Showing posts from February, 2008

The Needle in a Haystack

Dr. Matthew Koll in 1999 at a presentation entitled "Major Trends and Issues in the Information Industry" has used the interesting metaphor of Needle in a Haystack for searching the Web. He has grouped different search scenarios into 12 categories as follows: a known needle in a known haystack, a known needle in an unknown haystack, an unknown needle in an unknown haystack, any needle in a haystack, the sharpest needle in a haystack, most of the sharpest needles in a haystack
All the needles in a haystack, affirmation of no needles in the haystack, things like needles in any haystack, let me know whenever a new needle shows up, where are the haystacks? and finally needles, haystacks -- whatever. I'd like this metaphor and I think we can map different search scenarios into it very easily which can be helpful to develop efficient search strategies.

Semantic Web: New Generation of the Internet

Yesterday I made a speech at my university's main conference hall for a group of students and university lecturers from various subjects entitled "Semantic Web: New Generation of the Internet". At this speech I tried to define the meaning of the Semantic Web and how it will change the interactions of Web users with the online world. I also talked about the fundamental concepts like XHTML, XML, ontologies, RDF, OWL, and so on as the underlying parts of the Semantic Web.

Non-English Web Retrieval

Journal of Information Retrieval is going to publish a special Issue on Non-English Web Retrieval. In their call for paper they mentioned "... recent Web statistics showed that almost 65% of the online citizens are non-English language users. As the Web population continues to grow, especially in Asia, Africa, and South America, more non-English users will be amassed online. Recent studies showed that non-English queries and unclassifiable queries have nearly tripled in the last decade. The main conclusion from previous research is that most search engine features are primarily focused on the English language. Based on previous studies and on the experiences and conclusions of the iNEWS07 (Improving Non-English Web Searching) ACM SIGIR'07 topics of interest include: Evaluation, User search behaviour, Query log analysis, Indexing, Information extraction Summarization, User studies, Retrieval models, Question answering, Natural language processing, Concept based image retrieval…

New Emergent Areas

In a call for chapter announcement I learned about a number of areas on "Emergent Web Intelligence" which might be interesting to mention them here such as: Web Information Retrieval, Knowledge Networks and Management, Web Mining, Web Farming, Web Agents and Agent-based Systems, Web Security, Information Filtering and Access Control Models, Ontologies, Semantic Web, Social Intelligence Design, Web-based Support Systems, Human-Web Interaction, and E-Applications and Systems.

Oxford e-Research Conference 2008

This multi-disciplinary, international conference on e-Research will be held at the University of Oxford from 11-13 September 2008. This is the conference website.

99 Resources to Research & Mine the Invisible Web

I have been informed about a website with links to a wide range of online resources which are useful for end users to search deeper layers of the Web. "99 Resources to Research & Mine the Invisible Web" is a good example of Web-based directories which can facilitate Web searching for everyone.

Coping Strategies in Web Searching

My new paper entitled "Coping Strategies in Web Searching" was published in Program journal and this is its abstract:
Purpose – This paper seeks to report selective findings of a wider study to identify the mechanisms that end users employ to overcome their information seeking failure on the web. Design/methodology/approach – Data collection was conducted by semi-structured and in-depth interviews. The study adopted a qualitative approach and was carried out based on grounded theory. The biology community at the University of Sheffield was selected as the research population. Findings – Identified coping strategies are divided into active and passive categories. Active strategies such as revising and help-seeking require further actions to obtain more satisfactory results. In contrast, passive strategies entail less action to modify the situation and mainly relate to accepting the existing circumstances. Web users prioritise their coping strategies according to the importance…

Systematic Review

I recently contributed in a workshop about systematic review. This kind of review, which is somehow similar to the traditional literature reviews, focuses on a specific topic to identify, evaluate, select and synthesize all high quality and relevant research evidence relevant to that topic. In systematic review we should define the inclusion and exclusion criteria to map the area according to these items. Some people think this kind of review is only useful in the medical sciences. However, I believe this is useful for any scientific field. In future posts I will write more about the advantages and disadvantages of it and how we can compare it with traditional reviews.

ICKM 2008

The 5th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM2008) will be held at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Ohio on October 23-24, 2008. According to their website the specific topics of interest include: Best Practices & Communities of Practice, Business Intelligence & Customer Relation Management, Communication, Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing. Content Management & Digital Right Management, Information Security and Knowledge Protection, Intellectual Capital & KM Measurements, Knowledge Discovery (AI, Data Mining, Text & Web Mining), Knowledge Organization (Meta Data, Taxonomies & Ontologies), Knowledge Management in the Public Sector, Knowledge Management Strategies and Implementations, Knowledge Management Tools &Technologies, Learning Organization & Organizational Learning, Knowledge Retention and the Graying Workforce, Project Management and KM, Social Networks and the Psychological Dimension and The Challenges of Complexity.

Internal Examiner

Today I was the internal examiner for a master dissertation on Educational Technology. Here both master and PhD students should have a public viva in which each student has to deliver a presentation to the examiners and other audience and answer their questions. The dissertation was about the features of educational websites and the elements that these sites should possess to support e-learning efficiency. It was the third thesis that I acted as the examiner during the last year. The common problem that I can see in these theses is the lack of coherence in content and consistency in the structure. Moreover, the students' interpretations and analytical views on the findings are less than what is expected. However, as I remember myself seven years ago, when I did my master, I can not blame these students!


These days I am marking a pile of exam papers and my students' coursework of several modules. This is a very time consuming job but rewarding when you see the progress of your students. In particular, in one of the master module in MA of educational technology I had asked my students to develop a website about their dissertation topic and they did a pretty good job.


On Wednesday I attended ILISA monthly seminar at the national library which was on Knowledge Management in LIS theory and practice. We also had a guest speaker who was an expert on industrial management and he talked about different layers of KM and the evaluation criteria of KM initiatives. KM is an interdisciplinary area which is related to many subjects including LIS.