Journal of the Association for Information Science

[Below is Bert R. Boyce's copy for "In This Issue" (a slightly expanded version compared to what appears in JASIS) combined with the rest of the Table of Contents. Bert, Professor & Dean, School of Library & Information Science, Louisiana State University and a member of the JASIS Advisory Board, writes the "In this Issue" column in each regular issue of JASIS.]



Bert R. Boyce




Clumping Properties of Content-Bearing Words
Bookstein, A., S.T. Klein, and T. Raita

Passages in text that contain a term of interest and are surprisingly close (physically adjacent) to other such passages indicate an other than random distribution of that term in the text. Such a distribution may well be an indication that the term is content bearing, since randomly distributed terms are likely to be other than content bearing. Five measures of such "serial clustering" are presented. Two Condensation measures, where the distribution of words over textual units is examined to identify words with other than random distributions, and three Linear measures, where the textual units containing at least one occurrence of the word are examined relative to their position relative to on another to identify other than random patterns. Comparisons of three of these measures with human expert content word identification in Hebrew, French and English indicates that a clumping tendency is present in content bearing words.




A Cognitive Model of Document Use During a Research Project. Study I. Document Selection
Wang, Peiling and Dagobert Sorgel

Here "Document Selection" means the choice from a search generated surrogate list of a particular document for the purpose of further use, and it is this cognitive process and its sub processes and components that is the focus of the study. Document Information Elements (DIE's) are the smallest meaningful components of the bibliographic record and may relate to particular user selection criteria. Using 25 faculty and graduate student subjects, participants viewed a retrieved citation printout, and were recorded reading and thinking aloud as they evaluated the individual citations. A second pass through the selected citations was then made to permit further rejection and provide a preference ranking. The recordings were then coded and analyzed to determine DIE's, document values, and criteria used.

Epistemic, functional and social values are prominent, and the criteria of topicality is the clear leader although orientation, quality and novelty make strong showings. Title and abstract were the DIE's most used for topicality and orientation, author and journal for quality, and title and author for novelty.




The Electronic News Delivery Project
Watters, C.R., M.A. Shepherd, and F.J. Burkowski

After a review of news reading theory and the state of the art in electronic news provision, including filtering and prediction of user preferences, it is concluded that effective news packages must provide a value added layer in editorial and layout activities. This will include temporal and content linkages, which moves news provision closer to library processes, as well as significant incorporation of multiple media, personalization, and interactivity in both content and in advertisement.

A three layer electronic news architecture resting on a digital library of truly massive proportions is suggested. The recourse layer stores and supports access to archived and current news items and consists of multiple news providers hopefully using a common markup language. The news management layer links like items and generates packages for individualized editions. It contains a query manager to accept and process profiles and requests from the news reader layer which resides on the client machine. Prototypes of the three layers are in place but not discussed in any detail.




Scholarly Communication in Developmental Dyslexia: Influence of Network Structure on Change in a Hybrid Problem Area
Perry, Claudia A. and Ronald E. Rice

The existence of communication networks of researchers in visual dyslexia and phonological dyslexia is confirmed, and their structures and changes over time investigated. Using bibliographies, conference attendance lists, presence on advisory and editorial boards, and principle investigators in funded research projects over a 20 year period, 924 names were identified of whom 69 were on four or more lists. Five more were added from the three source list to bring a target list to 74. Survey forms or CV's were received from 55, with age being the only significant variable separating respondents from non respondents. Co-citation data was then collected and analyzed using the CONCOR algorithm.

In the early years of the sample period researchers with very different approaches to the problem were grouped together. In the third and final time period defined blocks corresponding to the alternative perspectives appeared. However, several distinct lines of research appear to be taking place within these groups and no pattern of convergence occurs. The social connections shown by editorial board membership and conference attendance at best weakly reflect the co-citation based patterns.




Concept Similarity and Conceptual Information Alteration Via English-to- Chinese and Chinese-to-English Translation of Medical Article Titles
He, Shaoyi

Fifty English to Chinese and 50 Chinese to English translations of papers were selected at random from an existing database and their original texts paired with the translations. Two bilingual judges identified all the concepts present in the paired titles generating a list of concept pairs and concepts without counterparts. Each pair was rated on a scale of one to five indicating the conceptual similarity of the paired terms. Cohen's Kappa revealed substantial inter-judge agreement. Concepts with target language counterparts, without such counterparts and concepts in the target but not the source were counted. There is a loss of information in the translation process in both directions.




Searching Through Cyberspace: The Effects of Link Display and Link Density on Information Retrieval from Hypertext on the World Wide Web
Khan, kushal, and Craig Locatis

Is it better to have a large number of hypertext links on an index type page, or to lower the link per page density? Should the links appear within the text of paragraphs, or in lists constructed for that purpose?

Sixty four magnet high school students were divided into expert and novice classes based on self reported browsing levels. A 15 page document on an unfamilar topic was structured into nine chapters and linked to 18 related external documents. Each of four versions of the document had a table of contents with links to chapters, and each chapter had links to relevant and irrelevant subchapters, and to the external documents which themselves had external links. The versions had either high or low density links and either list or in paragraph link placement.

Six search tasks ranked by difficulty were utilized, with subjects randomly assigned to the four treatments. Search time and numbers of links were recorded by observers. Indicating the display in which an answer could be found was correct completion and accuracy was the percent of tasks correctly completed. Prioritization was scored by giving points for completing tasks in order of difficulty.

Results were analyzed by a multivariate analysis of variance to test for link density interactions and display type effects. The use of lists of links and low density display produces positive effects upon overall performance.



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Last update: November 06, 1998