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Christina's LIS Rant
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
  Wired News: Searching Smarter, Not Harder
Pointed out in the CIO Insight Quick Facts newsletter from November 30, 2004. (via e-mail)
Topic maps are showing up everywhere. They represent information and the relationships between pieces of information (occurrences and associations). There's an ISO standard and everything. Wired's now on board and is discussing how this could help with searching. Of course there are librarians everywhere and all over ASIS&T who work in this area.

Savvy web searchers have forced this type of relationship for years. If you're searching for china (to eat off of for turkey dinner) how do you get the right type of results? You add words that provide context. If you had a thesaurus, you'd look up the preferred term and use that. With the web, no thesaurus, so you AND a string of OR'd terms that put you in the right place (for the example, maybe noritake or fine or wedding or tableware or household???). Maybe you'd just use a more specific term that's less likely to be misunderstood (royal worcester howard gold). After you get your results back, you can scan them and then add in quotes, etc. How about adding words in another language or from another subject discipline?

Better yet, use a clustering search engine and see what topic areas it suggests. (this is cool) Why make the user think meta?
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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