Saturday, April 26, 2008

Non-English Web Retrieval

Journal of Information Retrieval is going to publish a special Issue on "Non-English Web Retrieval". This issue will focus on evaluation, user search behaviour, query log analysis, indexing, information extraction, summarization, user studies, retrieval models, question answering, natural language processing, concept based image retrieval, creation of multi-lingual web collections, intranet/enterprise search, text categorization and clustering and cross language and multilingual retrieval.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

21st TIBF

The 21st Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) will take place 2 -12 May 2008. For more information please have a look at TIBF website (

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Contextualization of Web Searching

Following my previous works on Web Search Research, this paper was recently published in the Electronic Library:

Mansourian, Y. (2008). Contextualization of web searching: a grounded
theory approach, The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 2 pp. 202-214.

Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to report selective findings of a wider study on interaction of users with web-based search tools to underline the importance of context in information seeking on the web and to introduce some of the contextual elements of web search context.
Design/methodology/approach – A series of intensive and in-depth interviews was carried out with a sample of the Biology Community at the University of Sheffield. Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was employed in the interview protocol and the collected data was inductively analyzed in the light of Grounded Theory approach.
Findings – The results strongly suggest that considering the context of search is a pivotal factor in understanding users' behaviours, feelings, and thoughts during the period of information seeking in an online environment. Five categories have been identified as the main contextual elements which affect search performance of end users. These categories include web users' characteristics; type of the employed search tool; search topic; search situation; and features of the retrieved information resources. Each category has its subcategories which have been illustrated in the paper.
Research limitations/implications – This study was carried out based on a relatively small sample of academia and therefore the results cannot be easily generalized to the wide community of web users. The results of this study should be able to make information literacy education more effective by using information seeking behaviour research discoveries. This study demonstrated that the outcome of any information literacy courses would be more efficient if the contextual factors – which have been identified and illuminated in this study – were considered in the educational agenda.
Originality/value – The study possesses three characteristics that make it different from other studies in the related areas. First of all, it took an in-depth insight to the interaction of end users with the web in real situations. Secondly it focused on a specific targeted group, the academic biology community. Thirdly the study adopted a qualitative approach, in contrast with mainly quantitative web research.

Keywords: Information literacy, Information searches, Qualitative research, Search engines, User interfaces, Worldwide web

Article Type: Research paper, DOI: 10.1108/02640470810864091
Article URL:

Monday, April 07, 2008

e-Society 2008

IADIS International Conference of e-Society 2008 takes place in Algarve, Portugal from 9-12 April 2008. For more details please see the conference website (

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Semantic Search: Search for Meaning

The latest progress in web-based search industry is always one of my favourite areas of study. If you look through the related literature you can see various techniques claiming better search results. However, I think what we really need is new search engines which are able to make sense of what we ask them. This approach is called differently in various sources such as "Search 2.0" or "Semantic Search". Hakia compares this approach with the traditional indexing methods and concludes that: "Semantic search technology has many advantages compared to statistical (popularity) methods, especially when statistical data is not available such as in dynamic content and long-tail queries". I don't know how successful they have been in implementation of this new approach but for more information please have a look at this address.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

JoDI Special Issue

Special Issue of the Journal of Digital Information will focus on "Digital Libraries and User-Generated Content". The special issue aims to "explore how digital libraries can leverage on the various technologies underlying user-generated content to provide innovative and useful services for their users. Since such technologies are potentially disruptive, the special issue will also investigate how support for user-generated content would impact digital libraries, their administrators, users and other stakeholders". Topics of interest include "Use of Web 2.0 technologies in digital libraries, mobile services in digital libraries, supporting digital library infrastructure and architecture, information retrieval and mining techniques, virtual worlds and digital libraries, user communities, usability and user needs, novel interfaces supporting user-generated content and social, institutional and policy issues."

4th WIS

Fourth International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics (WIS) and Ninth COLLNET Meeting will take place 29 July – 1 August, 2008 at the Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin, Institute of Library and Information Science in Berlin. To see more details please visit the COLLNET website.