INF 1325 Online Information Retrieval
Course DescriptionFocuses on the principles and methods of information retrieval through interactive database searching. Problems of online database organization and structure, search strategy formulation, and online search service management are investigated. Major search vendors and their systems are presented.
- To introduce basic concepts of online information retrieval.
- To develop in students searching skills across a broad range of online databases and services.
- To provide an understanding of issues in search service management such as planning, selection of databases, modes of service, and evaluation.
- To emphasize the importance of understanding and satisfying user information needs in online searching.
Method and ProcedureA variety of methods will be used in this course including lectures, demonstrations, hands-on practice, group work and project presentations. Students will be introduced to different types of database resources and services, and use them to develop specialized online searching applications.
Course Requirements: Readings
Students are encouraged to read current issues of the ONLINE, Searcher, and EContent journals to keep up with developments in this fast changing field.
Online service vendors will be issuing workbooks and documentation to each student during their sessions.
Suggested texts for the course are the following:
- Bell, Suzanne S. Librarian's Guide to Online Searching (Second Edition). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
- Walker, Geraldene and Janes, Joseph. Online Retrieval: A Dialogue of Theory and Practice. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited. 1999
Additional texts that provide useful background are:
- Alexander Halavais. Search Engine Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009. How search engines work, how their use affects searching behavior, and what they mean to society.
- CW Choo. Information Management for the Intelligent Organization. 3rd edition. Medford, NJ: Information Today Inc, 2002. Chapter 7: Weaving A Web of Online Intelligence.
- CW Choo, Brian Detlor, Don Turnbull. Web Work: Information Seeking and Knowledge Work on the World Wide Web. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.
- Assignment 1: Dialog Search Exercise (35%)
- Students are given a set of questions to be searched. The printouts of these searches are to be handed in to the instructor. Searches are assessed for development of search strategy, effective use of system features, and the quality of the end result.
- Assignment 2: Cross Resource Search Exercise (35%)
- Students select a topic to be searched using two different search services. Students develop a search scenario by describing the information needs of an imaginary client. They then plan and execute appropriate search strategies and report their results.
- Assignment 3: Online Searching Application (30%)
- Students work in groups of three to plan and develop an online searching application.
Availability of InstructorStudents are encouraged to discuss any course-related problems with their instructors. Prof. Choo's office is Room 628; telephone number 978 5266; e-mail . Office hours will be announced in class.
Please review the following: University policy on plagiarism and other academic offences; How not to plagiarize; material presented in the Cite It Right workshop; Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters; Accessibility services at the U of T.
Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability or health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or the Accessibility Services Office as soon as possible. The Accessibility Services staff are available by appointment to assess specific needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate accommodations. The sooner you let them and me know your needs, the quicker we can assist you in achieving your learning goals in this course.