• Assessing the Impact of User Interaction with Thesaural Knowledge Structures: a Quantitative Analysis Framework

      Shiri, Ali Asghar; Revie, Crawford; Chowdhury, Gobinda; López-Huertas, Marí­a José; Munoz-Fernandez, Francisco J. (Ergon Verlag, 2002)
      Thesauri have been important information and knowledge organisation tools for more than three decades. The recent emergence and phenomenal growth of the World Wide Web has created new opportunities to introduce thesauri as information search and retrieval aids to end user communities. While the number of web-based and hypertextual thesauri continues to grow, few investigations have yet been carried out to evaluate how end-users, for whom all these efforts are ostensibly made, interact with and make use of thesauri for query building and expansion. The present paper reports a pilot study carried out to determine the extent to which a thesaurus-enhanced search interface to a web-based database aided end-users in their selection of search terms. The study also investigated the ways in which users interacted with the thesaurus structure, terms, and interface. Thesaurus-based searching and browsing behaviours adopted by users while interacting with the thesaurus-enhanced search interface were also examined.