Elaine Toms Elaine Toms

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Management
School of Business Administration, Faculty of Management Dalhousie University
Phone: 902.494.8374 Fax: 902.494.1107
John Durno Email

Elaine Toms is an Associate Professor, School of Business Administration, Dalhousie University and is the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Management Informatics. She is a member of TAPOR (Text Analysis Portal for Research) and NECTAR (Network for Effective Collaboration Technologies through Advanced Research). Funded by CFI, SSHRC, and NSERC, she researches information interaction - the boundary at the computer interface - to understand what motivates people to effectively and efficiently use context-rich information systems and to design tools to enable that use.

Integrating User Context to the Digital Library

Friday October 15, 2004 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Digital libraries manage resources for their community of users. Yet community needs for those resources are limited by the "bag of words" approach to retrieval that is practiced by search engines and library systems. These systems are very good with well-defined, known-item searches, such as find a hotel in Rome, or the Webpage of X, or a particular article or report. But searches that require multiple pieces of evidence to solve complex problems, such as who should not get a flu shot, are significantly less successful. The solution lies in adding contextual data from the user's personal/work environments into the retrieval process, and enriching the interface to digital libraries so that it more closely reflects the user's environment. This talk will address this problem proposing how the addition of user context will define the next generation of digital library with prototypes to illustrate.


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