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Journal of Information

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Aardvark et al.: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Publication in quality journals has become a major indicator of research performance in UK universities. This paper investigates the notion of `quality journal' and finds dizzying circularity in its definitions. Actually, what a quality journal is does not really matter: agreement that there are such things matters very much indeed. As so often happens with indicators of performance, the indicator has become the target. So, the challenge is to publish in quality journals, and the challenge rewards gamesmanship. Vested interests have become particularly skilful at the game, and at exercising the winners' prerogative of changing the rules. All but forgotten in the desperation to win the game is publication as a means of communicating research findings for the public benefit. The paper examines the situation in management studies, but the problem is much more widespread. It concludes that laughter is both the appropriate reaction to such farce, and also, perhaps, the stimulus to reform.

Macdonald, Stuart and Jacqueline Kam. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Publishing>Management>Research


Adaptive Organization of Tabular Data for Display

Tabular representations of information can be organized so that the subject distance between adjacent columns is low, bringing related materials together. In cases where data is available on all topics, the subject distance between table columns and rows can be formally shown to be minimized. A variety of Gray codes may be used for ordering tabular rows and columns. Subject features in the Gray code may be ordered so that the coding system used is one that has a lower inter-column subject distance than with many other codes. Methods by which user preferences may be incorporated are described. The system optionally may display unrequested columns of data that are related to requested data.

Losee, Robert M. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Personalization


Amusing Titles in Scientific Journals and Article Citation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The present study examines whether the use of humor in scientific article titles is associated with the number of citations an article receives. Four judges rated the degree of amusement and pleasantness of titles of articles published over 10 years (from 1985 to 1994) in two of the most prestigious journals in psychology, Psychological Bulletinand Psychological Review. We then examined the association between the levels of amusement and pleasantness and the article’s monthly citation average. The results show that, while the pleasantness rating was weakly associated with the number of citations, articles with highly amusing titles (2 standard deviations above average) received fewer citations. The negative association between amusing titles and subsequent citations cannot be attributed to differences in the title length and pleasantness, number of authors, year of publication, and article type (regular article vs comment). These findings are discussed in the context of the importance of titles for signalling an article’s content.

Sagi, Itay and Eldad Yechiam. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Publishing>Research>Scientific Communication


An Analysis of Failed Queries for Web Image Retrieval   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper examines a large number of failed queries submitted to a web image search engine, including real users' search terms and written requests. The results show that failed image queries have a much higher specificity than successful queries because users often employ various refined types to specify their queries. The study explores the refined types further, and finds that failed queries consist of far more conceptual than perceptual refined types. The widely used content-based image retrieval technique, CBIR, can only deal with a small proportion of failed queries; hence, appropriate integration of concept-based techniques is desirable. Based on using the concepts of uniqueness and refinement for categorization, the study also provides a useful discussion on the gaps between image queries and retrieval techniques. The initial results enhance the understanding of failed queries and suggest possible ways to improve image retrieval systems.

Pu, Hsiao-Tieh. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Web Design>Visual Rhetoric>Search


Better Reporting of Randomized Trials in Biomedical Journal and Conference Abstracts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Well reported research published in conference and journal abstracts is important as individuals reading these reports often base their initial assessment of a study based on information reported in the abstract. However, there is growing concern about the reliability and quality of information published in these reports. This article provides an overview of research evidence underpinning the need for better reporting of abstracts reported in conference proceedings and abstracts of journal articles; with a particular focus in the area of health care. Where available we highlight evidence which refers specifically to abstracts reporting randomized trials. We seek to identify current initiatives aimed at improving the reporting of these reports and recommend that an extension of the CONSORT Statement (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials), CONSORT for Abstracts, be developed. This checklist would include a list of essential items to be reported in any conference or journal abstract reporting the results of a randomized trial.

