Subject Index

Topics include information retrieval, searching techniques, search technologies, browsing, language processing, labeling, and primary, contextual and supplemental navigation.

The following resources are our top picks in this category.

Effective View Navigation. George W. Furnas. From: Proceedings of the CHI 1997 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (March 22-27, 1997)
This paper explores the implications of rudimentary requirements for effective view navigation, namely that, despite the vastness of an information structure, the views must be small, moving around must not take too many steps and the route to any target must be discoverable.
Note: Also available through ACM. Registration is required.

Search Engine Watch: Tips About Internet Search Engines & Search Engine Submission. Danny Sullivan.
This site explains how search engines work, tips to use them more effectively, links to resources, a newsletter and more.

Steering Users Isn't Easy. Will Schroeder. From: Eye For Design. 2:10 (July 27, 1998)
Many users go to web sites seeking specific information -- and are eager to leave as soon as they find it. This means designers may have trouble steering users to material they're not actually looking for, even if the users would find the information valuable.

Toward Usable Browse Hierarchies for the Web. Kirsten Risden. A chapter in: Human Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces. Hans-Jorg Bull, editor. (1999)
The goal of the following study was to determine the potential usefulness of tracking traversal patterns through a browse hierarchy as a way to monitor confusion and determine its source. The major conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that this method is a useful and insightful way to monitor user experience.

Web Page Design for Designers: Navigation. Joe Gillespie.
This site discusses the graphic design of navigational elements.

The following are also excellent resources.

All the Right Words: Finding What You Want As a Function of Richness of Indexing Vocabulary. Louis M. Gomez, Carol C. Lochbaum, and Thomas K. Landauer. From: Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS). 41:8, 547-59 (1990)
The implications of index-word selection strategies for user success in interactive searching were investigated. Searcher success is markedly improved by greatly increasing the number of names per object.

The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine. Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page. From: Proceedings of the Seventh International World Wide Web Conference. (April 14-18, 1998)
This paper presents Google, a prototype of a large-scale search engine which makes heavy use of the structure present in hypertext. Google is designed to crawl and index the web efficiently and produce much more satisfying search results than existing systems.

Banner Blindness: Web Searchers Often Miss "Obvious" Links. Jan Panero Benway and David M. Lane. From: ITG Newsletter. 1:3 (December 5, 1998)
This study showed that banners were ignored, even when there was no other way to access the required information. Design recommendations include being cautious when increasing the visual distinction between elements on a web page, and following the guideline to duplicate visually distinct elements in another area of the web page.

Browsing: A Multidimensional Framework. Shan-Ju Chang and Ronald E. Rice. From: Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. 28, 231-76 (1993)
This article summarizes various notions of browsing, which are then integrated into a multidimensional concept of browsing. It also notes several outstanding problems concerning browsing.

Concepts of Information Retrieval. Miranda L. Pao. (1989)
This book is intended for introductory courses in document-based information retrieval. It synthesizes the work of the preeminent thinkers in the field of IR research and methodology.
Note: Currently out of print.

The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface. Marcia J. Bates. From: Online Review. 13:5, 407-24 (1989)
A new model of searching in online and other information systems, called "berrypicking," is discussed. This model, it is argued, is much closer to the real behavior of information searchers than the traditional model of information retrieval is.

Enabling Extremely Rapid Navigation in Your Web or Document. Michael Hoffman. (March 1996)
This article presents information design techniques that apply to web sites, help systems, hardcopy, and online documentation. When standard document navigation structures are provided, readers can rapidly survey the scope of a web or document and jump to the pages of greatest interest.

An Evaluation of Retrieval Effectiveness for a Full-Text Document-Retrieval System. David C. Blair and M.E. Maron. From: Communications of the ACM. 28:3, 289-99 (March 1985)
An evaluation of a large, operational full-text document-retrieval system shows the system to be retrieving less than 20 percent of the documents relevant to a particular search. The findings are discussed in terms of the theory and practice of full-text document retrieval.

An Exploratory Evaluation of Three Interfaces for Browsing Large Hierarchical Tables of Contents. Richard Chimera and Ben Shneiderman. From: ACM Transactions on Information Systems. 12:4, 383-406 (October 1994)
A fully expanded stable interface, expand/contract interface, and multi-pane interface were used to browse a large table of contents. Expand/contract and multi-pane interfaces produced significantly faster task completion times.
Note: Registration is required.

