Doing Things with Information: Beyond Indexing and Abstracting

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The relationship between a person with a question and a source of information is complex. Indexing and abstracting often fail because too much emphasis is put on the mechanics of description and too little on what ought to be represented. Research literature suggests that inappropriate representation results in failed searches a significant number of times, perhaps even in a majority of cases. Doing Things with Information seeks to rectify this unfortunate situation by emphasizing methods of modeling and constructing appropriate representations of such questions and documents. Students in programs of information studies will find focal points for discussion about system design and refinement of existing systems. Librarians, scholars, and those who work within large document collections, whether paper or electronic, will find insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the access systems they use.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is not a 'howto' guide for people who want to learn how to style an abstract or create an index. Instead, the authors

ambitiously attempt to examine information in various formats and present strategies that librarians can use to better assist patrons find needed information within information systems. This is a dense book for people who like to think about how information is created and the role librarians and their systems have within the search process. Recommended for large libraries that support computer science and/or library science programs."


The Tech Static

"Highly theoretical in nature, this book would make excellent reading for both students and professional indexers and abstractors. The authors seriously approach their subject matter, with each chapter containing a complete discussion of both philosophical and practical issues relating to document representation creation and use."


Collection Management

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591585770
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN C. O'CONNOR is a Professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas.

JODI KEARNS is Digitization Project Manager at the Archives of the History of American Psychology and an Adjunct Professor in the Intstructional Technology Program, College of Education, University of Akron.

RICHARD L. ANDERSON is the Information Security Coordinator at University of North Texas.

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Table of Contents

Preface to Doing Things with Information: Beyond Indexing and Abstracting

Freight Trains Have No Steering Wheels: A Metaphor

Templates of Understanding: On Information Interpretation and Meaning

What Would Wilson Say? Wilsonian Vision of Interpreting and Understanding Information

1 Background Concepts and Models 1

2 Considerations of Representation 21

3 Representation, Function, and Utility 45

4 Failures of Representation: Indeterminacy and Depth 63

5 Aboutness and User-Generated Descriptors 91

6 Responses to Indeterminacy 107

7 Doing Things with Word-Based Documents 133

8 Functional Applications of Information Measurement 165

9 Functional Ontology Construction 207

10 Creek Pebbles: A Summary Metaphor and Touchstone for Exploration 221

References 227

Index 235

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