Hopewell, Sally, Anne Eisinga and Mike Clarke. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Research>Biomedical


A Body of Criticism   (peer-reviewed)

The nature of hypertext challenges many underlying assumptions for traditional literary critics. Literary critics frequently like to think that they have objectively looked at the lexias of the work, thoughtfully considered them, and constructed a solid interpretation or analysis of the work based on those lexia. Hypertext, however, presents the possibility that two critics who are reading the same work may have differing sets of lexia from which to work. Thus, even if critics objectively consider the lexia before them, they cannot free themselves from the subjectivity of the reading performance that made those lexia (and not others) appear. This raises the concern that, if hypertext critics can only present subjective views of the text, there may be little or no benefit to reading or writing those critiques.

Higgason, Richard E. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Articles>Information Design>Hypertext>Theory


Building a Taxonomy of a Firm’s Knowledge Assets: A Perspective of Durability and Profitability   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Managing their knowledge assets is an imperative issue for most organizations in pursuit of competitive advantage in the knowledge-based economy. Previous researchers have proposed a number of valuable taxonomies for classifying an organization’s knowledge assets. However, once knowledge assets are classified by such taxonomies as a particular type, they do not change type over time. Arguably, however, business contexts are swiftly changing, and knowledge assets may have to be constantly adapted to play new roles, and so a taxonomy capable of reflecting the changing relations between knowledge assets and environmental conditions is needed. This article proposes such a taxonomy which utilizes durability and profitability as dimensions. This taxonomy allows knowledge assets to change type in the light of the new condition. Additionally, it has the characteristics of demonstrating the alignment of assets with organizational strategies, and of being widely applicable in the for-profit sector.

Li, Sheng-Tun. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Information Design>Taxonomy>Case Studies


A Comparison of Academics' Attitudes Towards the Rights Protection of Their Research and Teaching Materials   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper compares two JISC-funded surveys. The first was undertaken by the Rights MEtadata for Open Archiving (RoMEO) project and focused on the rights protection required by academic authors sharing their research outputs in an open-access environment. The second was carried out by the Rights and Rewards project and focused on the rights protection required by authors sharing their teaching materials in the same way. The data are compared. The study reports confusion amongst both researchers and teachers as to copyright ownership in the materials they produced. Researchers were more restrictive about the permissions they would allow, but were liberal about terms and conditions. Teachers would allow many permissions, but under stricter terms and conditions. The study concludes that a single rights solution could not be used for both research and teaching materials.

Gadd, Elizabeth, Steve Loddington and Charles Oppenheim. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Intellectual Property>Copyright>Academic


A Conceptual Analysis of Semantic Conflicts in Pan-European E-Government Services   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper presents research in Pan-European Public Services (PEPS) and Pan-European E-Government Services (PEGS). We examine different types of semantic interoperability issues that may arise when actors, information and services from different Member States (MS) need to cooperate and/or interoperate during the public service provision process. The semantic conflict types that arise in these cases are identified and classified according to a typology that is based on the combination of a known classification for semantic conflicts and domain specific concepts from the Governance Enterprise Architecture object model. This conceptual modelling describes and organizes the problem space, documents the requirements and can thus provide the basis for engineering solutions to resolve the identified conflicts.

Peristeras, Vassilios, Nikolaos Loutas, Sotirios K. Goudos and Konstantinos Tarabanis. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Language>Localization>Europe


Connecting the Dots of User Experience   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

The article presents a point of view about analyzing and designing the user experience within pervasive networks made of distributed services and applications, where the user is the primary actor who freely and opportunistically connects and activates the system components following an activity-driven process. A digital content case study is used to outline the main characteristics of this scenario and to introduce a tool for user experience modelling and designing. From the application of this model are proposed some considerations about how the design process could change to support this vision.

Brugnoli, Gianluca. Journal of Information Architecture (2009). Articles>Information Design>User Experience>Case Studies


Creating Science and Technology Information Databases for Developing and Sustaining Sub-Saharan Africa's Indigenous Knowledge   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In this article, indigenous knowledge is defined as holistic of all forms of knowledge emanating from an indigenous community. The critical relevance of local science and technology information (STI) databases in the development and sustainability of Africa's indigenous knowledge is discussed. It is advocated that local African STI databases should be considered required development infrastructures because they will provide information resources that are more adequate for national planning and management than their international counterparts. Furthermore, the various stakeholders and their roles are identified and the policy environment of STI databases in Africa examined. Constraints notwithstanding, local databases for African STI resources are envisaged to enhance global distribution and sharing of Africa's indigenous knowledge.

