Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

Table of Contents

Volume 55  Issue 4


In This Issue



In this issue
Bert Boyce










Name That Tune A Pilot Study in Finding a Melody From a Sung Query Bryan
Pardo, Jonah Shifrin, and William Birmingham
Published online 10 December 2003

Pardo, Birmingham, and Shifrin describe the matching processes of what is commonly called a Query-by-Humming system for the search of musical databases based upon content rather than metadata and called MuseArt. Sung queries vocalized as a single repeating syllable are recorded, transcribed, and converted into a sequence of pitch intervals and rhythms using a MIDI- like representation, as are themes stored in the database. Fifty milliseconds or more of low variance pitch constitutes a note defined by pitch, onset time, and duration. Retrieved themes are ranked by similarity in timing and pitch contour, and may be played. Both string matching processes and a hidden Markov model, where a themes probability of generating the query provides the similarity measure, are utilized. Using a database of 284 themes from 260 Beatles songs and targets from this set as queries, string alignment mean right rank was consistently one, while the hidden Markov model yielded a mean right rank of 1 in 23 of 29 cases. The string matching system was 12 times faster than the hidden Markov model.








The Digital Reference Research Agenda
R. David Lankes
Published online 18 December 2003

Lankes believes that the interest in digital reference service has been primarily found among practitioners, and thus the research agenda produced by the Harvard symposium reported here will encourage the research community to address the topic. Digital reference is defined as "the use of human intermediation to answer questions in a digital environment." The central research question is expressed as, "How can human expertise be effectively and efficiently incorporated into information systems to answer user questions?" Other questions concern measurement of costs and benefits, the architecture that would be necessary and sufficient, the identification of information need through questions, and the nature of satisfactory answers. The agenda assumes that human expertise is a useful component and that digital reference is in some sense different than traditional reference. Research in the area may be viewed from a perspective of policy, of systems, of evaluation, or of behavior.







Reconfiguring Control in Library Collection Development A Conceptual Framework for Assessing the Shift Toward Electronic Collections
Lisa M. Covi and Melissa H. Cragin
Published online 18 November 2003

Covi and Cragin contend that as a consequence of the shift in library collection development from an ownership model to an access model, collections are exhibiting both breaks in the continuity of scholarly publications and information masked by difficulty with interface use or metadata inadequacy. A review of the current academic library collection development milieu leads to the observation of a lack of a conceptual framework to measure and evaluate the use of electronic sources. A comparison of eight electronic versions of abstracting and indexing and full text databases exhibits inconsistent availability of information on scope, coverage, currency, selectivity, and authority.









Information-Seeking Behavior of Chemists A Transaction Log Analysis of Referral URLs
Philip M. Davis
Published online 20 November 2003

Davis looks at the logs of the American Chemical Society servers to identify the path into the servers taken by Cornell University IP addresses. Thus, behavior described is that at an individual computer, not necessarily that of an individual scientist. The method will not identify referrals from other than Web-based e-mails, browser bookmarks, or within domain URLs. Referral data from December 2002 until February 2003 provided 9,949 valid Web connections with referral URLs from 1,591 unique IP addresses. Library catalogs provide 25% of referrals, bibliographic databases 24%, e-journal lists 18%, Web pages 11%, and Web searches 10%.  E-journal lists were mostly those provided by Cornell libraries; Web pages were dominated by the ACS journal pages 33% and Web-based new sources 24%, but departmental and personal pages were nearly as productive. The relationship between the number of domains and number of referrals appears to follow an inverse-square law. Redundant and complementary access tools are in regular use with heavy users demonstrating more methods of access.










An Information Processing Model of Undergraduate Electronic Database Information Retrieval
Karen Macpherson
Published online 25 November 2003

Macpherson models the thinking processes underpinning electronic information retrieval in order to generate teaching strategies on that subject. Her model is rooted in the cognitive psychology concepts of declarative and procedural knowledge and the Piaget-like stages of cognitive development, and is said to involve two stages, problem recognition (an internal search of the individual's declarative knowledge schema for appropriate central concepts) and a second stage, a production (an iterative process where decision points are reviewed and appropriate operations carried out). The second stage terminates in synthesis and evaluation, which may lead to a return to stage one. On the assumption that success in searching would be increased by teaching knowledge development for information retrieval as well as searching procedure skills and that such success would validate the model, 254 undergraduates were divided into an experimental group which received technique and concept-based instruction and a control group which received only skill-based search techniques. No differences were found in pretests, but in the posttests the control group was significantly lower than on the pretest and the experimental group significantly higher. Of 12 variables examined in the retrieval assignment, only number of concepts showed a significant difference in favor of the experimental group.










The Added Value of Task and Ontology-Based Markup for Information Retrieval
Suzanne Kabel, Robert de Hoog, Bob J. Wielinga, and Anjo Anjewierden
Published online 3 December 2003

Kabel, et alia, believe that retrieval is enhanced if highly structured concept spaces (controlled indexing languages) include work task concepts as well as core content. Such enhancement is expected to involve both a qualitative increase in work task outcome and a decrease in the effort required. A domain ontology provides descriptors for the topic at hand (in this case Gorillas, and it is limited to physical, mental, social, behavioral, and communicative). A task or description ontology provides multiple roles for concepts derived from document content by providing types of description, for example, generality and possible instructional use). Seventy psychology students were divided into three groups, one using keywords only, one using the structured domain ontology, and the third having the descriptive ontology as well. They searched a database of 250 keyword described pictures and text fragments, and made use of their retrievals in the creation of lesson plans for which templates were provided. Plan quality was assessed by three coders, and measures of efficiency and effectiveness based upon relevant fragments, total fragments, fragments observed, and fragments used, were computed. Efficiency differences are not statistically significant, but effectiveness differences are. Quality criteria are not significantly different across the treatments.


Book Reviews



Mapping Scientific Frontiers The Quest for Knowledge Visualization, by Chaomei Chen
Jesper W. Schneider
Published online 20 November 2003



Understanding Reference Transactions Transforming an Art Into a Science, by Matthew L. Saxton and John V. Richardson, Jr.
Denise E. Agosto
Published online 16 December 2003



Chat Reference A Guide to Live Virtual Reference Services, by Jana Smith
Lorri Mon
Published online 2 January 2004


Letters to the Editor


Calls for Papers


Special Topic Issue of JASIST Soft Approaches to Information Retrieval and Information Access on the Web.


Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2004 Global Reach and Diverse Impact

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