Challenges of Retrieving Researchers' Names in Information Repositories: A Case Study (Scientific Information System of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University Of Zabol, Zabol, Iran


Objective: One of the most important identifiers that users of any information system use in their searches is the author name identifier. Therefore, the designers and managers of any information system are always looking to improve the quality of content retrieval based on the search for the author's name. The content of information repositories and the quality of service delivery in them is affected by the quality and manner of storing and retrieving personal names. The purpose of this article is to investigate the problems and challenges of searching for the names of individuals in academic organizational repositories from its practical aspect.
Methodology: In order to investigate the practical challenges of searching for researchers in the organizational repository of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, the evaluation and observation methods were used. In this method, performance measurement, which is a more specific type of evaluative research, is used. Accordingly, in this study, an attempt has been made to investigate the performance of the search engine of the reservoir system of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in order to search for the names of ambiguous persons.
Findings: Despite the relatively small amount of information in this repository compared to very large organizational repositories, a search based on the name of the author in this organizational repository showed that there are issues and challenges related to name retrieval in this repository. A high percentage of similar surnames indicated that users had to be aware of people's first and last names in addition to surnames in many searches. About 40 percent of the names were multi-part or compound, which for various reasons lead to irrelevant or less relevant retrieving.
Conclusion: Given that all the ambiguous names extracted from the researchers' Name List in the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad repository were searched in order to examine the performance of the search, the result indicated that there were challenges in searching for the names of individuals and the designed system could not display related results. In general, it can be said that the organizational repository of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, when searching for the ambiguous names, has problems and confusion due to the similarity of the individual' names, or due to language problems and It's spelling. Authority control of the names of the researchers nationally and internationally is one of the most important and effective ways out of the challenge of the name searching. It is necessary to ask researchers to enter their information carefully in comprehensive systems and librarians to manually control the authority of their names. In this way, a national system of authority control of Iranian researchers in Persian and English languages emerges, which can have many uses and solve the problems of searching by name to a large extent.


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