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Information Retrieval

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Information Retrieval



The computer conferencing group was comprised of 6 members:

We chose to research Investors in People, each using a different method, including both paper based and internet based sources. The references to the information that we found was recorded in two data storage systems, the first in access and the second in excel. We then individually evaluated our research method.



Newspapers have reasonably accessible information A newspaper is available from newsagents, in towns; airports etc and are read by a large volume of readers. A wide choice is available: Large selections of newspapers are available, specialising in different areas. They have very up to date information as they change day to day. However using newspapers as a research method can be very time consuming because newspapers are very unspecific with no indication of their contents. In this situation we were looking for very specific information, the information provided to us by newspapers often only related to the subject we were researching. The information can also be quite volatile, rushed publications from sources which cannot always be reliable or accurate.


There is a large variety of journals to choose from which is advantageous in some instances but in this case made it harder to find specific information, it was very time consuming to manually search through every one. Journals are for specific information, one article will have several relevant points. The information that was retrieved from journals was very reliable and they contained a referencing system that made them easy to trace as well as a bibliography where further reading on the subject was listed, this was very beneficial.


I had a good idea of how reliable the information was because most books contain details of its origins It makes them traceable and possible for me to state its reference efficiently as we knew all the information needed would be right at the front of the book on the first page we were also able to decide whether it was still relevant and accurate today by considering the date it was first published.

Another advantage was that books journals and newspapers are tangible so we could pick them up from where we left off and refer back to them. Books are well organised and easy to use. The indexes were particularly useful in this situation because few books existed that were solely about the chosen scenario so we could just refer to the index and look for �Investors in People’, if it was there we would know what page it was on. When researching using a paper based method such as newspapers, journals and books, you only have to rely on yourself, there are less external factors that interfere with the process than there are with internet based research, there is no need to worry about the computer crashing or the website being updated and changed. Information is also reliable because all academic paper based sources of information have to meet more publishing or editorial standards than other forms of research and undergo proof reading to prevent misprints and mistakes.

It can be hard to locate a specific book as they are not always readily available, when we enquired at the library we were unable to use certain books that existed in the University library because they were kept on another campus. The amount of books are limited because they are tangible and take up space as well as a book only being able to be used by one person at a time, a library cannot contain every book and cannot usually supply enough copies to cater for everyone. Time restrictions are placed if you borrow a book or a journal from a library and if you do not borrow a book there is no guarantee that it would still be there at a later date because some one else could take it out. This can be avoided by purchasing the book from a shop although this would prove to be very expensive. Only a small amount of new books and journals are published when compared to other sources of information so there is less choice. This meant it was very hard to find books specifically relating to the scenario we were unable to find any books that were completely based on what the scenario required. Books tend to be greater in the quantity and detail of information than internet based research. This works both ways, in this case it was a disadvantage because we were looking for very specific information and not all the information in the books was relevant therefore

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