Interactive IR in Digital Library Environments

Interactive IR in Digital Library Environments

Iris Xie (University of Wisconsin, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 37
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-240-4.ch005
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For centuries, people have been used to printed materials. The emergence of the Internet brings dramatic changes to millions of people in terms of how they collect, organize, disseminate, access, and use information. Researchers (Chowdhury & Chowdhury, 2003; Lesk, 2005; Witten & Bainbridge, 2003) have identified the following factors that contributed to the birth of digital libraries: 1. Vannevar Bush’s pioneering concept and idea of Memex. Vannevar Bush (1945) wrote a classic article, “As We May Think,” which has had a major impact on the emergence of digital libraries. In the article, he described his Memex device, which was able to organize books, journals, and notes in different places by linked association. This associative linking was similar to what is known today as hypertext. 2. The advancement in computer and communication/network technology. The computer was first used to manage information. In the 1960s, the emergence of remote online information search services changed the way people access and search information. By the 1980s, people could remotely and locally access library catalogues via Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs). The invention of the CD-ROM made it easy and cheap for users to access electronic information. Most importantly, Web technology started in 1990, and the occurrence of Web browsers afterwards have enabled users to access digital information anywhere as long as there is an Internet connection. Web search engines offer an opportunity for millions of people to search full-text documents on the Web. 3. The development of libraries and library access. Since the creation of Alexandrian library around 300 B.C., the size and number of libraries have grown phenomenally. A library catalogue goes from a card catalogue to three generations of online public access catalogues started in the 1980s. Library materials include mainly printed resources to multimedia collections, such as images, videos, sound files, and so forth. Simultaneously, the information explosion in the digital age makes it impossible for libraries to collect all of the available materials.

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