Friday, July 16, 2010

Chapter 11 Information Retrieval

Finding the right piece of information is critical when writing and researching. Our ability to find vast amounts of useful information has expediently grown with the birth of the computers and the Internet. You can type in one word and receive a million hits all relating to the word or phrase you typed in. However, when looking for something specific it often feels like you can never find what you are looking for.

Understanding the abilities of different search systems will help decrease the levels of frustration when we are unable to locate a certain piece of information. With some it can be a certain word that the program doesn't understand, it could be the sentence structure, too wide of a search or too narrow. If one does not understand what the limitations are of the system we will not receive our desired results. We also need to understand as Weedman states that"very few researchers find the information in a single search"(p.122). We need to try multiple searches to find as much information as possible. I think we have grown accustomed to instant access that will immediately solve our search situation. But just a few years ago we would have gone to other sources trying to find as much information as possible. I remember filling an entire library table with books as I tried to write a history paper, one source was not going to be enough information.

Understanding how information is stored so it can be retrieve is very important. It is key in locating the information that we want.

Weedman, J.(2008) Information Retrieval: Designing, Querying, and Evaluating Information Systems. In Haycock, K. & Sheldon, B. (Eds.), The Portable MLIS Insights From the Experts (pp.112-126). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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