Ezinwa Nwagwu, Williams. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Knowledge Management>Scientific Communication>Africa


Cyberabstracts: A Portal on the Subject of Abstracting Designed to Improve Information Literacy Skills   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

With the overall purpose of improving the information literacy skills of librarianship and information science students, an academic portal specifically centred on abstracts and abstracting resources is proposed. We take the existing literature, together with our knowledge and experience of abstract/abstracting topics and web-based technologies to conceive the research design. The research mainly consists of the selection, assessment and web-display of the most relevant abstracts on knowledge management, information representation, natural language processing, abstract/abstracting, modelling the scientific document, information retrieval and information evaluation. The resulting Cyberabstracts portal presents its products consistently and includes reference, abstract, keywords, assessment and access to the full document. Improvement opportunities for this unique subject-based gateway, representing much more than a mere subject catalogue, are uncovered as the starting point on a planned route towards excellence.

Pinto, Maria. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Metadata


Design and Development of a Concept-Based Multi-Document Summarization System for Research Abstracts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper describes a new concept-based multi-document summarization system that employs discourse parsing, information extraction and information integration. Dissertation abstracts in the field of sociology were selected as sample documents for this study. The summarization process includes four major steps — (1) parsing dissertation abstracts into five standard sections; (2) extracting research concepts (often operationalized as research variables) and their relationships, the research methods used and the contextual relations from specific sections of the text; (3) integrating similar concepts and relationships across different abstracts; and (4) combining and organizing the different kinds of information using a variable-based framework, and presenting them in an interactive web-based interface. The accuracy of each summarization step was evaluated by comparing the system-generated output against human coding. The user evaluation carried out in the study indicated that the majority of subjects (70%) preferred the concept-based summaries generated using the system to the sentence-based summaries generated using traditional sentence extraction techniques.

Ou, Shiyan, Christopher Soo-Guan and Dion H. Goh. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Information Design>Assessment>Metadata


Design of the IL-HUMASS Survey on Information Literacy in Higher Education: A Self-Assessment Approach   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The IL-HUMASS survey on information literacy has been designed, based on and aimed to be applied to a population of students, teachers and librarians holding various degrees in social sciences and humanities at Spanish and Portuguese universities. The case-study method, experts’ opinions, and a literature review were used to prepare an initial version that was refined through student focus groups, interviews with librarians, and academics’ reports. A final version contained 26 items grouped into four categories (information search, assessment, processing and communication/dissemination) and three self-reporting dimensions (motivation, self-efficacy and favourite source of learning). The self-reporting nature of the IL-HUMASS survey involves a self-assessment approach that has until now been proposed rarely and only in a limited way. This will enable a better understanding of user groups through a mixed analysis including two quantitative dimensions (motivation and self-efficacy) and one qualitative dimension (the preferred source of learning).

Pinto, Maria. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Education>Human Computer Interaction>Databases


E-Book Technology and Its Potential Applications in Distance Education   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The potential for distance learning students to use e-books is explored. E-books are gaining wider interest since the introduction of portable electronic reading devices and software-based readers that provide users with more realistic book reading experiences. The paper discusses where to acquire e-book technology, and how to create e-books. It also reports an evaluation to test the usability of different types of e-book compiler software. By using one of the compilers, the use of e-books to improve the interaction between educators and distance learning students in terms of access to teaching and learning materials and submission of assignments is also demonstrated.

Shiratuddin, Norshuhada, Monica Landoni, Forbes Gibb and Shahizan Hassan. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Articles>Education>Online>eBooks


E-Education in the UK   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The paper outlines the results of a survey, by the EBONI project, of lecturers’ use of and attitudes to electronic teaching and learning material, providing a snapshot of the current situation in UK higher education. Differences in the extent and type of e-content usage between academic disciplines, and lecturers’ intentions for the future, are discussed. Based on an analysis of their hopes and concerns, recommendations are made for increasing the development, usage and effectiveness of electronic content.

