Comma

The information retrieval needs of archival users: a case study from the Jabotinsky Institute, Israel

Comma (2008), 2008, (2), 47–53.

Abstract

Archival user needs have been the subject of much professional attention in recent decades but understanding users' information seeking and retrieval behavior is of particular importance now that many archives are in the process of producing web-based finding aids which allow for independent searching from outside the repository. A study at the Jabotinskty Institute Archives Research into the ways in which users define the subject of their searches, and how they build a search strategy has provided valuable information for the future construction of efficient and user-friendly search and retrieval tools. In particular the study identified that personal names, often associated with different variables, were preferred as search terms; that users preferred simple, rather than advanced search interfaces; and that natural language was preferred to the linguistic functions, such as Boolean searching, provided by most systems. Such findings suggest the adaptations that can be made to existing and future systems to provide users with the best possible search results.

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Author details

Zolotarevsky, Masha