OCLC awards 1995 research grants

DUBLIN, Ohio, Aug. 14, 1995--The OCLC Office of Research has awarded four Library and Information Science Research Grants to university researchers for 1995.

"We are pleased to be able to support these projects," said Terry Noreault, director, OCLC research & special projects. "University-based research adds an important dimension to our research agenda, and these projects promise findings that should be of broad interest to the library and information science community."

The grant recipients and their projects are:

  • Dr. Rebecca Green, assistant professor, University of Maryland at College Park, "A Relational Thesaurus: Modeling Semantic Relationships using Frames":

    This research will develop the core of a general-purpose, frame-based thesaurus of semantic relationships, the frame having been shown by previous research to be representative of the best means available for expressing complex relationships. Frames will be based on the argument structure of mid-to-high frequency verbs, as grouped by semantic fields and will be organized hierarchically.

  • Dr. Stephen P. Harter, professor, Indiana University, "The Impact of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication: A Citation Study":

    This research examines the impact of electronic journals on the scholarly communication system in two ways. First, a sample of peer-reviewed scholarly e-journals will be selected and references of articles within the sample examined. Second, a cited-work search will be conducted on the Institute for Scientific Information's citation indexes. Through an examination of these data, the extent to which electronic publications are being cited in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals, both print and electronic, will be assessed. The study will also examine the forms in which scholars cite e-journals, the accuracy and completeness of citations to e-journals, and practical difficulties faced by scholars and researchers who wish to retrieve e-journals through the networks.

  • Dr. Xia Lin, assistant professor, University of Kentucky, "Graphical Table of Contents for Electronic Documents":

    The objective of this research is to explore a new form of content displays for information retrieval--the graphical table of contents (GTOC). GTOC is functionally analogous to the table of contents; it can be generated automatically for a book or for a set of documents in a database; it will show both contents and semantic structures of the documents it covers. In this research, an experiment will be conducted to compare a GTOC prototype to the original table of contents (TOC). Several hypotheses related to information access with GTOC and TOC will be tested in the experiment. Results of this research will provide a better understanding of how the concept of the table of contents should be extended to digital books and used in digital libraries.

  • Dr. James H. Sweetland, associate professor, and Dr. Judith J. Senkevitch, assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, "Analyzing the Viability of Using Peer Group Holdings as an Evaluation Tool":

    This proposal will test hypotheses suggested by the authors' 1993-94 OCLC-funded study. The present project will compare a list of the approximately 400 adult fiction titles most widely held by OCLC member public libraries in 1995 with a comparable list produced by OCLC in 1994 to determine the degree of change over one year. This study will: (1) contribute to the understanding of the nature of adult fiction collections in public libraries; (2) provide insight into the nature of a "classic" work of fiction; and (3) clarify the potential utility of an OCLC-generated list of adult fiction classics for public library collection evaluation.

The OCLC Library and Information Science Research Grant program awards grants of up to $10,000 to help foster quality research by faculty in schools of library and information science. Projects are generally completed within one year, and findings are published in the Annual Review of OCLC Research and in the public domain. Application materials for 1996 will be available this November. For more information, contact the Office of Research by phone at 1-614-764-6061 or by e-mail at bhawk@oclc.org.