Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 25
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types of news stories. Once the system learned a user's preferences, the system could
then automatically screen information in the USENET service and only deliver items that
match the preferences preferred by the users. However, the system did allow the user to
change system settings at each stage or use.
Unless researchers develop better models of Internet usage, effective search
interfaces (engines) cannot be created to provide easy access to electronic information
resources on the Intemrnet. Most of the recent research on the effectiveness of search
engines to retrieve information from the Internet involved traditional measures of
relevancy and retrieval. (See Berkman, 2000, Conlon & Conlon, 1998; Ellis, Ford, &
Fumrner, 1998; Gordon & Pathak, 1999; and Nicholson, 1997.) Unfortunately, there has
been very little research done on the criteria employed by Intemrnet users to evaluate web
sites for usefulness and relevancy. (See Sowards, 1997 and Brandt, 1996.)
History of Information Retrieval and Seeking Research
The earliest research on information retrieval began in the 1950s with what
became known as the Cranfield Studies (Ellis, 1996a, 1996b, & 1990a). Mortimer Taube
devised the "Uniterm System" whereby documents could be represented by a term from
the title or abstract of a document. This contrasted with the practice of using indexing and
subject terms to describe the content of a document. Beginning in 1953, tests were
conducted in both Great Britain and the United States on the merits of this new retrieval
system. These early tests established the classical paradigm of retrieval standards
involving relevancy/precision and recall.
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Reference the current page of this Dissertation.
Fortin, Maurice G. Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment, dissertation, December 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2723/m1/32/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .