products were sampled from professional journals in the fields of business, computing science/engineering, and library and information science. Content analysis revealed that men are portrayed in the ads more frequently than women, although the distribution of male and female figures in various poses is more egalitarian in ads found in traditional library journals. The depictions of male and female roles in relation to technology is largely stereotypic. Men are often portrayed as deep thinkers who are connected to the future, whereas women are often present in ads in order to convey the notion of simplicity of product use.




Information Science: A Third Feedback Framework
Amanda Spink

Feedback has been a fundamental element in many cybernetic and social models. Information science is also exploring feedback as a key concept within information seeking and retrieving models. This article first presents an overview of the feedback concepts within the frameworks and models of cybernetics and the social sciences. The article then proposes that an enhanced feedback concept is developing within the framework and models of information seeking and retrieving , and the development of a cognitive viewpoint of information, illuminating the information seeking and retrieving context. The three feedback frameworks and concepts (cybernetic, social, and interaction) are then compared based on their conceptualization of the feedback loop and notion of information.




Interaction in Information Retrieval: Selection and Effectiveness of Search Terms
Amanda Spink and Tefko Saracevic

We investigated the sources and effectiveness of search terms used during mediated on-line searching under real-life (as opposed to laboratory) circumstances. A stratified model of information retrieval (IR) interaction served as a framework for the analysis. For the analysis, we used the on-line transaction logs, videotapes, and transcribed dialogue of the presearch and on-line interaction between 40 users and 4 professional intermediaries. Each user provided one question and interacted with one of the four intermediaries. Searching was done using DIALOG. Five sources of search terms were identified: (1) the users' written question statements, (2) terms derived from users' domain knowledge during the interaction, (3) terms extracted from retrieved items as relevance feedback, (4) database thesaurus, and (5) terms derived by intermediaries during the interaction. Distribution, retrieval effectiveness, transition sequences, and correlation of search terms from different sources were investigated. Search terms from users' written question statements and term relevance feedback were the most productive sources of terms contributing to the retrieval of items judged by relevant users. Implications of the findings are discussed.




Design Rationale: Concepts, Techniques, and Use
by Thomas P. Moran and John M. Carroll
reviewed by: Andrew Dillon




Information and Business Performance: A Study of Information Systems and Services in High Performing Companies
by Ian Owens and Tom Wilson with Angela Abell
reviewed by: Alison M. Keyes




High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace
by Peter Ludlow
reviewed by: Leslie Regan Shade




Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths, and Metaphors for Inventing the Net
by Mark Stefik
reviewed by: Martha Montague Smith





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Last update: November 06, 1998