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Journal of the Association for Information Science

IN THIS ISSUE

 

Bert R. Boyce

193

RESEARCH

 

Massive Query Resolution for Rapid Selective Dissemination of Information
J. D. Cohen

Cohen reports on optimal strategies for categorizing scanned abstracts for SDI profiles using a dictionary that defines hedges of terms and the user-specified Boolean and adjacency relationships, so that the presence of terms in certain combinations will assign a category to an abstract. The dictionary can be represented as an acyclic directed graph with entry terms as sources and categories as sinks. Matched keywords move vertices to a satisfied queue, which is then emptied to excite children. Vertices may be added and removed in O(n) time. The performance of these techniques on a desktop computer compares favorably with special-purpose hardware.

 

195

 

A Theory of Life in the Round
E. A. Chatman

Chatman's ``life in the round'' thesis states that a world view dominated by social norms controls the appropriateness of information behavior. Most activities follow normal patterns and only when crises occur is information seeking required. Then information will be sought beyond the boundaries of the group only if it is thought to be critical, collectively relevant, and under conditions where the current norms seem to fail. In a women's prison, information systematically changes behavior to fit the environment and to change inmate values to fit the local social group.

 

207

 

A Study on Word-Based and Integral-Bit Chinese Text Compression Algorithms
K.S. Cheng, G. H. Young, and K.F. Wong

Cheng et al. find that a word, rather than character-based, integral bit compression algorithm maintains a high compression ratio while achieving better than adequate speed on Chinese text.

 

218

 

History of Scholarly Information and Communication: A Review of Selected German Literature
T. Hapke

Hapke's brief bibliographic essay will be invaluable for the reader of German who wishes to achieve an overview of the German literature on scholarly communication.

 

229

 

On the Law of Zipf-Mandelbrot for Multi-Word Phrases
L. Egghe

Egghe proves the classical Zipf-Mandelbrot power law not to hold for multi-word phrases, and demonstrates that the exponents in such laws must decrease with the number of words in the phrase.

 

233

 

Structures and Strategies of Interdisciplinary Science
C. L. Palmer

Palmer chose four research groups because of their high degree of interdisciplinary membership. Title words from their cited references were subjected to co-word analysis. Twenty scientists exhibiting multiple themes were interviewed. A tight word association map created for each subject shows a well-bounded problem area, while loose maps indicate emerging cross-boundary connections. Efforts to maintain a broad perspective and a high level of productivity create tension, but boundary-crossing research can prosper.

 

242

 

Towards the Identification of the Optimal Number of Relevance Categories
R. Tang, W. M. Shaw, Jr., and J. L. Vevea

How many categories should be provided in a scale representing relevance to maximize the confidence of users in their decisions on the relevance of texts? After a pilot study using ten scales where participants rated the relevance of the documents on a scale of vertical bars and expressed their confidence in their judgement as a percentage, Tang, Vevea, and Shaw studied 105 participants culled from 151 to keep a representative sample of the higher point scales. Confidence rises rapidly as scale points increase from two, but levels and decreases after six. The maximum of a curve fit to the means is about 7.5 scale points. No evidence of interaction between scale and relevance was found, and the even/odd differences in confidence and relevance were not significant.

 

254

 

Retrieval Effectiveness of Surname-Title-Word Searches for Known Items by Academic Library Users
F. G. Kilgour, B. B. Moran, and J. R. Barden

Using a systematic sampling procedure, 917 books were chosen by Kilgour, Moran, and Barden from records of titles borrowed. Of these, 806 were found on the University of Michigan's OPAC. Searching by surname and one or two significant title words yields a single-screen display in 98.5% of cases, compared to a 96.1% single-screen display for surname and first and last title words. The authors suggest that this indicates that electronic title page information alone provides an adequate source for OPAC records.

 

265

 

Boundary Crossing in Research Literatures as a Means of Interdisciplinary Information Transfer
S. J. Pierce

Pierce terms any paper published in a journal belonging to the literature of a discipline, whose first author holds an academic appointment in a different discipline, a boundary-crossing paper. Twenty years of two journals each in sociology and political science provide 199 such papers. Citations were gathered and classed based upon their journal's disciplinary affiliation in SSCI. Citation rates for boundary-crossing papers were slightly below each journal's average. However, they received more citations from the disciplines of the journals in which they were published than from that of the author. They were even more highly cited by other disciplines.

 

271

 

A Model for Estimating the Occurrence of Same-Frequency Words and the Boundary between High- and Low-Frequency Words in Texts
Q. Sun, D. Shaw, and C. H. Davis

Sun et al. suggest a method of estimating the boundary point between high- and low-frequency words which uses the number of types rather than the number of singly occurring words, as Goffman originally suggested. Predicted values are very close to observed values in both a Chinese and an English text. A boundary of the square root of the number of types seems to provide as good an estimate as the previous, more complex formulation.

280

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Last update: February 18, 1999