Human and Social Aspects of Information Seeking in Cross-Language Information Retrieval

Human and Social Aspects of Information Seeking in Cross-Language Information Retrieval

Rowena Li (Bayside High School Library, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch385
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Introduction

With the rapid growth of computer and communication technology, a global interconnected information infrastructure is quickly constructing through the Internet. As the information is able to travel beyond geographical and spatial borders via the Internet, and more and more people around the world have gained access to global networks, the language boundaries have to be crossed in order to make the global communication possible. Statistics shows that 73.2% of Internet users are non-English speakers (MiniWats Marketing Group, 2012). However, English is still the leading language in global communication environment. English language dominates 55.5% of the websites (W3Techs.com, 2013). As the Internet has become one of the major communication mechanisms for information storage, retrieval, and dissemination, users need the ability to locate and retrieve information wherever, whenever and in whatever the language it has been stored. However, most of the search engines currently available can only provide monolingual information retrieval, which means that the retrieval can only be conducted in the same language as the query language. Cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) has become increasingly important to facilitate the effectiveness of information exchange among different languages. As a result, the study and development of tools and technology of cross-language information retrieval have gained greater attention over the past decade. While a lot of research has focused on the effectiveness of system functionality, few studies have examined information needs and social aspects related to cross-language information retrieval. This article aims to speculate the human and social aspects of cross-language information retrieval. It explores CLIR users’ unique social and cultural contexts, their psychological and cognitive structures, and their distinctive relevance judgment. It examines in depth the barriers embedded in cultural, linguistic, and cognitive dimensions, which might hinder further advancement in cross-language information retrieval.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Retrieval: The process of locating relevant documents from a large collection of data in physical and electronic forms.

Target Language: The language used for the retrieved information, usually different from source language.

Subjective Relevance: The degree of precision and recall of the retrieved information to the query perceived subjectively by the user.

Objective Relevance: The degree of precision and recall of the retrieved information to the query measured objectively by machine-run binary assessment algorithms.

Source Language: The language used in a query.

Cross-Language Information Retrieval: The process of locating relevant documents from a large collection of data in a language which is different from the query language.

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