Draft for comment
(Most of the work on this paper was done during the author's stays as visiting
professor at the Graduate Library School, University of Chicago)
This paper gives a panoramic overview of problems that arise in the design
of information retrieval systems and in information retrieval research and puts
the individual problems in perspective. It can serve as a framework for research
and for curriculum development. I hope to give the experienced reader some new
perspectives and relationships not commonly thought about, and to the newcomer a
sense of the spirit of the field.
Problem areas 1 and 2 deal with the user, her problems, information needs,
and information processing behavior. Problem areas 3 - 5 deal with the design of
systems that can produce helpful information packages. Problem areas 6 and 7 are
concerned with a closer coupling between information systems and users' daily
work. Finally, problem area 8 returns to the user: Did the information provided
have the desired effect in terms of improved task performance?