A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Journal of Information Science

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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


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


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


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


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


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


Examining Identity and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour in Computer-Mediated Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Virtual communities are centred upon computer-mediated communication, with participants interacting to provide specific knowledge to each other that enables them to perform common functions, to learn from each other and to build upon their collective knowledge. Without the existence of rich knowledge bases, computer-mediated virtual communities are of limited value. Therefore, the significance of member-generated knowledge cannot be over-emphasized. In this paper, our goal is to examine the roles of identity and organizational citizenship behaviour in facilitating knowledge transfer in computer-mediated communication contexts such as virtual communities. Our findings support the assertion that self-presentation and organizational citizenship behaviour are crucial determinants of important community outcomes. We concluded that self-presentation could be a key variable for contributing knowledge in online communities. This study has important implications for academic researchers and practitioners who seek to understand why community members share their knowledge with strangers in online communities.

Shin, Ho Kyoung and Kyung Kyu Kim. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Communication


Expanded Information Retrieval Using Full-Text Searching   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The value of full text for expanding information retrieval was examined. Two full-text databases were used: Textpresso for neuroscience and ScienceDirect. Queries representing different categories were used to search different text fields (titles, abstracts, full text and, where possible, keywords). Searching the full-text field relative to the commonly used abstracts field increases retrievals by one or more orders of magnitude, depending on the categories selected. For phenomena-type categories (e.g. blood flow, thermodynamic equilibrium, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by about an order of magnitude. For infrastructure-type categories (e.g. equipment types, sponsors, suppliers, databases, etc.), retrievals are enhanced by well over an order of magnitude, and sometimes multiple orders of magnitude. Use of combination terms along with proximity specification capability is a very powerful feature for retrieving relevant records from full-text searching, and can be useful for applications like literature-related discovery.

Kostoff, Ronald N. Journal of Information Science (2010). Articles>Information Design>Databases>Search


An Exploration of Concepts of Community Through a Case Study of UK University Web Production   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The paper explores the interrelation and differences between the concepts of occupational community, community of practice, online community and social network. It uses as a case study illustration the domain of UK university web site production and specifically a listserv for those involved in it. Different latent occupational communities are explored, and the potential for the listserv to help realize these as an active sense of community is considered. The listserv is not (for most participants) a tight knit community of practice, indeed it fails many criteria for an online community. It is perhaps best conceived as a loose knit network of practice, valued for information, implicit support and for the maintenance of weak ties. Through the analysis the case for using strict definitions of the theoretical concepts is made.

Cox, Andrew M. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Web Design>Community Building>Academic


Exploring the Emerging Intellectual Structure of Archival Studies Using Text Mining: 2001-2004   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Archival science, like other disciplines, is evolving into more specific interdisciplinary subfields. To determine this intellectual structure of archival science, the text mining method was used. The data were 432 articles from 2001 to 2004, and we produced 43 clusters of documents using the within-group average method in SPSS. Then we generated pathfinder networks of 43 clusters and grouped them into seven subject categories: digital libraries and digital archiving technologies, online resources and finding aids, archives and archivists, legal and political issues, electronic records and technical issues, records and information management, and e-mail and information professionals. Finally, these seven subject categories were merged into three sectors: digital library, archives and RIM (Business). This study describes dynamic change in the 2001—4 research themes from traditional single-subject areas to emerging, complex subject areas. These results also show that research areas in archival sciences have much growth potential and will continue to expand.

Lee, Jae Yun. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Information Design>Web Design


Filtering and Withdrawing: Strategies for Coping with Information Overload in Everyday Contexts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The study investigates the ways in which people experience information overload in the context of monitoring everyday events through media such as newspapers and the internet. The findings are based on interviews with 20 environmental activists in Finland in 2005. The perceptions of the seriousness of problems caused by information overload varied among the participants. On the one hand, information overload was experienced as a real problem particularly in the networked information environments. On the other hand, information overload was perceived as an imagined problem with some mythical features. Two major strategies for coping with information overload were identified. The filtering strategy is based on the determined weeding out of material deemed useless. This strategy is favoured in networked information environments. The withdrawal strategy is more affectively oriented, emphasizing the need to protect oneself from excessive information supply by keeping the number of information sources to a minimum.

Savolainen, Reijo. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Information Design>Audience Analysis>User Centered Design


The Folksonomy Tag Cloud: When is it Useful?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The weighted list, known popularly as a `tag cloud', has appeared on many popular folksonomy-based web-sites. Flickr, Delicious, Technorati and many others have all featured a tag cloud at some point in their history. However, it is unclear whether the tag cloud is actually useful as an aid to finding information. We conducted an experiment, giving participants the option of using a tag cloud or a traditional search interface to answer various questions. We found that where the information-seeking task required specific information, participants preferred the search interface. Conversely, where the information-seeking task was more general, participants preferred the tag cloud. While the tag cloud is not without value, it is not sufficient as the sole means of navigation for a folksonomy-based dataset.

Sinclair, James and Michael Cardew-Hall. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Metadata


Health Informatics: Current Issues and Challenges   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Health informatics concerns the use of information and information and communication technologies within healthcare. Health informatics and information science need to take account of the unique aspects of health and medicine. The development of information systems and electronic records within health needs to consider the information needs and behaviour of all users. The sensitivity of personal health data raises ethical concerns for developing electronic records. E-health initiatives must actively involve users in the design, development, implementation and evaluation, and information science can contribute to understanding the needs and behaviour of user groups. Health informatics could make an important contribution to the ageing society and to reducing the digital divide and health divides within society. There is a need for an appropriate evidence base within health informatics to support future developments, and to ensure health informatics reaches its potential to improve the health and well-being of patients and the public.

Bath, Peter A. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Knowledge Management>Scientific Communication>Biomedical


Identifying Synonymous Concepts in Preparation for Technology Mining   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In this research, the development of a 'concept-clumping algorithm' designed to improve the clustering of technical concepts is demonstrated. The algorithm developed first identifies a list of technically relevant noun phrases from a cleaned extracted list and then applies a rule-based algorithm for identifying synonymous terms based on shared words in each term. An assessment of the algorithm found that the algorithm has an 89-91% precision rate, was successful in moving technically important terms higher in the term frequency list, and improved the technical specificity of term clusters.

Courseault Trumbach, Cherie. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Knowledge Management>Metadata>Controlled Vocabulary



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