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User - Thesaurus Interaction in a Web-Based Database: An Evaluation of Users' Term Selection Behaviour

Shiri, A.A. and Revie, C.W. (2001) User - Thesaurus Interaction in a Web-Based Database: An Evaluation of Users' Term Selection Behaviour. In: Proceedings of the Infotech Oulu International Workshop on Information Retrieval, 2001-09-19 - 2001-09-21.

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Abstract

A major challenge faced by users during the information search and retrieval process is the selection of search terms for query formulation and expansion. Thesauri are recognised as one source of search terms which can assist users in query construction and expansion. As the number of electronic thesauri attached to information retrieval systems has grown, a range of interface facilities and features have been developed to aid users in formulating their queries. The pilot study reported here aimed to explore and evaluate how a thesaurus-enhanced search interface assisted end-users in selecting search terms. Specifically, it focused on the evaluation of users' attitudes toward both the thesaurus and its interface as tools for facilitating search term selection for query expansion. Thesaurusbased searching and browsing behaviours adopted by users while interacting with a thesaurus-enhanced search interface were also examined.