ERIC Number: ED246438
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-6
Reference Count: 0
Terminology-Setting Events and Information Retrieval in Mass Communication Research.
Hansen, Kathleen A.
To explore whether there is a recognizable point (a terminology-setting event, e.g., a scholarly conference, a special issue of a journal, or a particularly influential journal article) in the development of a new branch of knowledge that serves to codify a vocabulary for the researchers of that field, electronic and manual searches were conducted for materials published before and after a terminology-setting event in three areas: the agenda setting function of the press, the New World Information Order, and critical viewing skills. It was hypothesized that the number of items found would increase after a terminology-setting event. For each research area, the appropriate combination of manual indexes and electronic information systems was used. Results showed that the percentage of items found both electronically and manually went from 8% before the terminology-setting event to 19% after. However, the percentage of items located only electronically actually fell from 55% before the terminology-setting event to 43% after. These results suggest that electronic information retrieval systems do not necessarily lead to an increase in the number of identified items, and that terminology-setting events have a much greater effect on the researchers in a field than on the information retrieval systems serving them. Producers of these systems may have trained incapacities to respond to the events and thus may systematically exclude new terms, since they are not in the "speech communities" that determine the language of a field. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Technical Language
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984). Research was supported by a grant from the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, through its Faculty Summer Research Appointment program.