Wilson, Ruth. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Articles>Education>Online>United Kingdom


E-education: Design and Evaluation for Teaching and Learning   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Recent technological developments have provided a powerful stimulus for the production of a range of electronic materials for education. A number of products and prototypes to assist teaching and learning have been produced and educational materials have been extensively published electronically, but it is still unclear to what extent all of this is of use to students and lecturers/tutors when it comes to real teaching and learning. Looking at the example of electronic books indicates not only the main reasons why electronic materials have not completely replaced the physical counterpart, but more importantly suggests how to improve the quality of the materials and tools currently available.

Landoni, Monica and Paloma Diaz. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Articles>Education>Online>Assessment


E-nhance Lectures   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Ever more lecturers find themselves forced to Web-enhance their courses out of economic pressure or prestige. Universities trapped between rising student numbers and decreasing budgets are turning to e-learning as the one-stop solution, with little concern for student or teacher needs. An e-(nhanced) learning environment can only be successful if it fulfils students' and lecturers' needs alike. The student needs to be supported in various stages of learning, whereas the lecturer cannot afford to spend more time on generating lecture support materials. Investigation of lecturers' and students' requirements resulted in the concept and design of e-ULE (e-Usable Learning Environment), a university-level teaching and learning environment with a strong focus on usability. To ensure learning materials are helpful for students in any learning situation, from gaining an overview to providing reference, an equally usable authoring tool is required: e-ULE's authoring system is geared towards a typical lecturer, without requiring an undue amount of IT or pedagogical skills, but offers support for academic workflow by supporting tasks like literature research and integration, and collaborative editing in large groups (e.g. with students). Following a usability engineering approach, all features of the e-ULE learning environment are derived from user requirements and usability tests. The main parts of the environment are currently at 'proof of concept' stage. The system is open source and relies on several prominent open source projects.

Naber, Larissa and Monika Kohle. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Articles>Education>Instructional Design


The Effects of Headings in Information Mapping on Search Speed and Evaluation of a Brief Health Education Text   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The accessibility of written information becomes an increasingly relevant issue in today's information-dense society. Although headings are generally known to signal textual content and thus aid access, it remains unclear how frequently headings should be used for optimal document use. Information Mapping© is a text writing method that systematically splits up text in chunks accompanied by headings. The present paper presents a study in which a print health education document was varied systematically in accordance with the Information Mapping method, to examine the effects of heading frequency and information order on participants' search speed and their evaluation of the text layout. Results showed that the presence of headings in a text indeed contributed to easier access in the search tasks. Although no differences in search speed were found with varying numbers of headings in the text, some subjective opinions were in favour of the version with most headings. The different information order of the Information Mapping text had no effect.

Kools, Marieke, Robert A.C. Ruiter and Margaretha W.J. van de Wiel. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Document Design>Information Design>Scientific Communication


The Effects of Socio-Technical Enablers on Knowledge Sharing: An Exploratory Examination   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Recently, the need for knowledge management has been drastically increasing so organizations may meet the high level of dynamic, complex business change and uncertainty. In particular, knowledge sharing has been recognized as a critical process through which organizational knowledge can be utilized. For successful knowledge sharing, companies need to capitalize on various socio-technical enablers. The primary objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of how these enablers can affect knowledge sharing intention and behavior, and explore practical implications for knowledge sharing. For this purpose, the paper proposes a theoretical model to investigate these enablers from a socio-technical perspective. PLS (Partial Least Square) analysis was employed to validate the model. This field study involves 164 users. Furthermore, interviews with experts were investigated for practical implications. Our analysis reveals that social enablers such as trust and reward mechanisms are more important than technical support in isolation for facilitating knowledge sharing.

