B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N


of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 31, No. 1    October/November 2004

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Selected Abstracts from JASIS&T

Editor's note: We invite JASIS&T authors to submit structured abstracts of their articles for possible inclusion in the Bulletin, particularly those that might be of interest to practitioners. ASIS&T would welcome reader feedback on the usefulness of this (or any other) Bulletin feature (bulletin@asis.org).

From JASIS&T v. 55 (11)

Bar-Ilan, J. & Peritz, B. C. (2004). Evolution, continuity and disappearance of documents on a specific topic on the Web - A longitudinal study of "Informetrics," (980-990).

Study and Results: This study analyzes the changes that occurred to a set of Web pages related to "informetrics" over a period of five years between June 1998 and June 2003. The results indicate that modification, disappearance and resurfacing cannot be ignored when studying the structure and development of the Web.

What's New? There are only a very few studies that monitor a set of pages for long periods of time (a year or more). In this study we not only monitored a fixed set of URLs, but also at each round searched for additional pages on the topic, which enabled us to learn about the growth of the topic as reflected through the collated results of the largest search engines.

Limitations: Monitoring a single query over time indicates the development of the specific topic; however in order to be able to fully characterize the dynamic processes that take place on the Web, additional, larger scale studies are needed.

Mustafa, S.H. & Al-Radaideh, Q.A. (2004). Using N-grams for Arabic text searching, (1002-1007).

Study and Results: N-gram matching has been assumed to be language-independent and should work for all languages. The purpose of the research, reported in this article, was to investigate this assumption using Arabic text. The results of using two N-gram strategies indicate that the digram method offers a better overall performance than trigram, in respect to conflation precision and conflation recall ratios.

What's New? The fact that Arabic is an agglutinative language with a complex affix structure involving prefixes, infixes and suffixes presents a special case for testing the general assumption of this study. Although the N-gram-based matching technique is straightforward, the inherent lexical structure of the language under consideration seems to pose some problems on the applicability of the technique. According to the experimental results, the N-gram conflation technique does not appear to provide an efficient approach to corpus-based Arabic word conflation.

Limitations: The results should be considered with two limitations in mind. The first concerns how the term conflation relevance was used in this study. It was confined to words that would be considered related by common stems rather than by common roots. The other limitation relates to the fact that the textual material used in the experiments was not exposed to any preprocessing regarding particles and high-frequency words.

Awazu, Y., & Desouza, K.C. (2004). Open knowledge management: lessons from the open source revolution, (1016-1019). (Brief communication.)

One might argue that the future of knowledge work is manifested in how open-source communities work. Specialists who collaborate via the exchange of know-how and skills to develop products and services will conduct knowledge work. This is exactly what an open source community does. To this end, in this brief communication we conduct an examination of open source communities and generate insights on how to augment current knowledge management practices in organizations. We share several guidelines on how practice can gain from an "open knowledge management framework" rather than the popular closed form found in organizations today. Our prescriptions look at how traditional problems with knowledge acquisition, sharing, application and maintenance can be minimized using lessons gauged from the open source revolution.

Olsen, K. A. & Williams, J. G. (2004). Spelling and grammar checking using the Web as a text repository, (1020-1023). (Brief communication.)

Study and Results: It was hypothesized that the vast text repository of the World Wide Web could be used to help resolve language decisions such as choice of words, expressions and word relationships for native as well as non-native users of a language. Since prepositions are particularly difficult for non-native English language users and, generally, are difficult for users of any language, a Web search engine was used to conduct experiments and gather data from the World Wide Web on the frequency of problematic prepositional phrases, such as "in the west coast," "on the west coast" and "at the west coast." To see if the Web would work for other languages, searches were performed to find the correct preposition in Norwegian. Several experiments were also performed to determine if the Web was helpful in determining preferred word choice and correct pronouns, e.g. "their car" or "there car." The results of the experiments supported the hypothesis.What's New? The use of the vast text repository on the WWW to overcome problems that grammar checkers, spell checkers and style checkers have not been able to resolve very well.Limitations: Statistical difference measures were not computed due to the overwhelming difference in frequency of occurrence of preferred phrases and the large sample sizes involved.


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