Searching titles with initial articles in the library catalogs - A case study and search behavior analysis

Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Library resources & technical services (Impact Factor: 0.64). 07/2007; 51(3):190-203.


This study examines problems caused by initial articles in library catalogs. The problematic records observed are those whose titles begin with a word erroneously considered to be an article at the retrieval stage. Many retrieval algorithms edit queries by removing initial words corresponding to articles found in an exclusion list even whether the initial word is an article or not. Consequently, a certain number of documents remain more difficult to find. The study ako examines user behavior during known-item retrieval using the title index in library catalogs, concentrating on the problems caused by the presence of an initial article or of a word homograph to an article. Measures of success and effectiveness are taken to determine if retrieval is affected in such cases.

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