I Can't Stop Thinking! Scott McCloud.
This monthly/bimonthly feature is the author's way of expanding on the ideas in his book "Reinventing Comics." He has some especially interesting things to say on navigation.

Indeterminacy in the Subject Access to Documents. David C. Blair. From: Information Processing & Management. 22:2, 229-41 (1986)
Subject access to documents is influenced by two kinds of indeterminacy: the indeterminacy of the indexer's selection of indexing descriptors and the indeterminacy of the inquirer's selection of search terms. How these indeterminacies interact is discussed, and ways of reducing the effect of one of these two indeterminacies is suggested.

Indexing by Latent Semantic Analysis. Scott Deerwester and et al. From: Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS). 41:6, 391-407 (1990)
A new method for automatic indexing and retrieval is described. The approach is to take advantage of implicit higher-order structure in the association of terms with documents in order to improve the detection of relevant documents on the basis of terms found in queries.

Inductive Learning Algorithms and Representations for Text Categorization. Susan Dumais and et al. From: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management. (November 3-7, 1998)
Text categorization -- the assignment of natural language texts to one or more predefined categories based on their content -- is an important component in many information organization and management tasks. The effectiveness of five different automatic learning algorithms for text categorization in terms of learning speed, real-time classification speed, and classification accuracy is compared.
Note: Also available through ACM. Registration is required.

Information Filtering and Information Retrieval: Two Sides of the Same Coin? Nicholas J. Belkin and W. Bruce Croft. From: Communications of the ACM. 35:12, 29-38 (December 1992)
This article compares and contrasts the differences between information filtering and information retrieval. Information filtering removes data from incoming information streams based on user preferences, in contrast with information retrieval in which the system attempts to extract the most relevant items for a given query.

MAPA: A System for Inducing and Visualizing Hierarchy in Websites. David Durand and Paul Kahn. From: Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia. (June 20-24, 1998)
The MAPA system provides improved navigation facility for web sites. It extracts a hierarchical structure from an arbitrary web site, with some minimal user assistance, and creates an interactive map of that site that can be used for orientation and navigation.
Note: Registration is required.

Must Search Stink? Paul R. Hagen. From: The Forrester Report. (June 2000)
As sites swell to thousands of pages and products, search becomes essential, but on most sites search fails five critical tests. Fixing this problem requires appropriate technology, tagged content and goal-focused interfaces.
Note: Registration is required.

Natural Language Versus Controlled Vocabulary in Information Retrieval: A Case Study in Soil Mechanics. Manikya Rao Muddamalle. From: Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS). 49:10, 881-87 (1998)
The effectiveness of two tools, thesaurus and natural language, in an article record retrieval system has been studied. Since both thesaurus and natural language have shown identical performance in information retrieval, a combination of these two has been suggested for making searches and providing relevant information.

Navigation in Hyperspace: An Evaluation of the Effects of Navigational Tools and Subject Matter Expertise on Browsing and Informational Retrieval in Hypertext. Sharon McDonald and Rosemary J. Stevenson. From: Interacting With Computers. 10:2, 129-42 (1998)
This study examined the effectiveness of a map and a textual contents list on the navigation performance of subjects with and without prior knowledge of the text topic. The results showed that performance in the map condition was superior to that of the contents list condition, which in turn was superior to that of the hypertext only condition (no navigational aid).

NetResearch: Finding Information Online. Daniel J. Barrett. (1997)
This book teaches lasting skills on how to locate what is needed in a constantly changing online environment.

The Online Deskbook: Online Magazine's Essential Desk Reference for Online and Internet Searchers. Mary Ellen Bates and Reva Basch, editors. (1996)
This book provides information on every major professional and general online service for experienced and novice users. It features command charts, troubleshooting guides, shortcuts, and answers to frequently asked questions, as well as nuts-and-bolts information on access codes, logging on, system requirements, e-mail availability, prices, and training.

