Genesis of an electronic database expert system

Wei ma, Timothy W. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on the creation of a prototype, Web-based, expert system utility that helps end-users better navigate the range of library databases available at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Both librarian-assigned database descriptors and terms drawn from the controlled vocabularies of the databases themselves are used to thoroughly characterize resources. End-users then utilize keyword searches and/or menu selections to identify resources most relevant to their information needs. In addition to reporting on the UIUC prototype and the work done to create it, the concerns that gave rise to the project are discussed. Previous work and research elsewhere are summarized, and the more common approaches currently in place in academic libraries today are noted. Plans for testing the UIUC prototype with librarians and end-users, for evaluating the results of those tests, and for iteratively refining the tool based on those evaluations are then briefly described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-222
Number of pages16
JournalReference Services Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Academic libraries
  • Databases
  • End-users
  • Expert systems
  • Web applications
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Genesis of an electronic database expert system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this