Martha E. Williams, Mark Kinnucan, Linda C Smith, Laurence Lannom, Dongsung Cho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The purpose of the research project was to compare three types of interfaces to online information retrieval systems (command-driven, menu-driven, and associative) in a fair manner avoiding favoring one over others. Since match, search and retrieval processes affect response time we wrote a single back end for those functions. To reduce the number of variables we prepared a single database and a standard set of 24 queries. The interfaces were tested by human subjects to determine which type of interface is most acceptable to novice users. The database used was a subset of MEDLINE file of the NLM. We created a minidatabase of references, with abstracts, dealing with topics (such as anorexia nervosa, tennis elbow and Health Maintenance Organizations, HMOs) that are familiar to the general public. The base included 34,000 references, an amount that would fit on a single disc on our VAX11/780. File building included generating indexes, term frequency lists and a stop-word list of prepositions, conjunctions, etc, and very high frequency words that were query words and synonyms (to avoid degrading response time).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting
EditorsJulie M. Hurd
PublisherLearned Information Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0938734148
StatePublished - 1986

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting
ISSN (Print)0044-7870

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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