ERIC Number: ED325118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: N/A
Structured Representation of Theoretical Abstracts: Implications for User Interface Design.
Francis, Hannah; Liddy, Elizabeth D.
A descriptive study was conducted to delineate a structured representation of one abstract type (theoretical) and suggest how this predictable representation could affect user-system interfaces of information retrieval systems. Fifty-five argumentative type abstracts were selected from issues of "International Political Science Abstracts." Each abstract was classified into one of three groupings: Substantive, Authoritative, or Motivational. Each abstract was examined for the presence of the first and the second triads of elements--i.e. (1) data, warrant, and claim; and (2) backing, rebuttal, and qualifier. Of the abstracts, 68% belonged to the Substantive class, 20% to the Authoritative class, and 11% to the Motivational class. The first triad of elements was found in all of the abstracts. Of the second triad of elements, Rebuttal was found in 16, Qualifier in 24, and Backing in 28 of the abstracts. It is concluded that patterns of form and structure can be found in the argumentation texts, and therefore, that the rhetorical structure of argument is a useful framework in which to describe the structure of theoretical abstracts. Further, if a user-system interface could make use of these findings in information retrieval systems, users would be aided in comprehending the content of retrieved abstracts and in refining their search queries. (8 references) (SD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Mid-Year Meeting of the American Society for Information Science (San Diego, CA, May 21-24, 1989).