Choi, Sue Young, Young Sik Kang and Heeseok Lee. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Content Management>Collaboration


Electronic Scholarly Publishing and Open Access   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

A review of recent developments in electronic publishing, with a focus on Open Access (OA) is provided. It describes the two main types of OA, i.e. the `gold' OA journal route and the `green' repository route, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of the two, and the reactions of the publishing industry to these developments. Quality, cost and copyright issues are explored, as well as some of the business models of OA. It is noted that whilst so far there is no evidence that a shift to OA will lead to libraries cancelling subscriptions to toll-access journals, this may happen in the future, and that despite the apparently compelling reasons for authors to move to OA, so far few have shown themselves willing to do so. Conclusions about the future of scholarly publications are drawn.

Oppenheim, Charles. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Publishing>Research>Open Source


Employing Log Metrics to Evaluate Search Behaviour and Success: Case Study BBC Search Engine   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper argues that metrics can be generated from search transactional web logs that can help evaluate search engine effectiveness. Search logs from the BBC website were analysed and metrics extracted. Two search metrics — the time lapse between searches and the number of searches in a session — were developed to see whether they could measure search success or satisfaction. In all, 4 million search statements by 900,000 users were evaluated. The BBC search engine possessed a number of functional attributes which sought to improve retrieval and these were subjected to the two metrics to help determine how successful they were in practice. There was some evidence to support the proposition that the search outcome metrics did indeed indicate the effectiveness of engine functionality. The authors argue that this result is significant in that the identification of search outcome metrics will pave the way for assessing the effectiveness of site specific search engines and a greater understanding of the effectiveness of search engine functionality.

Huntington, Paul, David Nicholas and Hamid R. Jamali. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Web Design>Case Studies>Log Analysis


An Ergonomic Format for Short Reporting in Scientific Journals Using Nested Tables and the Deming's Cycle   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The typical structure of a scientific report involves highly standardized sections. The key concept of a scientific report is the reproducibility of results. Because not only clarity but also conciseness is a tool for the advancement of science, a new format using nested tables is proposed with the aim of improving the design of short reports in scientific journals, namely short communications, short technical reports, case reports, etc. This format is based on the ergonomic philosophy of visual encyclopaedias (one topic, one page) and on the quality system of the Deming's cycle (plan--do--check--act) for continuous improvement. This new editing tool has several advantages over existing forms, because it provides quick and ergonomic, reader-friendly research reports that, at the same time, would render a saving in terms of available space and publishing costs of the printed version of scientific journals.

Hortol, Policarp. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Research>Technical Writing


An Evaluation of Document Keyphrase Sets   (peer-reviewed)

Keywords and keyphrases have many useful roles as document surrogates and descriptors, but the manual production of keyphrase metadata for large digital library collections is at best expensive and time-consuming, and at worst logistically impossible. Algorithms for keyphrase extraction like Kea and Extractor produce a set of phrases that are associated with a document. Though these sets are often utilized as a group, keyphrase extraction is usually evaluated by measuring the quality of individual keyphrases. This paper reports an assessment that asks human assessors to rate entire sets of keyphrases produced by Kea, Extractor and document authors. The results provide further evidence that human assessors rate all three sources highly (with some caveats), but show that the relationship between the quality of the phrases in a set and the set as a whole is not always simple. Choosing the best individual phrases will not necessarily produce the best set; combinations of lesser phrases may result in better overall quality.

Jones, Steve and Gordon W. Paynter. Journal of Digital Information (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Metadata


The Evolution of Visual Information Retrieval   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper seeks to provide a brief overview of those developments which have taken the theory and practice of image and video retrieval into the digital age. Drawing on a voluminous literature, the context in which visual information retrieval takes place is followed by a consideration of the conceptual and practical challenges posed by the representation and recovery of visual material on the basis of its semantic content. An historical account of research endeavours in content-based retrieval, directed towards the automation of these operations in digital image scenarios, provides the main thrust of the paper. Finally, a look forwards locates visual information retrieval research within the wider context of content-based multimedia retrieval.

Enser, Peter. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Content Management>Visual Rhetoric>Search



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