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Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

 EDITORIAL

 

In This Issue
   
Bert R. Boyce
 

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 RESEARCH

 

Cognitive Styles and Hypermedia Navigation: Development of a Learning Model
    Sherry Y. Chen and Robert D. Macredie
    Published online 13 November 2001

After Chen and Macredie review the extensive education literature concerning the effects of a learner's cognitive style on the effectiveness of their use of hypermedia, they focus upon the Witkin's Field Dependence/Field Independence bi-polar characterization of cognitive style. Based upon an analysis of the results of studies of interactions between hypermedia use and these two styles they build a learning model that suggests field dependent learners prefer guided navigation, and field independent free search; that field dependent learners prefer structure and guidance and will use maps to process information globally, while the field independent are analytical and task oriented. This suggests that the best user interface will have options for both styles.
 

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Bounded Rationality and Satisficing in Young People's Web-Based Decision Making
    Denise E. Agosto
    Published online 16 November 2001

Agosto examines the application of Simon's theory of bounded rationality and of satisficing in the web searching behavior of twenty-two ninth and tenth grade females as well as the effect of their personal preferences for design features. The participants' web use varied from every day to less than once a month. They were instructed to visit three specific sites within a fifty-minute period, and to surf freely with any time remaining after these visits. They were to record what they liked about a site, what they did not like, and what they would change. Then recorded group interviews were conducted on a split of the participants where each participant began by reporting on their written preferences which was followed by a free discussion with occasional questions from the researcher. The transcripts were then read for sections relevant to the research questions and these sections coded with the help of the qualitative analysis tool, NUD*IST.

The participants reported physical, time and cognitive constraints, confirming and expanding the applicability of ``bounded rationality;'' satisficing behavior to combat information overload, and it was clear that personal opinion played a role in both graphic content (where colors were important) and subject content (where personal interest was important).
 

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Testing Visual Information Retrieval Methodologies Case Study: Comparative Analysis of Textual, Icon, Graphical, and ``Spring'' Displays
    Emile Morse, Michael Lewis, and Kai A. Olsen
    Published online 16 November 2001

A review of tests of visual displays of retrieved documents for further retrieval refinement by Morse and Lewis indicates few such tests have taken place and that performance has been shown to be less than strikingly effective. They believe these results are a function of system complexity, insufficient user training and insufficient experimental controls that are difficult to overcome in full system testing. Paper based, or equally simple web based displays, can be controlled much more easily, and applied to larger test groups, although such tests will explicate only basic concepts, not particular systems and may require consideration of only the most basic features of any particular system. They run paper tests on VIBE, an interface that uses polygons as information spaces where the vertices, called points of interest, are the query terms. Subjects were presented with a textual display, and icon display, a table display and a graph display, as well as the VIBE display of responses to a two-term search. They were asked to circle the items containing the two terms, and to count the items containing the first term, then rank the interfaces as to their overall effectiveness, and effectiveness in answering each type of question. Exposure was randomized and no effect of external variables was found. Order effected results. The icon and VIBE displays were ranked best and text worst, despite the fact that text was most effective. A three-term test was then run using both paper and web displays. Performance was based on correct answers, times were kept on the computer-mediated sessions, and rankings of displays again solicited. Post-tests solicited possible external variable information. Paper or web exposure made no significant difference. Again icon and VIBE preform well and text is not favored by the subjects. The increase in complexity resulted in more difficulty in use of the text display and more expressed utility in the VIBE display.
 

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    Emerging Information Association and History of Information Science in Romania
    Nicolae Dragulanescu
    Published online 7 November 2001

After a brief description of the language, population and political history of Romania, Dragulanescu provides a time-line of developments bearing on bibliography and documentation in that country. A highly centralized and governmentally regulated scientific and technical information structure developed after 1949, and continued to operate after the governmental change in 1989, although their operations and governance changed radically after that time. A formal program for educating graduate level information professionals is not in place. The current IS infrastructure was subjected to a SWOT analysis in which strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are identified and recommendations made for building on strengths, minimizing weaknesses, seizing opportunities and countering threats. In this case recommendations include the increasing of Romanian's awareness of the importance of information, receiving international assistance for computerization, creation of a private body for the promotion of IS education, creation of a professional organization for IS in Romania, creation of a journal, and a strategy conference.
   

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Indirect-Collective Referencing (ICR) in the Elite Journal Literature of Physics. II. A Literature Study on the Level of Communications
    Endre Szava-Kovats
    Published online 20 November 2001

The use of the phrase ``and the references therein'' within citations both in footnotes and in bibliographies, has become common in the Physics literature with such Indirect-Collective Referencing (ICR) occurring in 17% of a recent sample. Here, Szava-Kovats examines the 458 papers in the 2,662-paper sample which exhibited ICR. The contributions of the regular and letter journals were treated separately as were short communications. For each paper the number of references, the number of references per page, and the number of works cited with ICR, were noted. All three characteristics vary widely over the population. There is only a medium positive correlation between absolute reference use and the intensity of ICR use in the full population and this weakens when letters alone are considered. The papers from the normal journal portion of the population determine the correlation in the total population and the degree to which papers are documented does not correlate with the intensity of ICR. These variables are independent although both depend upon the subjective decisions of the referencing author.
 

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BOOK REVIEWS

 

The Future of Classification, edited by Rita Marcella and Arthur Maltby
    Birger Hjorland
    Published online 8 November 2001
 

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Saving the Time of the Library User Through Subject Access Innovation: Papers in Honor of Pauline Atherton Cochrane, edited by William J. Wheeler
    Anastasis (Tassos) D. Petrou
    Published online 7 November 2001
 

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Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism, by Nick Dyer-Witheford
    Ron Day
    Published online 9 November 2001
 

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A Sociological Theory of Communication: The Self-Organization of the Knowledge-Based Society, by Loet Leydesdorff
    Eric G. Ackermann
    Published online 27 November 2001
 

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CALLS FOR PAPERS

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