Comparing Information Access Approaches

  • Citation-Key:
  • Title:
    Comparing Information Access Approaches
  • Author(s):
    Matthew Chalmers
  • Journal:
    Journal of the American Society for Information Science
  • Volume:
  • Number:
  • Page(s):
  • Year:
  • Note:
    Special Topic Issue: The 50th Anniversary of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science - Part 2: Paradigms, Models, and Methods of Information Science


Information retrieval, workflow, collaborative filtering and the path model can be considered as members of the family of approaches to information access. Although details of nomenclature and technique may vary, each is meant to provide people with access to useful information. In this paper we take a broad view over information access, drawing from philosophy and semiology in constructing a framework for comparative discussion. We use this framework to examine the information representations that underlie these four approaches, looking at phenomena included and excluded, the sharing of information amongst the community of use, interaction in terms of models of user activity and presentation of results, adaptation of system behaviour, and the inter relationships of the representation s components. With deeper understanding of relative strengths and weaknesses, and characteristic emphases and assumptions, we can improve our selection, combination and development of information systems.

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