Organizing Knowledge: An Introduction to Managing Access to Information. Jennifer Rowley and John Farrow. 3rd ed. (2000)
For the third edition, this standard text on knowledge organization and retrieval has been extensively revised and restructured to accommodate the increased significance of electronic information resources.

Progress in Documentation: Pictorial Information Retrieval. P.G.B. Enser. From: Journal of Documentation. 51:2, 126-70 (June 1995)
This paper discusses the ease of record creation and transmission in the visual medium contrasted with the difficulty of gaining effective subject access to the world's store of such records.

Searching Through Cyberspace: The Effects of Link Display and Link Density on Information Retrieval From Hypertext on the World Wide Web. Kushal Khan and Craig Locatis. From: Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS). 49:2, 176-82 (1998)
This study investigated information retrieval from hypertext links on the web. Significant main and interaction effects were found for both link density (number of links per display) and display format (in paragraphs or lists) on search performance.

Specification for Resource Description Methods. Part 3: The Role of Classification Schemes in Internet Resource Description and Discovery. Traugott Koch and Michael Day.
This study discusses the role of classification schemes in resource description and discovery. It recommends automatic classification processes if large robot-generated services are to offer a good browsing structure for their documents or advanced filtering techniques as well as proper query expansion tools to improve the search process.
Note: Deliverable D3.2 for the DESIRE (Development of a European Service for Information on Research and Education) project.

Surf Like a Bushman. Rachel Chalmer. From: New Scientist Magazine. (November 11, 2000)
This article discusses how two researchers are using foraging theories from ecology and anthropology to understand how people find information in data-rich environments such as the Internet. The researchers believe web surfers rely on prehistoric instincts to maximize their yield when they hunt and gather morsels of information, and their results could help others design websites and search tools that are as alluring to informavores as flowers are to bees.

Text Information Retrieval Systems. Charles T. Meadow, Bert R. Boyce, and Donald H. Kraft. (1999)
This book is for people who will be searching or designing text retrieval systems. The book covers the nature of information, how it is organized for use by a computer, how search functions are carried out, and some of the theory underlying these functions.

Thesaurus Construction and Use: A Practical Manual. Jean Aitchison, Alan Gilchrist, and David Bawden. 3rd ed. (1997)
A practical, concise guide to the construction of thesauri for use in information retrieval, written by leading experts in the field. This new edition takes account of advances in information retrieval and software capabilities, and now also includes the uses of thesauri.

Understanding Web Users' Browsing Choices. Kathryn M. Dobroth. From: Common Ground. 8:2, 8-11 (May 1998)
Designers need a way of assessing users' expectations of the content behind the links that are often cryptically titled. The results of this study indicate that one factor that affects users' expectations is the exemplariness of the item that they are searching for.

Usability Studies and Designing Navigational Aids for the World Wide Web. D. Bachiochi and et al. From: Proceedings of the Sixth International World Wide Web Conference. (April 7-11, 1997)
This paper describes how usability testing was used to validate design recommendations. The results show a need for navigational aids that are related to the particular website and located beneath the browser buttons.

Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience. Jennifer Fleming. (1998)
This book offers the first in depth look at designing web site navigation. The author offers design strategies to help uncover solutions that work for a site and audience, and is full of quotes and screen shots that deconstruct some of the most fascinating, successful, and innovative sites devised.

Web Page Design: Implications of Memory, Structure and Scent for Information Retrieval. Kevin Larson and Mary Czerwinski. From: Proceedings of the CHI 1998 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (April 21-23, 1998)
The authors describe an experiment to see if large breadth and decreased depth is preferable, both subjectively and via performance data, while attempting to design for optimal scent throughout different structures of a web site. This work is testing the theories of Miller in his classic "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two."
Note: Also available through ACM. Registration is required.

Web Site Search Tools -- Information, Guides and News. Avi Rappoport.
This site reports on web site, intranet and portal search tools, providing news about local site search engines and indexes. The site supports web server administrators and web site designers with information, advice and news.

Who Needs Controlled Vocabulary? Raya Fidel. From: Special Libraries. 1-9 (Winter 1992)
Observation of 281 real-life searches shows that although some searchers preferred descriptors and other textwords, the decision about which type to use depended on each specific situation. Searchers' reasons for search-term selection revealed a set of rules that guided their selection.